Cheesecake? Yes, please! Dulce de leche? Um, YA! When I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen a few months back, I was smitten (aren’t I funny?!)! And I finally got around to making this recipe!
These aren’t too hard to make, but it’s by no means the easiest recipe I’ve featured either. Don’t let that scare you though!
While I definitely enjoyed these, I’m not sure they quite lived up to my expectations. I love cheesecake, and I love the dulce de leche flavor, so this seemed like a match made in heaven. However, the dulce de leche flavor was definitely not as pronounced as I would have liked, and the cheesecake factor didn’t make up for it (it was by no means the best cheesecake flavor I’ve had). If I had gone into making these bars with the knowledge they would be like so, I probably would have enjoyed them more. Nonetheless, they were still absolutely delicious! Madison really liked them, and I’m sure many people will. Why not give them a shot?!
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
from Smitten Kitchen
3 1/2 oz graham crackers, crumbled (1cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope, will be just about half an envelope)
1/4 cup whole milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dulce de leche (one 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk; follow directions in recipe)
3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Make dulce de leche: Pour one can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk into top of double-boiler pan; cover. Place over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Make sure you watch it carefully! Remove from heat. Whisk until smooth.
Make bars: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of foil (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Finely grind crackers with sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor. With motor running, add butter, blending until combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.
Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly. Pour filling over crust, smoothing top, then bake in a hot water bath (using a 9×13-inch baking pan works well) in oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours (I cheated here…I only did about 3 hours!).
Once chilled, heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilting baking pan to coat top evenly. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until set.
Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut. A clean knife is essential for the gorgeous neat squares you’re after! Enjoy!