A little while back, Jess and I made a really tasty caramel sauce that turned out even better than I had hoped. But like so many things, after I made it I really had no idea what to do with it – there’s only so many ice cream sundaes that a person can eat. We drizzled it over some butter-fried plantains, and while that was delicious, it still wasn’t something I thought worthy of that delicious caramel. By coincidence, Jess had just checked out a book from the library by Alice Medrich called Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-in-Your Mouth Cookies, and there was a recipe for some really yummy looking cheesecake bars swirled with caramel sauce. Jess made a batch of them, and I really thought they were good: creamy cheesecake, rich caramel, and a shortbread crust – what’s not to love about that?
Caramel Cheesecake Bars
(adapted from Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich)
- 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Mix the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and stir until just mixed. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 until the crust is golden with darker edges. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.
For the bars:
- 1/2 cup Sunshine Wheat Citrus Caramel Sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until just smooth. Scrape bowl and paddle. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat just until smooth and creamy. Add one egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape bowl and paddle well and then add the second egg. Stir two table spoons of the batter into the caramel sauce. Pour the remaining batter over the crust and smooth the top. Spoon pools of the caramel over the filling, leaving plenty of plain filling showing. Marble the caramel by stirring gently in small circles with a toothpick. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is puffed at the edge but still jiggly when the pan is shaken. Let cool for 4-24 hours and serve. Enjoy!