Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

March 16, 2012

You know about the freshman 15, right?  When you gain 15 lbs. during your freshman year of college because, all of a sudden, you have no idea what to eat, and live off of soft serve ice cream, french fries, and Lucky Charms.  Well, that never happened to me, thankyouverymuch.  I was able to bypass the freshman 15, only to have it haunt me later in the my college days.

Later meaning my study abroad semester.  In Argentina.  Because of dulce de leche.

At first, I thought of it as a special treat.  But then I suddenly realized that I will never again live in a country where it is perfectly acceptable to eat a luscious caramel sauce with every meal, and I panicked.  I started eating it all day, every day, because I could – in cookies, with toast, out of the jar with a spoon!  And justified it by saying that it’s a milk product!  With calcium!  And vitamin D!  It was practically health food!

25 pounds, people.  In a single semester.  I may have gone overboard.  But, boy, it was worth every pound.  And here we are again, taking something ridiculously decadent and adding even more deliciousness.  Cheesecake with dulce de leche baked right in, with even more dulce de leche poured on top.  This is basically my study abroad semester on a plate.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares (from Bon Appetit)

Do ahead: to make dulce de leche at home: pour two 14 oz. cans of sweetened condensed milk into a glass bowl and let it sit in a double boiler, over medium-low heat.  Stir occasionally until the color of the milk has turned a deep caramel color.  This will take about 2 hours.  You can also buy your dulce de leche from any store.  It’s quite readily available.  I clearly did not know this when I lived in Argentina.

For Crust:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 1/4 cups finely ground graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13×9 baking pan with nonstick spray. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir until well-combined. Transfer crumb mixture to pan. Press evenly onto bottom of pan. Bake until crust is light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on rack.
For Filling:
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche, recipe above
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Blend cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing between additions. Add dulce de leche and vanilla and mix until well blended.  Spread batter evenly over cooled crust.  Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 35-40 minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For Topping:
  • 2/3 cup dulce de leche, recipe above
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
Heat dulce de leche cream in microwave-safe bowl in 10-second intervals until melted. Stir to blend, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if too thick to pour.  Pour glaze over cooled cheesecake and spread evenly.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Slice into 24 squares.

One Response to “Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares”

  1. […] with this coconut cake?  Or what about this beauty with the macaron layer in the middle?  Even these bars were for a […]

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