Caramel Cheesecake Bars

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)

For the crust:

  • 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:

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!


3 thoughts on “Caramel Cheesecake Bars

  1. Hi! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. I discovered it while looking for a place to have New Year’s Eve dinner in Hot Springs. A group of friends and I are meeting there for our annual New Year’s trip. Do you have any suggestions, for New Year’s Eve or otherwise?

    • Well, there’s always the Arlington Hotel, which is right in the middle of the historic district and has several good restaurants close by. The new Bohemia restaurant is out past the old Majestic, and most folks I know say that they’re doing some of the best food in Hot Springs – if you’re wanting a nice dinner, start there. If it’s a steak you want, KJ’s Grill out on Airport Road does excellent prime rib. McClard’s is probably the most famous barbecue place, but it’s not the only great barbecue in town. For breakfast, try the Pancake Shop, and don’t miss Cafe 1217 for lunch. If you’re heading out toward Lake Hamilton from downtown, be sure to stop into Nom Nom’s Mexican Grill n’ Chill for the best ice cream in the state. And there’s always Fisherman’s Wharf right there on the lake – get the grouper with lump crab meat, it’s great! Let us know how you enjoyed your stay in our home town!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s