Caitlin’s Confections: Salted Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake
I have always been a huge fan of cheesecake. The crunch of the crust paired with the creamy top layer is such a perfect combination. It’s nice that such a decadent dessert can be so easily made- and it’s perfect for any occasion where you want to make a good impression. This salted caramel pretzel cheesecake does just that- impress. In just three easy parts, you’ve got the ultimate dessert.
Before we get into the recipe, I’d like to note that I’m a different kind of baker. I believe strongly in the ‘throw it all in one pot’ method. Normally, it works, but somethings it doesn’t. Baking can be particular, but I promise I will never lead you astray. The recipe below reads exactly how I executed it, in all its simplicity.
To make the crust: In a food processor blend together 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup pretzel crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and 12 tablespoons of butter. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of a springform pan and let sit.
To make the cheesecake filling: Combine 1 1/2 pounds soft cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, 5 eggs, and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Pour on top of the crust in the springform pan and bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit while it cools for another hour. Let the cheesecake cool at room temperature for an hour after that, and then chill for four hours or more. Cover with a very small amount of sour cream, to fill in any cracks that have formed on top.
To make the caramel topping: On medium heat, warm 1 cup white sugar until it melts and forms a golden brown syrup. Turn heat to low and add 8 tablespoons of butter, stirring continuously. Add 3/4 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp salt to the mixture and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Pour the sauce in a glass jar and let set to room temperature. To thicken, place it in the fridge. Pour it over your cheesecake and top with crushed pretzels.
The recipe above requires one large springform pan, but because I didn’t have one at my disposal, I used three mini ones. The crust was a little thicker than usual and I had some extra cheesecake filling in the end, but splitting the recipe between the three pans worked well. In the end I had the ultimate dessert to serve to my friends: “You’re really Martha Stewart- without the jail time!”