For the crust:
- 9 (135 grams) graham crackers
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, completely softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the topping:
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang.
In a food processor, pulse the crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar, and caramel until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add the sour cream then the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Add in vanilla and salt and blend until just combined. Don’t over mix.
Spread batter evenly over cooled crust. Bake at 325°F until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 40 to 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and crack the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to let cool completely.
Make the topping:
In microwave-safe bowl, heat caramel in 10-second intervals until melted. Spread evenly over cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours or overnight.
The cheesecake can be made and refrigerated 2 days ahead of time. Sprinkle bars with flaky sea salt before serving, if desired.