I’m not the best baker. It took me three attempts to get caramel sauce right. It has 3 ingredients for God’s sake. I wasted 4 eggs trying to separate yolks and whites. I don't understand how time and temperature work precisely to get your cookies soft and chewy. But this I DO know: booze and desserts were a match made in foodie heaven. 

Bourbon pecan pie? Boozy bananas foster? Rosé granitas? Hennessy strawberry shortcakes? Sign me up. These cognac-caramel cheesecake bars are an extremely lit twist on classic cheesecake. I used Martha Stewart's classic cheesecake recipe and made this creation my own by drizzling the bars with cognac-spiked caramel and also adding a splash of cognac in the cake batter. The end result is an amazingly rich spiked dessert that is definitely not safe for your company picnic (or children).

INGREDIENTS:

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cognac (half this if you don’t want to “taste” the liquor)
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 c salted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the cheesecake:

  1. Bake the cheesecake as per the instructions from the Martha Stewart recipe
  2. Double the crust mixture so you have some to crumble over the top of the bars 
  3. Add a splash of cognac to the batter
  4. Bake in a rectangular pan so you can slice it into bars.
  5. Allow the cheesecake to cool and refrigerate until it’s ready to be served

For the caramel:

  1. Heat the sugar and a pinch of water in a deep sauce pan on medium-high, not stirring, until the sugar bubbles up and becomes a dark amber color
  2. Once it’s brown, take it off the heat and pour in the cream, stirring (it’ll keep bubbling)
  3. Stir in the butter and then the cognac until you have a thick caramel sauce
  4. Carefully take the chilled cheesecake out of the pan and slice into thick 1 1/2-2 inch bars. 
  5. Drizzle the caramel over the top and crumble the remainder of the crust over the bars
  6. =Serve with a glass of your favorite cognac (if you’re up for it)
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