week 36: hannah’s pick – Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

happy last day of summer! i probably should have been doing my calc packet today, but i chose to bake these dulce de leche cheesecake bars instead. they had a delicious mix of tart and sweet and i was really glad with how they came out! it was also becky’s first time helping me out in the kitchen and she was an awesome baker’s assistant(:

hannah.
p.s. sorry, townsend kids, you won’t be getting any–i’m bringing these to hunter tomorrow!

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on size

For the crust:
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the dulce de leche swirl:
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the cheesecake layer:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1 /2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

Being by making the crust:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan completely with foil, folding the excess over the sides.

In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and mix just to combine–the dough will be soft, and might be somewhat oily, that’s okay. Press the dough evenly across the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, with the edges being slightly darker than the center. Let cool on a wire rack.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the rest of the recipe. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir together the caramel sauce with the salt and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy on medium speed. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl well and give it a final beating until the batter is completely smooth and well-blended. Stir 2 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter into the salted caramel sauce.

Pour the remaining cheesecake batter over the cooled crust. Dollop the caramel mixture over the cheesecake batter, leaving plenty of cheesecake batter in between. Using a butter knife, and being careful not to scrape the crust, swirl the caramel sauce into the cheesecake batter until the surface is nicely marbled. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the filling is puffed but still jiggles like Jell-O when the pan is nudged.

Set the pan on a cooling rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably 24 hours before cutting into squares and serving. Keep any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Adapted from Piece of Cake
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