Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

smooth creamy caramelly deliciousness - sprinkle with sea salt!

Dulce de Leche was all the rage years ago – and I can see why. Rich caramelly goodness, here spread on top of cheesecake bars. Cheesecake and Dulce de Leche? Yes, please! Finished with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel? Umhmm!

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

These bars have long been on my list of to make, ever since I saw them in Bon Appetit years ago. They’re a fun, easier to make (no special pan needed) cheesecake option. I wish I would have made them years ago – all that wasted time, lol! Don’t forget the Fleur de Sel at the end – it takes the bars from dull to sparkling in flavor.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars – Yeah, you knew that was going to happen, didn’t you!!

When I baked the cheesecake base, it seemed a bit strange – it puffed up alarmingly in the center. I just left it in the oven until the center felt a little firm to the touch. They were nicely golden brown throughout the top, something I’m not used to seeing when I make cheesecake but out of the oven they settled into a nice, even, flat layer. So just soldier through and trust the recipe.

Remember that cream cheese keeps for weeks in the fridge and can be frozen – I stock up when I see it on holiday sales, usually about 1/2 price. Graham cracker crumbs are less expensive if you make your own and if you’re near a Mexican market, Dulce de Leche is very reasonable in price, if not, make your own. It’s super easy in the crockpot. It just takes time.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust:

  • Nonstick spray
  • 2 1/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (from about 17)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10 tablespoons melted butter (1 1/4 sticks)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan (a glass pan works fine) with nonstick spray. (Line pan if desired, with foil and then spray the foil for easier removal.)

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir until coated. Transfer crumb mixture to pan. Press evenly onto bottom of pan. Bake until crust is light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on rack.

Filling:

  • 3 eight ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Dulce de Leche (store-bought or home-made) at room temperature (you’ll use the remainder for the topping)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blend cream cheese and sugar in processor (recipe works fine made with a mixer) until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add dulce de leche and blend until incorporated.

Add eggs 1 at a time, processing 3 to 5 seconds to blend between additions. Add vanilla, process until blended, about 10 seconds.

Dollop batter across cooled crust and nudge and spread into an even layer. Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 38 minutes. Check the center, although puffed, it should feel slightly firm to the touch. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Topping & Finishing:

  • about 2/3 cup Dulce de Leche (this was remainder of can)
  • 3 or more tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Fleur de Sel

Mix dulce de leche and 3 tablespoons cream in microwave-safe bowl (cream may not totally mix in) and microwave for 10 seconds. Gently stir. Continue to microwave in 10-second intervals until melted.

Stir to blend, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if too thick to pour (amount of cream needed will depend on brand of dulce de leche).

Pour over cooled cheesecake; spread evenly. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. This topping will not be firm.

Cut cheesecake lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 strips, forming 24 bars. Sprinkle bars with fleur de sel right before serving.

Note: The topping seems to always have a few small lumps which are hardly noticeable when the bars are cut. You may wish to cut ahead if looks matter.

from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com, modified from Bon Appetit

Dulce de Leche from Condensed Milk
Dulce de Leche from Condensed Milk

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You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #38 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I’ll also be bring this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.

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