Make the Graham Cracker Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ square baking pan with parchment paper, then spray the sides with nonstick cooking spray to ensure that all sides are nonstick. Set aside.
- Crush the graham crackers in a food processor, or high powered blender, until very fine.
- Pour the crumbs into a medium size bowl, then add the granulated sugar, melted Kerrygold Salted Butter, ground cinnamon, and salt. Use a fork to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, then use a measuring cup or a small glass to firmly press the crumbs down into an even layer. Bake the graham cracker crust for 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly.
Make the Cheesecake Layer:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the eggs, then the sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat on medium for 3 minutes until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Scoop 1/2 cup of the cheesecake mixture into a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the salted caramel to the cheesecake mixture, and whisk to combine until smooth. Set aside.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture over the graham cracker crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top.
- To create the caramel swirls on top, spoon out several teaspoonfuls of the salted caramel cheesecake filling all over the top of the plain cheesecake. Use a knife or a skewer to create swirling sweeping motions in the cheesecake. Be careful not to overdo it, you still want to see lots of contrasting swirls on top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through for an even bake. The edges should be lightly golden brown, and the center should be set, but still jiggle. Turn off the oven, leave the cheesecake inside, open the oven door, and leave it ajar for about 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake bars from the oven, and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Then, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- To serve: Pull the parchment paper up to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the cheesecake into 16 bars. Drizzle the bars with the remaining 1/4 cup of salted caramel, then sprinkle with flakey sea salt.
Recipe by Lion’s Bread