Caramel CheesecakeThis rich, creamy and delicious dessert is requested often at my house, especially for birthdays instead of the traditional birthday cake.

CRUST:
4 tablespoons melted butter
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

CARAMEL:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

CHEESECAKE:
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs  (at room temperature)

1. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs; blend well. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan; set aside.

2. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water; stir well. Stir over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Cover and cook until the sugar turns a medium amber color; about 3-1/2 minutes after the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir 30 seconds. Slowly stir in the cream, being careful to avoid splatters. Set aside.

3. Beat the cream cheese and both sugars at medium speed of mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt. Add the eggs one at a time on lowest speed of mixer until incorporated. Pour 2/3 of the batter over the crust in pan. Beat the caramel mixture into the remaining batter; pour over the batter in the pan. Swirl the mixture with a rubber spatula.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes or until the edges are firm but the middle still wiggles. Remove from the oven; cool and then chill in refrigerator until set. Makes 16 servings.

Emily

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