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Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip

I was never big into caramel apples when I was a kid, or even much as an adult, until a couple of years ago when my Chief Culinary Consultant and I took a quick weekend trip to Toronto during the fall. After visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame, we were walking through a shopping area and came across a store with some of the most exquisite-looking caramel apples I had ever seen. My sweet tooth couldn’t walk out of there without buying at least one apple (in actuality, I think I ended up with at least three), and I’ve been dreaming of caramel apples during this time of year ever since. Those apples were the inspiration behind my first homemade caramel apples, and they’re the first thing I thought of when I laid eyes on this dip recipe. It’s everything that’s fabulous about caramel apples, and it tastes like cheesecake. Total win.

When I think of appetizers and dips, my mind always ends up somewhere in the crosshairs of bacon, cheese and chips – all of which are food groups by my estimation. Sometimes, though, it’s fun to change things up a little bit and give your taste buds a little bit of shock therapy. I couldn’t eliminate cream cheese from the equation; I think it says in the dip bible that cream cheese must always be included. However, this sweet and slightly salty dip is the perfect snack for chilly fall afternoons watching football, a movie, or curling up with a good book. It’s different, it’s delicious, and hey – you’re eating apples! It’s almost like health food!

One year ago: Pumpkin Soup with Apple & Spices
Two years ago: Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel
Three years ago: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Four years ago: Challah
Five years ago: Brown Sugar Raisin Bread

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup salted caramel sauce, divided
2 tablespoons Heath bits, divided
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips, divided
Granny Smith and McIntosh apples, cored and sliced

Directions:

1. Line a 4-to-6-inch round pan or bowl (a 4-cup measuring cup even works!) with plastic wrap, using enough so that the excess hangs over the sides of the pan; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until light and smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat again until completely combined and smooth, another 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture into the plastic wrap-lined pan, smoothing it into an even layer. Top with half of the caramel sauce, spreading it to within a ½-inch of the sides of the pan. Sprinkle with half of the Heath bits and mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Remove from the refrigerator and top with the remaining cream cheese mixture, spreading it in an even layer to the edges of the pan. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top of the cream cheese. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

5. When ready to serve, remove the pan from the refrigerator, pull back the plastic wrap and invert into the center of a serving plate. Remove the remaining plastic wrap. Top with the remaining caramel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Heath bits and mini chocolate chips. Serve with apple slices. Refrigerate any leftovers.

(Recipe adapted from Half Baked)

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24 Responses to “Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on October 17, 2012 at 12:39 am

    LOVE fall dips. Especially when they are “healthy”….and if apples are included, they are always healthy! :)

    Reply

  2. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on October 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Am I dreaming? Cause I think I’m in heaven. That looks divine!

    Reply

  3. thegoodiegirl on October 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I’ve been meaning to make a caramel dip for apple slices! This looks great, firmer than I expected – you normally see recipes that are runny. Will add this to the list!

    Reply

  4. Debra on October 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

    caramels, apples, cheesecake, salt, dip all magicily yummy words, then you blew me a way by making them into one, I am slobbering at your feet in awe…:P

    Reply

  5. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on October 17, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Yum! I love dips, I love apples and I love this whole dish! Looks amazing!

    Reply

  6. Vicki @ WITK on October 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This makes me so happy! I can’t have caramel apples these days because my orthodontist forbade it while wearing braces! Mmmm, this is so perfect for fall!

    Reply

  7. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on October 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I love fruit dips! Salted caramel with apples sounds fantastic!

    Reply

  8. Jessica on October 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    are.you.kidding.me?!?!?
    bring this thursday, ok? ;)

    Reply

  9. Gina on October 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Looks yummy! I have so fallen in love with ‘salted’ flavors lately. I had some salted caramel brownies the other day that were just to die for.

    Reply

  10. Chelsea {Whatcha Makin' Now?} on October 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    This sounds amazing!! I love to coat fruit in cream cheese and sweetness. Yum!

    Reply

  11. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on October 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve always been intrigued by sweet dips! This one I may just have to try!

    Reply

  12. amanda @ fake ginger on October 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    This looks so decadent! I want!

    Reply

  13. Dana Smith on October 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I have to take treats to my son’s school next week for the teachers during conferences. This is perfect…a little sweet, a little healthy. Yay!

    Reply

  14. Mackenzie on October 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    that looks so good! and the site is adorable! :)

    Reply

  15. caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on October 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    holy cow that looks incredible!

    Reply

  16. DessertForTwo on October 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    What a perfect way to use up extra heath bits! So delicious, too! :)

    Reply

  17. KnittyWendy on October 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I made this for our ladies’ night out last night and it was a HUGE hit! I finally made the salted caramel sauce that you’ve been taunting us with for a while and ohmygoodness it’s fantastic. Thank you so much!

    Reply

  18. Home Inspections Chicago on October 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I am seeing a lot of salted caramel these days… I am not complaining… just saying!

    Reply

  19. Christine Certain on October 26, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I just made the caramel sauce in anticipation of the dip. . . OUTSTANDING! Love it and am sharing it with my family and friends. I will be making this more often since I love caramel!

    Reply

  20. Renae Osborne on October 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Wow! Made this for a party. What a hit!

    Reply

  21. Jessica on October 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I made this dip twice this past week…everyone loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

    Reply

  22. Darlene on November 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Where can I find salted caramel sauce? I’ve never heard of it.

    Reply

  23. Jacey on February 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    I made this for a Super Bowl Party this evening and it came out wonderfully! It was a huge hit! My store had no Health Bits, so I substituted a crunched up Symphony bar (which worked as well). I also followed your instructions for the Salted Caramel Sauce, and it came out perfectly. I was initially intimidated, but your pictures and instructions were super easy to follow and it tastes incredible.

    Reply

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