salted caramel cheesecake bars
Salted caramel cheesecake bars may just be the very best way to kick off the fall baking season. With three layers of deliciousness, beginning with a Biscoff cookie crumb crust, creamy vanilla cheesecake, and homemade salted caramel sauce, these bars are a cheesecake dream!
The first two layers (Biscoff crust and cheesecake filling) come together quickly in a food processor. While the cheesecake bakes, make the homemade salted caramel sauce (or make the sauce a few days in advance). Whether you top these bars with a layer of caramel sauce or simply drizzle the sauce over the bars before serving, each bite is a decadent taste of fall.
- 1 package (8.8 oz) biscoff cookies
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp bourbon (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- flaky salt, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper. For the crust, combine biscoff cookies and salt in a food processor and pulse together to form crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until incorporated. Press mixture tightly and evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust for about 15 minutes, until deeply golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, and reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- For the filling, place cream cheese and yogurt in a food processor and process until combined. Add sugar, salt, bourbon, vanilla, and egg; process until smooth. Spoon cream cheese mixture over cooled crust and spread evenly. Gently tap pan to remove air bubbles. Bake for 40 to 44 minutes, until center is set. Remove from oven and cool for 45 minutes on a wire rack.
- While the cheesecake bakes, make the salted caramel sauce. Cook sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula. Continue cooking until sugar forms clumps and melts into a light amber colored liquid, about 4-5 minutes. Once the sugar is melted, carefully add butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly until incorporated. Slowly drizzle in heavy cream while whisking constantly. Let mixture boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl. Stir in vanilla and salt; let cool to room temperature.
- Pour room temperature caramel sauce over cooled cheesecake bars, tilting the pan slightly to coat evenly (or gently spreading with an offset spatula). Chill bars in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Before cutting, chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Carefully lift parchment and place bars on a cutting board; use a sharp knife lightly coated with nonstick spray to cut into bars. Sprinkle with flaky salt and serve. Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
Salted caramel sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. Before using, warm sauce briefly in the microwave and stir until smooth, then let cool to room temperature before pouring over cooled cheesecake bars. Store extra caramel sauce covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Keywords: Caramel, Salted Caramel, Cheesecake