Towards the end of the June issue of Bon Appetit magazine this scrumptious recipe was hiding. The moment I saw it I added it to my “List of Recipes to Make”. The very next day I bought Dulce de Leche and Fleur de Sel at work (Sur la Table) and set out to make these bars. Then I forgot about them. Whoops. As I was looking through my pantry last week I found the bottle of Dulce de Leche and remembered: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake!! How could I forget a recipe that simply sounds delicious? So I raced to my fridge and set out 3 packages of cream cheese under a sunny window and waited for them to come to room temperature. I’m very glad I remembered this recipe because it was fabulous. If you decide to whip up a batch of this cheesecake do not omit the sprinkling of fleur de sel! It would be criminal.
Recipe Rundown Taste: Rich and complex sweetness that is perfectly offset by delicate saltiness of the topping and warmth of the cinnamon crust. Who doesn’t love the salty-sweet combination? Texture: Smooth creamy filling, soft sticky topping, and crunchy toothsome crust.
Ease: If you have a food processor this recipe is a cinch. Cheesecake has a reputation for being difficult and demanding but cheesecake bars are so much easier and taste just as great. Appearance: I’ve said it before, any dessert in bar-form is bound to look mouth-watering. Cons: I had to think for a while if there was anything bad about this recipe. I came up with one thing and that was cost. Fleur de Sel is expensive if you don’t already have some and a good quality Dulce de Leche jar can be fairly expensive too. Oh and this recipe isn’t exactly healthy. Pros: Deeeeelicious. Would I make this again? Yes, these would be great for a party.
*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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Cut cheesecake lengthwise with a sharp knife or scraper into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 strips, forming 24 bars. For cleaner squares, dip knife in hot water then wipe off excess water before each cut. Sprinkle bars with fleur de sel.
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