You guys. Dutch apple cheesecake blondies. Say it with me. Dutch. Apple. Cheesecake. Blondies. I wasn’t ready. Like, I knew exactly how these were gonna taste before I made them (I can taste things in my mind, swear), but I was NOT ready for the actual bite. Tears rushed to my ducts, but my inner-pretend-thug pushed them back and I shook my head, “Nope! I am not gonna cry!“. But I wanted to. They were so f*cking good. Melted in my mouth, perfectly sweet, buttery, salty, gooey…I’m emotional just typing this out.
I just need you to understand that although there are a few steps to make dutch apple cheesecake blondies, they’re easy and fast, and worth it. You are preparing greatness. The gold at the end of the rainbow. You guys are not hearing me. These are GOOD AF!
Someone help me! I can’t determine which part of these is my favorite. That crumble topping is so clutch, the perfect textural component leading into the creamy cheesecake layer, which is supported by the butter apple blondie layer. But the caramel? The salted apple cider caramel? My god. Please make these. There is sheer desperation for someone else to experience this bliss alongside me (other than the fiancé, we already know he’s a fan — clearly!). Guys, seriously. You’re going to find yourself making these a lot. I’m already plotting on the next occasion.
A perfect dessert. What’s wrong with it? Nothing. They hit every single note. Dammit, here come those punk ass tears…
In a medium saucepan, reduce the apple cider to 1/4 cup over medium heat. This will take about 10-12 minutes, depending. Keep an eye on it, and stir it occasionally to prevent burning.
When you’ve got 1/4 cup, add the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, sea salt and heavy cream. Continue simmering/boiling for another 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a mason jar and allow it to cool for at least an hour.
Make the cheesecake filling
In a large measuring cup or bowl, blend or whisk the softened cream cheese, egg yolk, granulated sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt until it’s fully combined and smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Make the crumble topping
In a medium bowl, blend the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cold butter pieces, and pinch of salt with a pastry blender, fork, or your hands until crumbly and well combined.
You’ll know its perfect when you can clump large pieces together and they slowly crumble apart. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in your fridge until ready to use.
Make the apple blondies
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare a 13×9 baking dish by lining it with parchment or aluminum foil. Make sure you use enough parchment or foil to create a sling by allowing excess overhang so you can easily lift the blondies out later. Spray the parchment or foil with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, toasted walnuts and diced apples together until combined.
In a separate medium bowl, blend the melted butter, and brown sugar together until cohesive. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and mix until fully combined. Get a rubber spatula and fold in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Do not overmix! Pour batter into your prepared baking dish. Smooth the top into an even flat layer.
Dollop the cheesecake filling all over the blondie mixture, and swirl it into the batter using a spoon or butter knife.
Sprinkle an even layer of the crumble topping all over the blondies. You may or may not find yourself using all of it, it’s totally up to you.
Bake on the middle rack for about 25 minutes. Let them cool for an hour or two, then remove the sling of blondies from the baking dish. Cut them into desired size squares, and serve with a generous drizzle of the apple cider caramel with a light sprinkle of fleur de sea salt.
Get your life, and enjoy!
Two small Granny Smith apples should give you about 2 cups.
Keywords: blondies, apple pie, caramel
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