Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

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*adapted from The Noshery*

My word. If you didn’t already know that I made the switch to the paleo lifestyle a few months ago, please let this be your reminder. I haven’t baked in months (I think November). In fact, my mixer was actually DUSTY when I pulled it out from it’s little corner on the kitchen counter. The students at worked guilt tripped me into making them something delicious because I haven’t baked for them in almost a year.

Cheesecake is my absolute favorite dessert. It doesn’t matter that I don’t eat it anymore or that it makes my stomach hurt. I love it. I’m always looking for new additions to put in it and when I saw the idea for dulce de leche, I felt completely inspired. Bars are my favorite way to make cheesecake, especially when it has to be transported and you are trying to feed a lot of mouths.Initially, I was going to just make it for the kids, but I couldn’t pass up a small bite and it was totally worth the cheat. Divine!

CRUST:

  • 2 1/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 17 whole graham crackers)
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

  • 3 8-ounce packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup purchased dulce de leche
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

GLAZE:

  • 2/3 cup purchased dulce de leche
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

CRUST

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with foil. 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.

FILLING

Blend cream cheese and sugar in electric mixer until smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing until combined. Add dulce de leche and vanilla and mix until blended. 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.

GLAZE

Heat dulce de leche and 3 tablespoons cream in microwave-safe bowl in 10-second intervals until melted. Stir to blend. Pour glaze over cooled cheesecake; spread evenly. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour (glaze will not be firm) or overnight.

Cut cheesecake lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 strips, forming 24 bars.

 

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