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Bloody Cheesecake Bars with Broken Glass Caramel

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 8 hr 25 min (includes decorating, cooling, chilling and setting times)
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 36 cookie bars
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Ingredients

Two 17.5-ounce pouches sugar cookie mix (plus required ingredients)

2 tablespoons red gel food coloring, such as Americolor Super Red

Six 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, at room temperature 

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 

1/4 cup honey 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 teaspoon fine salt 

Broken Glass Caramel, recipe follows

Raspberry Blood Sauce, recipe follows

Broken Glass Caramel:

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup 

Raspberry Blood Sauce:

One 13-ounce jar raspberry preserves

Directions

Special equipment:
a silicone baking mat; a candy thermometer; a pastry brush
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving excess paper on both ends to use as handles later on.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, prepare the sugar cookie mixes according to the package instructions. Stir the food coloring into the cookie dough to create a bright red dough. Press the dough into an even layer in the prepared baking sheet. Bake until crispy around the edges, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake layer. Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the beater attachment, whip the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Whip on high speed for 1 minute more to incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Spread the cheesecake mixture over the cooled cookie layer. Use an offset spatula to make the top of the cheesecake very smooth. Tap the baking sheet against the counter several times to remove any air bubbles. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill the cheesecake until firm, at least 6 hours.
  5. Lift the cheesecake out of the baking sheet, using the excess parchment paper as handles. Cut the bars into jagged triangles of various sizes (see Cook's Note) and place on a serving platter. Decorate the bars with pieces of Broken Glass Caramel and Raspberry Blood Sauce.

Broken Glass Caramel:

  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  2. Attach a candy thermometer to a heavy-bottomed pot. Pour the granulated sugar, light corn syrup and 3/4 cup water into the pot and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F, about 40 minutes. Immediately pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow the caramel to cool until set, about 20 minutes.
  3. Break the caramel into pieces to resemble shards of broken glass.

Raspberry Blood Sauce:

  1. Put the preserves into a small saucepot over medium heat. Heat until the preserves melt into a thin syrup, about 3 minutes. Strain the syrup with a fine-mesh sieve; discard any seeds and pulp. The strained syrup is ready to be used as a "bloody" sauce for dessert. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks.

Cook’s Note

Use a knife dipped in warm water to cut the cheesecake cookie bars. Wipe the blade in between each cut to keep the edges of the bars clean. When making the caramel, keep a pastry brush dipped into a small bowl of water next to the stove. As the caramel cooks, run the wet pastry brush along the sides of the pot, near the surface of the caramel. This will prevent sugar crystals forming along the sides, resulting in a more clear caramel.