Dulce de Leche Cheesecake BarsPosted: January 16, 2012
Our meeting with the catering rep went extremely well. We discussed our vision for the food at our wedding, as it’s obviously very important to me that our guests are fully sated with happy memories and happy bellies at the end of the night. The next step of the process is setting up a taste testing. You can imagine how excited I am for that!
So about these awesome bars. If you’re going to make the dulce de leche from scratch (which is what I do since I have yet to find some at a supermarket near me), you’re going to want to make it well in advance, as it takes about 8 hours to cook and cool. I would recommend making it the day before and letting it chill in the fridge overnight.
Cooking my dulce de leche.
Once that’s done, you’re ready to make these beauties. I love cheesecake but have yet to have an occasion large enough, or a large enough self-justification to make one, so I go the next best thing. Cheesecake bars: cheesecake’s awesome little brother.
You get the taste and texture of cheesecake without the worry of what to do with the other 3 pounds of baked cream cheese. I am so making cheesecake for my birthday this year. That’s a large piece of justification, right?
Anyway, these bars start with a baked graham cracker crust layer, next comes the dulce de leche kissed cheesecake layer, and finally, a topping layer of dulce de leche and sea salt.
Sea salt? Yes, sea salt. This dessert is rich and sweet, and the sea salt helps balance those flavors so it’s not so overwhelming. Sea salt is also great on chocolate chip cookies by the way.
Luke thought these guys were a little too sweet for his liking, so I got them all to myself. I decided to send some to work with him, you know, share the wealth. Maybe you’ll share yours too. But don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you don’t. They are pretty darn tasty after all.
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from The Merlin Menu
(I halved the recipe and put it in an 8X8 pan)
2 1/4 cups graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 tablespoons melted butter
3 packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dulce de leche (see recipe below)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup dulce de leche
3 tablespoons heavy cream
sea salt or fleur de sel
Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Press into lightly greased (spray Pam is fine) 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.
In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese and sugar until fully blended. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add dulce de leche and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Pour and scrape over crust and spread evenly all the way to the edges of the pan. Bake at 350 for 38 to 42 minutes until filling is puffed, browning, and starting to crack. Remove and let cool.
Heat glaze, combine and spread over baked cream cheese and sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate for an hour.
Make sure not to overdo the salt. Just a little sprinkling will do.
Dulce de Leche
1-2 14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
Fill a medium size saucepan water until when the can(s) are inserted, they are mostly covered. Remove labeling from the can.
Bring the water to a rapid boil, then lower the heat until the water is at a gentle boil. Insert the can(s) into the water. Make sure to replenish water that is evaporating off every ½ hour or so. Adding another cup each time should be good. After 3 -3½ hours turn off the heat and let the water cool. Do not remove the cans until the water is just warm.
Remove the can(s) from the water and let sit for 30 mins. Open with a can opener and behold the sweet glory. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Extra dulce de leche will stay good for a few weeks and tastes good on practically everything.