Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Caramel Cheesecake Bars #recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl

So excited.  Amazon has chosen A DEADLY ÉCLAIR 
as a Kindle Monthly Pick. 
$1.99 for the month of September. 
Got your copy?

I'm back in full cookbook book. I'm writing the 8th in the Cookbook Nook series, and the 7th, WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES, is coming out in November. Whenever I'm writing this series, all I do is think and dream about cookbooks. I look up titles. I browse through cookbooks online as well as on my shelves. Whew! Have I acquired a ton more books since I started this series. It's almost like the amount of cheese I consumed when I was writing the Cheese Shop Mysteries.

Anyway, remember - about a month ago - how I said I wanted to try recipes that I'd marked in my cookbooks?  Well, I'm at it again. I tried this one and I'm so glad I did. I love cheese cake. I love caramel. I make a killer cheesecake with caramel. But a bar? So I can have a little piece whenever I want? Perfect!

This comes from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich.  FYI, Alice is a baker and author with a particular interest in chocolate. She founded the Cocolat chain of chocolate stores and has authored numerous cookbooks. Some refer to her as the First Lady of Chocolate. 

So why did I choose the caramel recipe? Because I consider myself the "first lady" of caramel.  Certainly the first lady who gets to take a bite of every recipe I make with caramel.  LOL  

Just so you know, I made a half recipe, so my calculations are different than the recipe in Alice's book. If I made the whole thing, I'd have eaten the whole thing.  A little moderation helps me prove I still have SOME willpower.  Ha! Also, Alice did include a gluten-free recipe as well as a regular recipe for the shortbread! So for those of you who can bake with regular flour, check our her other recipe.  Delish!

Gluten-free Shortbread Crust

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sweet rice flour
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoon oat flour (*I used sorghum flour)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pinch baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cream cheese
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line the 8 x 8 pan with foil. (I used parchment paper.)

Combine the flours, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the sugar with the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add the gluten-free flour mixture and mix until it is just incorporated.

Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and spread to make a thin, even layer. (I needed to wet my fingers).  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the crust is fully baked, well-browned at the edges, and deep golden brown in the center.

Caramel Cheesecake Bars

1 recipe shortbread crust (above)

1/4 cup caramel sauce, purchased or homemade (*I used Smuckers)
1 pinch salt
3/4 pound (12 ounces or 1 ½ cups) cream cheese
2 tablespoons  sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Prepare the shortbread crust (above.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the caramel sauce  with the salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and beaters. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 egg and beat until incorporated.

Stir 1 tablespoon of the batter into the caramel sauce. Pour the remaining batter onto the prepared crust and smooth the top.

Spoon pools of the caramel mixture over the filling, leaving plenty of plain filling showing. If the caramel does not settle into the batter, jiggle the pan gently until the surface is level. Marble the caramel with a toothpick – be careful not to scrape the crust – in small loopy circles until the colors are marbled but not blended.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is puffed at the edges but still jiggles like Jell-O when the pan is nudged.

Set the pan on a cooling rack.  When the bars are completely cool, cover and refrigerate until set – at least 4 hours but preferably 24 hours before serving.

To serve, lift the edges of the liner to a cutting board. Use a long sharp knife to cut into bars 1 ½ by 2 inches. May be kept in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 4 days.


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A SOUFFLÉ OF SUSPICION, the 2nd French Bistro Mystery.
Can Mimi prove her chef innocent before the chef gets dusted?
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A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st French Bistro Mysteries, in all formats.
Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat?
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WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES, the 7th Cookbook Nook Mystery.
Jenna Hart is busy decking the halls and ducking a killer
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PRESSING THE ISSUE, the 6th Cookbook Nook Mystery.

The annual Renaissance Fair serves up a helping of crafty courtiers,
damsels in distress, and medieval murder . . .
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FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery.
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
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GIRL ON THE RUN, a stand-alone suspense.
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free?
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DAY OF SECRETS, a stand-alone suspense
A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. An enemy that wants them dead.
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  1. Thank you for the recipe share.

    1. You're welcome. * Lil pointed out that I got the sugar wrong in the cheesecake portion. It's fixed now, but just in case you downloaded, it's 2 tablespoons. ~ Daryl

  2. That looks so delicious and it's also quite beautiful!

    1. Glad you like. Lil pointed out that I got the sugar wrong in the cheesecake portion. It's fixed now, but just in case you downloaded, it's 2 tablespoons. ~ Daryl

  3. I adore cheesecake but have not tried to bake one in a terribly long time. Can you clarify the amount of sugar needed for the cheesecake section of the recipe?

    1. Sorry about that. Fixed now. 2 tablespoons (it used to read 1/4 cup before I halved the recipe and I missed removing the cup) Good catch! ~ Daryl

  4. Caramel is my weakness. Those bars look yummy.

  5. Ooh, yum! I want! I will admit I did fall prey to a similar confection in a cafe in Skibbereen, but it had a layer of chocolate on top. Wicked!

    1. Sheila, I make a chocolate, caramel cheesecake that is totally wicked. Great addition to this bar. Hmm. Must make soon, like tomorrow? LOL ~ Daryl

    2. Count me in for the chocolate, caramel cheesecake as well. Yum!

  6. Wicked, wicked good!
    Moderation is all well and good, but limiting what's around saves us all!

  7. Looks wonderful. I love those measuring spoons.