Give your cheesecake a swirly of apple butter with these apple butter swirl cheesecake bars. With a gluten-free crust for those that need it and none the wiser for those that do not.
Last week I effectively defended and acquired my PhD. Today my friend and fellow labmate Stephanie is defending for hers! Not that there is any doubt about her passing and become at double doctor (she already has her PharmD), but to help alleviate her stress I baked treats for her captive audience and committee.
I’ve finally warmed up to the idea of fall despite the non-fall-like weather, and am attempting to will the changing of the seasons through baking seasonal things. I devised these with cozy fall flavors of apple butter mixed with cheesecake in order to impart warm and fuzzy feelings upon everyone.
After Stephanie’s grill session is over (during which I am sure she will blow them away) we are going out to celebrate both of our success! Now all we have to do is find jobs – what happened to the days when our parents were offered jobs upon graduation without even applying?
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese*, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1/4 cup apple butter
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the bars out afterward. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- For the crust: Stir the flour, brown sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter, and use a pastry cutter to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light brown and set. Remove the pan to a wire rack.
- For the filling: While the crust cooks, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with sugar until well combined and smooth. Add the egg, vanilla and salt, and beat just until the mixture is uniform.
- Remove 1/4 cup of the cream cheese mixture into another bowl. Add the apple butter to the 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture and mix until blended.
- Pour plain cheesecake mixture over the crust (it's fine if the crust is warm, no need to cool it completely). Top with drops of apple butter mixture and swirl with a knife.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the bars cool completely, then refrigerate for at least a few hours. Use the foil or parchment handles to lift the bars out. Cut into squares for serving.
*Can use reduced fat if preferred. **You may notice my original photos the swirls are darker, that is just differences in brands of apple butter.
Source: Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures (no longer active) and Chocolate Moosey.
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Post updated 12/11/2023, photos above and below are the originals.**