Last year I tried a new recipe (to me) that was floating around on pinterest like crazy. It was Carmelita's. Oatmeal, chocolate, caramel ... HOW could you go wrong!? Then a few weeks ago I made some Apple Strussel Cheesecake Bars that were a hit. I wasn't THAT excited about them because I am not a fan of canned pie filling. I may try those again making my own pie filling or perhaps a different flavor. BUT...... this week inspiration came to mind and I knew I needed to play in the kitchen!
Let me introduce you to : Carmelita Cheesecake Bars. They are so divine, rich, and just a mouthful of wonderful! These would be a fabulous treat with friends around a dinner party table, or a sweet blessing for neighbors.
These are pretty easy to make as well, so it isn't complicated. Many of friends are intimidated by the word "cheesecake" but I promise this is just about a no fail recipe!
1 Pouch Betty Crocker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
1 Stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 1/2 packages of softened cream cheese
2 whole eggs (Please do NOT omit yolks)
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBS all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of Hershey's Caramel Syrup
Mix Cookie mix and stick of butter together until they form course crumbs. Reserve 1 1/2 cups into a separate bowl for later. Spread remaining cookie mixture in a 9x13 inch pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray until bottom is covered. (You may have to use your hands to smoosh the mixture out) Bake in a 350* oven for 10 minutes. In a large bowl mix cream cheese, sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla until smooth. This will be a thick, creamy mixture. Pour cheesecake mixture on top of cookie base. Drizzle caramel syrup over cheese cake and then swirl into cheesecake batter with a butter knife. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of caramel. Using fingers, spread the cookie mixture on top of chocolate chips. Bake in 350* oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool for half an hour and then place in fridge to cool over night or a minimum of 12 hours. (I have served this in less time, but it needs a good bit of time to set up properly.)
This could be served with a dollop of whipped cream (or if your daring ice cream) and a drizzle of caramel syrup on top.