Thursday, November 8, 2012

Healthy Apple Oats Cheesecake Bars

Quick, delicious and as healthy as a cheesecake can possibly be.
Source: Adapted from Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars as published on Cooking with Chopin, which, in turn, was adapted from The Pajama Chef

Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

Ingredients:
For the base / streusel
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the cheesecake layer
- 8 oz / 220 g cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups apple sauce

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10"x7" baking dish.
2. Prepare the cookie base in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir together the oats, flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour 1 tbsp or lemon juice over the baking soda, mix until bubbly and add to the bowl. "Cut in" the butter pieces with two knives or with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then stir in the honey with the spoon. Set aside 1/4 cup of the cookie base, add to it walnuts and mix again. Press the remainder of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
3. For the cheesecake layer, while the crust is baking, pour the cottage cheese into food processor and blend on high speed until it is uniform. Add the other ingredients, except apple sauce and process until combined.
4. After the cookie base has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from oven. Spread cheesecake filling over the partially-baked crust. Then spread the apple sauce on top. It will most likely sink partially, so you will have swirls rather than 2 separate layers. Sprinkle the reserved cookie topping over the apple sauce and bake for 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
5. The cheesecake must cool down to room temperate (or even be refrigerated) before removing from the pan and cutting, otherwise it will break and sag.
6. Store in the fridge.

Afterthoughts:

- The cheesecake is delicious. There were 2 minor issues with the crust: it was a little too salty, and there was not enough of it. The quantity was completely my fault. The original recipe used an 8"x8" pan, and I used a 10"x7" one, which is larger, but somehow I assumed they had the same area. That's why I had to add walnuts, because after I had filled the pan with the crust there was practically nothing left for the streusel. So next time I would increase the crust quantities by 1/4. Regarding salt, next time I might use 1/4 tsp, or skip it completely.
- The original recipe on Cooking with Chopin used cream cheese and a little less flour for the cheesecake layer. I wanted to save the fat and the calories, so I used cottage cheese. But to make the layer firmer I had to use more flour, and I think the consistency of the cheesecake was perfect. But be sure that you have a very powerful food processor that really can make the cottage cheese uniform. Otherwise you will have those small lumps and it's not the best cheesecake texture (I had already experienced it before).
- Now the funny thing is: the circle is round! I just discovered it now when I was finishing this post and pasting the links. Because this was the first time I visited the "original original" recipe on the Pajama Chef blog, which was later adapted by Cooking with Chopin, which was now adapted yet again by me... And it turned out that the Pajama Chef had Apple Cheesecake that turned into a Pumpkin Cheesecake on Cooking with Chopin and now was again transformed into an Apple Cheesecake ;-P.  I guess one could conclude that both apple and pumpkin are such natural choices for this cake that when one is thinking about changing something, they are the first things that come to mind :-)

13 comments:

lisamichele said...

A vacay in Hawaii with a tray of these apple oat cheesecake bars would definitely do me good! You know I'm pinning these babies..they look sensational!

cquek said...

What a tasty treat to finish off the meal! Yum…..!

katherine Martinelli said...

Oh wow!! Love the sound of these - they have all my favorite things!

sarah k @ the pajama chef said...

i love that you used cottage cheese to healthify these! great idea :)

Zoe said...

Healthy cheesecake! I'm with you :D

I'm always afraid to mix cottage cheese into other ingredients. It is always difficult to mix in this lumpy cheese.

Carolyn Jung said...

"Cheesecake'' and "healthy''??? Oooh, I'm having two pieces of this then. No guilt. ;)

Baltic Maid said...

Healthy Cheesecake? What more can you ask for... These bars look amazing!

Angie's Recipes said...

These cheesecake bars look amazing! I have almost all the ingredients, except the cottage cheese...;-(

mjskit said...

It's been a while since I've seen the word "cheesecake" in a recipe that I wanted to make! I'm not a huge cheesecake fan, but these little treat look delicious and definitely something that would be a huge hit in this house!

Carolyn Jung said...

That is the perfect breakfast treat. I can't get enough of apples at this time of year, either. ;)

Abby said...

Those look great! I like your sub of cottage cheese, plus it ups the protein.

Frabisa-Isabel La cocina de Frabisa said...

Que bocado tan delicioso, me encantan los dulces de queso.

Enhorabuena por el blog, me gusta mucho.

saludos

cakewhiz said...

ever since i found out my cholesterol level is high, i have been eating more oats and this recipe looks like a winner for breakfast :D