Cheesecake

For the Crust:
2 1/4 cups ground graham crackers (about 1 and a half sleeves of graham crackers)
 
2 Tbsp. sugar
 
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
 
10 Tbsp. melted butter
Cheesecake Filling:
3 x 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temp
 
1 cup sugar
 
3 eggs
 
1/2 cup Dulce de Leche (Nestle brand, La Lechera, found at Super King’s in 13.4oz. can enough for filling and caramel topping) you can also make your own – recipe at the bottom
 
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional Toppings:
 
Dulce de Leche
 
Fleur de sel salt
 
Hot fudge
 
Peach Puree – Recipe below. You will need a peach, strawberries, sugar, and vanilla
 
Fresh fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
 
Whipped cream
 
Directions for the Cheesecake:
 
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). 
 
Coat 13x9x2-inch metal or glass baking pan coated with nonstick spray. You can use a spring form pan as well if you want to cut triangle cheesecake slices.
 
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.
 
Blend the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, blending for 3 to 5 seconds each time until incorporated.  Add in the dulce de leche and vanilla and blend until just mixed – about 10 seconds.
 
Spread the batter evenly over the cooled crust and bake until the cheesecake mixture is just set in center and the edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 35-45 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.
 
Once the cheesecake bar is cooled, cover and chill in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve. Chill in fridge for 2-3 hours will suffice. 
 
Lastly when you’re ready to serve the bars drizzle the dulce de leche lightly with some fleur de sel.  You can use crystalized sea salt form Trader Joe’s. I did the taste test and they really do taste very similar. *Fleur de sel is a light and flaky sea salt, with a less salty and bitter taste than regular table or sea salt you can find at Williams Sonoma. 
  
Inspired by:
 
Fleur de Sel Salted Dulce De Leche Caramel Cheesecake Bars:
Dulce de Leche caramel sauce recipe:
Dulce de Leche translation meaning “candy of milk” or “milk candy.” This was fabulous inside and on top of my homemade apple pie. I’m looking forward to incorporating it into many other dishes.
Ingredients:
   
1 can = 14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk, remove label
One pot of hot water enough to cover the can for 2 full hours
Directions:
Making homemade creamy caramel can be quite simple!
Grab a large pasta pot of some sort, and fill ¾ of the way with water. Bring to a boil.
Remove the label from the can of sweetened condensed milk and put it in the pot, making sure it is completely submerged in the water.
Keep the water boiling for 2 hours making sure your can stays covered with water the entire time. I was adding about half a cup of water every 15 minutes or so. If the water goes below the can you will have a HUGE explosion of caramel all over your kitchen. So keep your eyes on the prize!
Once the 2 hours is over, place the pot in the sink and run some cool water into the pot. Once the can feels cool enough to remove then it is time to crack that baby open.
Use a can open and slowly remove the lid.
When you open it, you will discover a delicious concoction of dulce de leche.  Don’t be stingy; add a couple spoons on top of your favorite pie dishes, ice cream, or even pancakes. Be creative!
Peach & Strawberry Puree Recipe:
 
I had some fresh peaches and strawberries and had just made a cheesecake from scratch for my mom’s birthday. At some restaurants they serve a side of raspberry sauce, caramel, or chocolate on the side to drizzle on the cheesecake. I wanted to give her all the options for her special day. She would have any toppings she could ever imagine. I got out my food processor and decided to make this simple for anyone else that wanted to try this at home. 4 ingredients and you are done.  You can dip your cheesecake in the puree, pour it on top, or even put a couple tablespoons inside a chilled full glass of Prosecco or Champagne at your next party.
 
Ingredients:
 
1 large peach, ripe and pit removed
 
2 cups of fresh strawberries, tops removed
 
2-3 tablespoons of sugar to taste
 
¼ teaspoon vanilla
 
Optional: 1 bottle of Champagne or Prosecco 
 
Directions:
 
Blend until smooth…really smooth.
 
Time to serve! You can dip your cheesecake in the puree, pour it on top, or even put a couple tablespoons inside a chilled full glass of Prosecco or Champagne at your next party.

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