Late again…I swear I will get back to my regular rhythm this weekend. Maybe if I keep telling myself that it will happen? I decided to abandon the messy kitchen, or making lunches for the girls tomorrow just to post this entry. I figured if I didn’t do it now, it would never get done, so here it goes. Don’t worry, they will have lunch to eat at school, it just might be very late before I get to it…
Have you ever noticed that food always tastes more delicious when it is free? It always amazes me that when I take the girls to CostCo, they eat everything – every little sample that they give out – and they love every bite. As soon as I buy it and serve it to them at home, they won’t eat it. I have learned my lesson – they can eat whatever they want when we go there, but I never buy anything I wasn’t planning to buy before I entered the store. I have to admit, at work – when there is food lying around in the kitchen, it really doesn’t matter what it happens to be, I will eat it. Yes, because it is free.
I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit a long time ago. This was one of those recipes that sat in my pantry for months upon months, waiting for me to find the right time to make them. As I have mentioned before, only half of my family loves cheesecake, and this is an expensive recipe to make unless you are planning to eat the whole thing. I wanted to make sure I brought it somewhere it would be eaten. So – I brought it to our block party. I have to admit they were pretty awesome - cheesecake and caramel, two tastes that belong together. They were gone pretty quickly, so I think everyone else felt the same way – but then again, they were free…
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 1/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (from about 17 whole graham crackers)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 8-ounce packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup purchased dulce de leche*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup purchased dulce de leche*
- 3 tablespoons (or more) heavy whipping cream
- Fleur de sel
*A thick, sweet sauce made from caramelized sugar in milk or from sweetened condensed milk; available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores and at Latin markets.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. 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.
Blend cream cheese and sugar in processor until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, processing 3 to 5 seconds to blend between additions. Add dulce de leche and vanilla; process until blended, about 10 seconds. Spread batter evenly over cooled crust. Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 38 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.
Heat dulce de leche and 3 tablespoons cream in microwave-safe bowl 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 glaze over cooled cheesecake; spread evenly. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour (glaze will not be firm).
DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill.
Cut cheesecake lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 strips, forming 24 bars. Sprinkle bars with fleur de sel.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars