Sunday, August 21, 2011

Caramel Cheesecake Apple Dip

Is anyone else starting to crave the flavors of Fall?
I know there's a good bit of summer still left but I'm already looking forward to a change of season and all the flavors of Fall. Caramel apples always bring Fall-ish thoughts to mind. Growing up, my mom would buy those caramel apple kits from the grocery store. The kits came with those flat sheets of caramel that we had to stretch and wrap around an apple with a popsicle stick stuck in it. Then we'd heat them in the oven, while waiting in anticipation for them to be ready to bite into. As a kid I thought those apples were the best thing ever, even though the caramel really stuck to my teeth. I haven't had one of those apples in years but I still love the caramel and apple combo. This dip is caramel apples for grown-ups. It has all the things you like about a caramel apple layered between sweet cream cheese. It's creamy, caramely, goodness with a little chocolate and toffee thrown in for good measure. It's seriously good stuff.  This cheesecake dip looks pretty on a serving plate, which makes it a great to serve at parties. Plus unlike those caramel apples we'd make as kids, you won't have any caramel stuck to your teeth! 
 
As pretty as it is delicious!
Caramel Cheesecake Apple Dip
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 Tbs. heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Caramel sauce (recipe below) or store bought
Heath milk chocolate pieces
mini chocolate chips
2-4 Granny Smith or other crisp tart apples, sliced and soaking in lemon juice/water until ready to serve

Method:
This is the method is to make a layered dip, for a quick method see note below.
Line a six inch cake pan or springform pan with plastic wrap. Use enough plastic wrap to hang over the sides of the pan about 2 inches.
Place softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl. Add the heavy cream and powdered sugar, mix well, until smooth. Place half of the cream cheese mixture in the lined pan and smooth with the back of a spoon. (If you dip the spoon into warm water before you start to smooth the cream cheese, it will be much easier to spread.) Spoon on a layer of caramel. Sprinkle with a layer of chocolate chips and the Health pieces. How much you use is up to you but don't go to overboard or you may have trouble spreading the top layer of cream cheese.

Oh yeah, that's the stuff!
Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. This will let the caramel set up a bit and make topping it with the remaining cream cheese much easier. Scoop the remaining cream cheese on top and smooth out using the back of a dampened spoon, like you did for the first layer. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. Pull back the plastic wrap so that the top of the cheesecake is exposed. Place a serving plate on top of the pan and invert. Remove the pan and the plastic wrap. Spoon caramel sauce over the top of you cheese cake and top with more of the Heath pieces and chocolate chips. Place the sliced apples around the dip and serve.
*Note: If you want to throw this together super fast, just spread all the cream cheese on a serving platter and top with the caramel, Heath bits, and the mini chocolate chips.

Caramel Sauce
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla (or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons bourbon)
pinch of sea salt

Method:
Place sugar in a small heavy sauce pan. Pour water evenly over the top. Turn stove top to medium-high heat. Hold sauce pan by the handle and swirl occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Turn heat to high, and boil until syrup turns brown around the edges of the pan, about 6-8 minutes. Swirl the syrup occasionally until it turns a deep amber and just begins to smoke.
Remove pan from heat. Add butter and whisk, until all butter is mixed in. Stir in cream. Take care adding the butter and cream as the caramel will boil up and sputter quite a bit.
If sauce has any lumps, set pan over low heat and stir until smooth then turn off heat again.
Stir in vanilla and salt.


35 comments:

Nichol said...

This looks amazing!!

Becs@Lay the table said...

Oooh how very naughty and yet grown up at the same time!

I do really like Autumn for all the stodgy food and knowing my buttercream won't melt too much while I'm piping it!

bellini said...

My mom used to buy those caramel apple kits in the grocers as well:D

cheesecake recipe said...

That looks like my kind of indulgence! I really love it. Even minus the apples, but I guess it's a good idea to have to sort of break the richness of the cheesecake. But seriously, I'm loving this cheesecake even by just looking at it. I will definitely try this one! :)

grace said...

who needs apples? not this girl. :)

Nia said...

