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I was recently thinking about certain things that have changed in my life. While I was cleaning windows and washing dishes, I thought, “If you had told me years ago that I would become a housewife, I would have never believed you.” I had thought about how I had also become my own boss as a blogger and how lucky I was to be able to make that happen. I also thought about how my father likes to say I was the girl who used to burn water. I was a horrible cook who, thankfully, never gave anyone food poisoning. Now, people send me recipes to try (and recipes they would like me to make for them).
That’s where this recipe came from. We were planning my parents’ and brother’s joint birthday celebration. I had received a text from my nephew about a week before with a recipe for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Jars. We have a stockpile of mason jars for canning our garden so I decided to give them a try. I brought them as a nut-free dessert my nephew could enjoy. And he did. He had two of them!
- 6 half-pint size mason jars
- 1 - 8 oz. block low-fat or fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tub lite Cool Whip
- 1 - 21 oz. can apple pie filling
- 2 tbsp. caramel sauce
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined.
- Fold in Cool Whip.
- In another bowl, mix apple pie filling and caramel sauce together.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl.
- In a half-pint mason jar, begin by adding a layer of graham cracker crumbs.
- Next, spoon or pipe in cheesecake filling.
- Then, top off the jar with apple pie filling.
- Add graham cracker crumbs on top and a drizzle of caramel sauce, if desired.
- Chill in fridge with lids off before serving.
I did things a little differently in my recipe for these dessert jars. I used lite Cool Whip and low-fat cream cheese and wasn’t too heavy on the caramel sauce. These jars taste more like an apple pie and cheesecake mashup than caramel apple. Next time (and there will be a next time since I’ll be making these again for Easter) I’ll add a bit more of the graham cracker crumbs to the top and bottom of the jar.
These were such a hit that it’s inspired my mom to search for other “in a jar” desserts to make. I can’t wait to make similar desserts using fresh berries from our garden this summer. If apple pie isn’t your thing, swap out the apple pie filling for another pie filling flavor. Ditch the caramel sauce, but leave the crumb topping and you’ll have another fantastic pie-inspired dessert in a jar!
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If you like this crowd pleasing dessert, you might enjoy these recipes as well:
What’s your favorite dessert in a jar?
Photo credit: Kaylyn Vignola