Well I caved and made Tai’s favorite dessert again…well a version of it. A version that combines a favorite of mine with his, a Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cookie Bars. See isn’t this what love is all about? Combining favorite desserts and creating frankenstein food? Well it works out amazingly for us!
Getting Salty With It
I LOVE baking with sea salt! Why? Because it creates a great balance and helps to offset the sweetness of the sugar/chocolate I often use in recipes. It is amazing in these Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cookie Bars and I just used this technique last week with my Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. But there is one area where I don’t like salt in my baking, in butter. Why? Because I want to control the amount of salt in my recipes. It’s a balancing act and if there is too much salt, it can ruin the dessert! “Why I love these extra salty cupcakes!” Said no one ever 😉
Making caramel from scratch is super easy too. Originally I had been planning on using store bought caramel sauce until I noticed that the brand I had bought had a notice on the label saying it was made with genetically modified organisms (whatever that means). So I decided to make my own instead with ingredients that I could actually pronounce! And surprisingly, it worked! If I can make this with all of my klutzy kitchen mistakes, you can definitely too (and do it better, I’m sure!).
So enjoy these bars! They are absolutely delicious!!!
- 8oz Softened Cream Cheese
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1½ Cups Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 1½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 1½ Cups Brown Sugar
- Caramel Sauce:
- 1 Cups Sugar
- 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2-3 Tsp Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Grease a 9 inch cooking pan and line with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Cream together cream cheese and sugar until mixed through. Beat in 1 egg and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in melted butter, brown sugar, and 2 eggs. Stir until fully combined.
- Spread cookie mix into baking pan. Spoon cheesecake batter on top. Using a knife, swirl to create a marbled effect.
- For the caramel sauce (store bought is fine too!):
- In a medium sauce pan, melt sugar stirring continuously.
- Once sugar turns amber, add butter and whisk vigorously. It will bubble, but that is normal!
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream. Once cream has been added, stir in vanilla extract and sea salt. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then drizzle on top of cheesecake cookie bars.
- Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce, divide into bars and enjoy!