Posted by: thehungryrunner | November 15, 2010

Easy Recipe: Light Peanut Butter Apple Cheesecake Squares

One thing I have learned over the years is, I can’t cut out indulgences at the holidays.  Duh.  But I’m not talking about those Official Holiday Treats that are sure to hit my plate at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a few (OK, many) other occasions in between.  I’m talking about stepping outside of my normal menu, allowing some light but yummy delicacies on even “regular” eating days.  Not only does it help ward off any sense of deprivation — especially important when around every corner is an end-cap display of seasonal goodies at the store, it also helps me flex my creative muscle and shake up my meal and snack recipes, which keeps my menu fresh and that much more satisfying.

Enter, my latest recipe creation:  my Light Peanut Butter Apple Cheesecake Squares!  They have it all:  lighter on the calories, some good protein and fat, fiber and nutrients from the fruit, and low on the sugar.  And perfect for a quick and filling post-run snack.

Light Peanut Butter Apple Cheesecake Squares

  • 1/2 cup homemade applesauce (cut up a bunch of apple slices, leave the skin on, and simmer over a low stove with cinnamon until mushy — easy peasy!)
  • 1/2 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (you can also use roasted crunchy almond butter if you’d like!)
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnnamon
  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 T. Splenda (or, if  you’d rather, just use regular sugar)
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract
  • 8 graham cracker sheets (amounting to 16 graham cracker squares)

In a small bowl, combine the fat-free cream cheese, Splenda (or sugar), and vanilla extract and mix well; set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon.  If desired, microwave for 30 seconds to soften ingredients, then continue to mix.  Set aside.

Break the graham cracker sheets in half so that they are now graham cracker squares.  Spread 8 of the squares with a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture, then top with about 2 Tablespoons of the applesauce/peanut butter mixture.  Top the squares with the remaining 8 graham cracker squares to form sandwiches.  Serve immediately; or, make the mixtures ahead of time and refrigerate, then assemble however many sandwiches you want, when you’re ready.  Makes 8 squares.

Tip:  Cinnamon graham crackers make a great option, too!



  1. It’s remarkable how everyone does it a little differently.

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