I first tried Apple Brickle Dip before my son was born in the mid-1990s. The recipe came from Taste of Home magazine and it became the taste of fall in my home. I made it for every fall party I hosted or attended and everyone always wanted the recipe!
Apple Brickle Dip tastes like sweet caramel with a touch of chocolate. It pairs perfectly with crisp, tart apples.
When I began following the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) way of eating, I assumed that my days of enjoying Apple Brickle Dip were over. I couldn’t imagine how I would replicate the brickle chips or English toffee bits in a sugar-free way.
But last Christmas I stumbled across a recipe from a low carb blogger for English Toffee and I began experimenting. Thanks to Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food I was able to create a Sugar-Free Apple Brickle Dip recipe that I think may taste even better than the original!
Let’s Talk Crossovers
Now, before I share the recipe with you, we need to have a little THM heart-to-heart.
The premise of Trim Healthy Mama is that we generally divide our fuels. That means that when we eat fats we avoid carbs. And when we eat carbs we avoid fats. HOWEVER, sometimes we do combine fats and carbs to create something called a crossover or XO.
Crossovers are on plan.
Let me say that again because it bears repeating:
Crossovers are on plan!
We THMs don’t generally eat crossovers all the time, especially in weight-loss mode, because they can slow or stall weight loss. But I discovered that I actually needed to have about one crossover meal each week during weight loss! I think my body was always surprised when I had one because invariably the next day I’d notice a dip on the scale.
Now that I’m in maintenance mode I will have 1-2 crossover meals each week. And my kids who are still growing eat crossovers almost every meal.
When you’re in the habit of separating your fuels, crossover meals sometimes feel like a cheat! But if your meals contain on-plan ingredients, they aren’t a cheat: they’re an on-plan treat!
I consciously plan when I will have crossovers during the week. I like to save them for meals where I’m eating out or days when I have a get-together planned with friends.
You can pair this Apple Brickle Dip with low carb dippers like these Low Carb Cinnamon Dippers if you want to stick with an S (fat) fuel. OR you can enjoy that on-plan crossover and pair your Apple Brickle Dip with delicious, tart apples!
It’s YOUR choice. But rest assured that the dip is completely on plan so whichever option you choose you will not derail your healthy lifestyle!
Preparing the Toffee
You can scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe but you may miss some important tips I’ll be sharing for preparing the recipe.
To make the dip, first, you need to make a batch of sugar-free toffee. To make the toffee you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet sweetener or equivalent low carb sweetener
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- pinch of mineral salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line a 7×11 pan with parchment paper. This is really the best lining option because it peels away so easily at the end.
Then, in a medium-sized heavy-duty saucepan, combine the Gentle Sweet and 1/2 cup of butter.
Set the burner to medium heat and stir until the butter has melted and the sweetener has dissolved. You don’t have to stir constantly, but you do want to stir it fairly frequently until the butter is completely melted.
Once that butter is melted and the sweetener is dissolved, put down the spoon and step away from the pan! This is SO important! If you keep stirring, the mixture will not cook properly!
You want it to come to a boil. It’s not going to be a raging kind of boil. It looks pretty tame while it’s boiling. And just let it do its thing. Without stirring. This is NOT like making candy with sugar.
After about 5-10 minutes (depending on how heavy-duty your saucepan is), the butter will begin to brown and the mixture will cook down a bit. Resist the urge to turn up the heat to help the process happen a little more quickly. You will likely end up with a burnt and unusable mess. Once it is this lovely shade of amber, it’s time to remove it from the heat.
Add your pinch of salt and the vanilla. The mixture is going to bubble up when you add the vanilla so watch where your hand is on the spoon!
If you notice that the mixture is separating just stir in 4 teaspoons of Gentle Sweet and stir until it is combined again.
Now you pour your liquid toffee into your prepared pan. I like to pop the pan into the freezer to help it to cool and set up more quickly (because I’m patient like that. 😉 ) However it will still take about 2 hours until it’s ready to use. You can always make this in advance and leave it in the freezer until you’re ready to make your dip!
When you’re ready to make the dip, remove your toffee from the freezer and simply lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper.
The texture will be like a firm, but chewy caramel. It’s not going to be crunchy or crisp. Peel the parchment paper away from the toffee and put the toffee on a cutting board. Go ahead and take a little taste while you’re doing that and pause while your taste buds do their happy dance…
Now cut the toffee into tiny squares. If you want, you can put these little squares into a container and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make your dip.
Preparing the Apple Brickle Dip
Mixing the dip together is so quick and easy once the toffee is prepared! You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 6 Tablespoons Pyure granulated sweetener or equivalent low carb sweetener
- 1/2 teaspoon Blackstrap Molasses (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 a Lily’s Chocolate bar or 1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips
In a medium mixing bowl add the softened cream cheese, Pyure, molasses, and extracts. The original recipe for this dip calls for brown sugar. I use this small amount of molasses to help the final product look and taste more like the original recipe. There are 1.8 grams of carbs in the half teaspoon of molasses that I use, and this recipe makes 8 servings so that’s only .225 grams of carbs. If you don’t have molasses on hand, you can omit it, but the dip won’t be quite as golden brown and misses that flavor you get from brown sugar.
Cream the ingredients together on medium-high speed with an electric mixer.
I’m probably the only food blogger in the world who doesn’t have a stand mixer! I’m not a huge baker so I’ve never felt the need for more than a hand mixer. ?
Once it’s well blended, use your self-control to not lick the beaters. Or not. Because it already tastes SO GOOD!
Stir in the toffee bits by hand. They are kind of sticky so just keep on stirring until they’re mixed through the dip.
If you’re using the chocolate bar, coarsely chop up half the bar. I love the way this tastes with Lily’s Salted Almond Milk Chocolate bar, but you can use any Lily’s bar (except the Crispy Rice one) if you can’t find Salted Almond near you. Or you can use sugar-free chocolate chips.
Toss in the chocolate and stir it in by hand too. It won’t take long. Now give it a little taste and swoon.
Seriously. How can something so sweet and delicious be okay on a “diet”?!
THIS is why I love Trim Healthy Mama! Happy Fall! Let me know what you think in the comments, and leave some stars to help other people discover this recipe. 🙂
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Printable Apple Brickle Dip Recipe
Apple Brickle Dip | Sugar Free | THM-S
- Line a 7x11 inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized, heavy-duty saucepan, combine Gentle Sweet and 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Stir until the sweetener is dissolved and the butter is melted. Once butter is melted, STOP STIRRING and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook the mixture without stirring it until it has darkened to a deep amber color, about 5-9 minutes (depending on the pan). DO NOT raise the temperature to reduce the cooking time or your mixture will burn!
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Be careful because the mixture will bubble up when you add the vanilla. If the mixture appears to be separating, stir in 4 additional teaspoons of sifted Gentle Sweet until the mixture comes back together. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the freezer for 2 hours.
- Remove toffee mixture from the freezer and lift the toffee out of the pan using the parchment paper. The toffee will not be crispy. The consistency will be closer to that of caramel. Chop the toffee into tiny squares.
- In a medium mixing bowl beat together the softened cream cheese, Pyure, molasses*, maple extract, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Coarsely chop up half of a Lily's chocolate bar (salted almond is my favorite flavor for this dip, but any Lily's bar except for crispy rice will work).
- Stir the chocolate bits and the toffee bits into dip mixture and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.