Dulce de leche, caramel, butterscotch. What is it about cooking sugar + milk or cream that makes it so unbelievably good?!
We could examine the chemical reactions that occur when caramelization happens. But they’re so complex that it would take the fun and magic out of these deeply sweet and complex forms of edible liquid gold.
It seems that salted caramel is everywhere these days, but what about Dulce de Leche?! In my book, it’s just as good as caramel. It perfectly complements the tang and touch of saltiness of these Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars. Plus, when you serve anything with Dulce de Leche to your friends, coworkers, or family, there’s always a touch of exoticness that makes it so easy to delight and impress.
Pick up a jar of Dulce de Leche in the Latin food section of many grocery stores, or at most speciality or gourmet food stores. OR, make your own here
This recipe makes a 9 by 13-inch pan worth of bars, but they’re not super thick. That’s the way I prefer my cheesecake bars so they’re not overly rich and filling. Plus I like a good amount of crust to balance out the smoothness of the cream cheese.
If you decide to whip up a batch of these Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars soon, don’t omit the sprinkling of fleur de sel! It would be criminal. If you can’t get fleur de sel, then try any flaky sea salt you can find.
And if you do make and enjoy this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram, tagging #handletheheat, so we can all see your creations!
This post was originally published in 2010 and updated with new photos by Constance Higley and more recipe tips.