Praline Cheesecake Bars with a shortbread crust. You’ll love the toffee bits and caramel swirls baked inside!
PRALINE CHEESECAKE BARS
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I have 99 problems and they all involve carbs. Seriously. Being a food writer is a hard job when you’re trying to keep healthy eating goals. I mean really…I’d like to see a show of hands of who can resist a sweet treat when it is sitting right in front of you. I may see a few hands out there, but my hand is not raised high. I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas. Such problems.
But these praline cheesecake bars are such a delicious problem to have. I came across this recipe in an old cookbook I received when I first got married. That was over 18 years ago and I’ve just now made the cheesecake bars for the first time. How is that even possible?
Now I’m a HUGE cheesecake fan and cheesecake bars are an easy way to quench that cheesecake craving without quite committing to making an entire cheesecake. We’ve tried cookie dough cheese bars and chocolate peanut butter cheesecake bars. Both of those get devoured anytime I fix them.
This praline cheesecake bar recipe is a little simpler, but they are everything that I love in a dessert. They have a sweet, buttery shortbread crust topped with a creamy cheesecake layer.
There are toffee bits and swirls of caramel topping inside the cheesecake which makes for an amazing flavor with each bite.
Although these bars are perfectly delicious on their own and are a crowd pleaser at potlucks and parties, they’re fun to make just for your family at home, too. Our favorite way to eat them? Put one or two in a waffle cone bowl and top them with creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Drizzle caramel ice cream topping on top and sprinkle with a few additional pieces of toffee bits.
Now THAT is a dessert that will make your family smile.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup toffee baking bits
- 3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
- Mix the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed.
- Gradually add flour, mixing on low speed until blended.
- Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray (or line the pan with parchment paper).
- Press the dough into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Mix the cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until well blended.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Blend in the toffee bits.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust.
- Dot the top of the cream cheese with the caramel topping.
- Use a knife to cut through the batter, swirling the caramel topping.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack and then cut into bars.