Mmm, this looks so good. I love how the dip isn't the main component, but the apples are. However, the dip looks so good that I could just eat it plain. I've never ever tried cheese cake and caramel, but with this recipe, there's always time for something new!

http://greatbakingrecipes.blogspot.com

Helene said...

Yummy! We are starting to think Fall recipes here. Days are getting colder now.

Rachel said...

This looks and sounds amazing! I can't wait to try it.

Desi said...

What a great snack/dessert! I love all things caramel... so I know I'll love this dip! Loving your blog, I am your newest follower :)

http://steaknpotatoeskindagurl.blogspot.com

Crystal said...

I've pinned this and can't wait to try it tomorrow!!

Laura said...

made this for a tailgate today and got so many compliments!!!! thanks for sharing!

Half Baked said...

@Laura,
Thanks! Glad your guests liked it!

Made in Sonoma said...

I would LOVE this! I wish someone would make it for me. haha.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

This looks amazing and I'll have to make it for my next party, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Try soaking the apples in pineapple juice! They won't turn brown and they don't have the bitter lemon taste.

steph said...

This was so good! The bowl was practically licked clean! I would definitely make this again! Thank you for the recipe!

emmainab said...

Desserts are always the hard part. This is perfect for guests that want healthy and those who aren't so concerned. Silly question, did you use a knife for the apple slices? They look so perfect.

Ellen said...

Looks really yummy and I'll definitely try it sometimes! :) One thing though, these Heath/Health (both come up) milk chocolate pieces, do you mean Hershey's Heath Milk chocolate toffee bits? I'm not familiar with american brands but this is what came up when I tried google'ing it...

Half Baked said...

Ellen, yes I used Hershey's Health toffee bits on mine. If you can't find those you could use regular or mini size chocolate chips.

Angus said...

I make something similar to this, but way easier actually (and that's saying something because this is pretty foolproof!)
Spread cream cheese on serving dish, squirt caramel topping (I could make it but I have 4 kids, bottled is good enough for me!, plus it's not like we eat this every day!) on top of cream cheese, sprinkle skor bits, dip apple slices, and die of deliciousness!

Kevin said...

This sounds so good!

Katie said...

This looks and sounds amazing--I think I need to make this--stat!

.aubrey c. said...

I keep seeing this it must be so yummy

gandacummings.blogspot.com

d'vyne confections said...

I've made this a few times to serve at a couple of parties I've hosted and this is always a hit with guests! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Maybe splenda could replace the powdered sugar for a sugar free version, then sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs instead of the candy and use a sugar free caramel sauce.

Anonymous said...

Will be making this for our next family get together--thanks for sharing your ideas

Catherine said...

Just made this for the 4th time. Thanks so much for sharing!

Sharon said...

Can't wait to try this...thanks for sharing!!! :)

Deena @ stay at home FOODIE said...

Love this! I think I may make a version for Break-Fast next week. Amazing!!!

Bethany Schlegel said...

This was amazing. Thank you for posting! We very much enjoyed it!

Faith Chermak said...

Yummy... made it today for a Halloween party! Haven't tasted it all together yet, but all the individual pieces are delicious! :)

Siri Buczynski said...

So I tried this for NYE, and the caramel came out HORRIBLE with a bitter plastic-y taste. Any idea where I went wrong?? It tasted ok in the pan...

Siri Buczynski said...

So I tried this for NYE, and the caramel came out HORRIBLE with a bitter plastic-y taste. Any idea where I went wrong?? It tasted ok in the pan...

Half Baked said...

Hi Siri,
Sorry you had trouble with the caramel. I'm not sure it tasted bad after you got it out of the pot except that maybe it had a reaction to the metal that the pot was made from. I used a stainless steel pot for mine, which is non-reactive. A bitter tasting caramel usually means that you over-cooked the sugar. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

My friend Tanya made this for our WEAVE Group....it was a hit....VERY GOOD!!!!,.....
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