If you too grew up watching The Golden Girls, chances are your love and appreciation for cheesecake began at Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sofia’s first midnight chat over slices of the glorious gateau. It’s a sweet treat impossible to refuse and pretty much a requirement now at any girls night in. So, in preparation for the Oscars viewing party I’m throwing with my girlfriends, I decided to try my hand at homemade cheesecake. But to make this dessert totally Oscars-worthy and easy to eat, I gave the dessert the golden touch by topping it with caramel, infusing it with dulce de leche, and serving it in mini golden cupcake cups. Flip through the slideshow for a step-by-step guide to making these Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bites for your Oscars party.
What You Need:
Serving Size: 60 mini cakes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
For the Dulce de Leche:
1 can condensed milk
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons salted butter
For the Filling:
2 packages light cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 light sour cream
1/4 18% cream
1 can dulce de leche
For the Caramel Sauce:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons light cream
1 Tablespoon salted butter
1/4 Tablespoon vanilla extract
The Dulce de Leche
1. Pierce a couple of holes in the top of the can of condensed milk and place the can in a deep saucepan, with water surrounding it to the brim. Bring the water to a simmer and cook for 4 hours. Add water to the saucepan whenever the level of water evaporates to below the brim of the can. After 4 hours, remove from stove and let cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F and place cupcake tins into a mini cupcake pan. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together crushed graham crackers and granulated sugar. Pour in melted butter and mix until evenly coated.
3. Add a teaspoon of the graham cracker mixture to each of the lined cupcake cups, and press mixture into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Let cool while preparing filling.
4. In a small bowl, whisk granulated sugar with flour until blended. In a large mixing bowl, add softened cream cheese and pour sugar mixture over top. Blend on low speed until smooth.
5. Mix in one egg at a time and blend on low speed, scraping the sides, until combined.
6. Add vanilla, sour cream, 18% cream and dulce de leche until combined. Tap bowl against counter a few times to release air bubbles.
7. Divide mixture among cupcake cups filling each cup until nearly full. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
Note: If they begin to crack, they are starting to be over-baked.Remove from oven and allow to cool, and then chill in refrigerator for an hour.
8. Cut stars out of gold paper and tape them to toothpicks for the toppers.
The Caramel Sauce
9. For the caramel sauce, mix the brown sugar, cream, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking on occasion for about 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add vanilla, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Let cool, pour into a sauce jar and refrigerate.
The Caramel Sauce
10. Once chilled, top each mini cheesecake with about a teaspoon of caramel sauce.
11. Top each mini cheesecake with a star toothpick.
12. Keep the toppers at the same height, or trim some toothpicks down to have them at various heights.
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bites
13. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.