Where is 2014 going in such a big hurry?  It acts as if it’s desperately searching for 2015 or something, hard to believe we are in the end of May already!  Still, each month closes with the secretive deliciousness of Reveal Day in the Secret Recipe Club. For those who may not know, it is that super fun event in which bloggers pick are assigned a blog in secret, choose a recipe to cook from it, and blog about it on the exact same day (and time!).  This month I went through several cycles of hyperventilation from the moment I got my assignment. Why, you may ask?  Because I received the blog of our group’s moderator!  Can you imagine that?  It’s like having to present a seminar on the research topic of the Head of your department!   Hummmm, come to think of it, I’ve done that a few times in the past couple of years.  No wonder I hyperventilate so much…  (inside joke, laugh if you get it).

Our moderator, Sarah, is the gorgeous hostess of the blog Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. She is the Mom of two kids, 7-year-old Matthew and 6-year-old Cambria, and also has two kittens, Bella and Muffin. That seems busy enough for me, but she talks about getting a dog to join the fun! Let’s hope she will think twice before getting a Jack Russell Terror…  ;-)  Apart from taking care of two young kids, she also supervises 37 grownup kids in Group D of The Secret Recipe Club. For the most part, I suppose we are well-behaved,  but undoubtedly there’s a lot of responsibilities on her shoulders. I went through her site with desserts and sweets in mind, hoping to bake something to take to our graduate students.  But a lot of savory options tempted me like her Atomic Hashbrowns (with a name like that, they gotta be awesome!), her Tamale BallsPhilly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls (fusion cooking, anyone?), and her Jalapeno Popper Turkey Chili.  After struggling with several options for sweets, I could not decide between her Blueberry Breakfast Braid. and the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars.  I tossed a coin. Yes, I did.  And here is what the coin told me to do:



(from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes)

for the crust:
1 sleeve graham crackers
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

for the filling:
12 oz. dulce de leche
2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

for the glaze:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. corn syrup
1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Prepare an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray.

Grind crackers with sugar in a food processor. Stir in butter. Cover the bottom of the pan pressing the crumbs well with your fingers. Bake at 325* for 10 minutes and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Pour dulce de leche on the crust and refrigerate.

Make the filling:  beat cream cheese for 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat another 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat just until incorporated. Spread filling on top of dulce de leche layer. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Cool for 2 hours.

For glaze: Heat all ingredients in a saucepan or double broiler, stirring until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes and pour over cooled filling. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Let sit at room temp for 10 minutes before cutting.


to print the recipe, click here


 Comments:  This was my first time making a cheesecake type dessert, so I was excited to try it, but a bit worried about my inexperience. My goal was to take these bars to our lab meeting, which happens early on Thursdays.  I laid out a nice schedule to make everything the evening before, taking in account that I had to meet Phil and a guest speaker for dinner at 8pm.  On my way home I stopped at the store to get the ingredients, arrived home and got busy. Each step was planned to the minute,  I was following along flawlessly. Flawlessly? Not so fast, Silly Sally… not so fast.  When making my list for the grocery store, I did not notice the recipe called for TWO cream cheese packages. TWO. I brought home only one.  Can you imagine the shiver up and down my spine? Can you picture my kitchen at that very moment? Can you, really?  Yeap.  Best laid plans.

Considering all my options and how fast the clock was ticking, I rushed back to the grocery store, faced the same cashier with a sheepish smile, and brought the second package of cream cheese home.  Drove like a maniac to the restaurant, joined the gentlemen for dinner, and…  found myself baking way past bedtime.  Best laid plans. Story of my life.



But, as usual, it all had a happy ending, although I should have remembered to bring a good knife to the lab to cut the squares.  The knife available at the department was definitely not up to the challenge, and my production did not look nearly as good as that from Sarah. I think the best way to cut a cheesecake is a very sharp knife, dipping it in hot water at each cut, and cleaning the blade with a paper towel as you go. Keep that in mind if you make this decadent dessert.   Decadent is a good way to define it, we are talking major caloric intake, but a little piece should satisfy even those with a very sweet tooth…   I wish I had made my own dulce de leche from scratch like Sarah did,  but that will have to wait for another opportunity.

Sarah, I had a blast with my assignment this month, I know it was not a secret for you, but that is part of the life of a moderator, right?  I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for always sending the assignments very early, giving us more than enough time to stalk, cook, and blog. I know that everyone from our group certainly appreciates that…😉

If you want to check the labor of love of my fellow Group D members, click on the blue entity smiling at you at the end of the post.


ONE YEAR AGO: Penne with Trapanese Pesto



FOUR YEARS AGO: Ice Cream Melts for Mango



  1. What decadent bars. I’ve made my own dulce de leche (it’s quite easy) but I recently bought a can of the commercial stuff which should test and compare soon. This would be a great recipe to do so, I think.


    • My Mom used to cook condensed milk in the pressure cooker when I was growing up – sweet memories – we did not have “doce de leite” available in stores then, and her version was simply spectacular


  2. Wow! These look fabulous Sally. GREAT pick this month. I completely relate to your story of getting only one cream cheese bar and having to race back to the store and then being up way past bedtime. Someday on my tombstone it will say “Best Laid Plans” LOL. Story of my life too. And I’m dying to try making my own dulce de leche – I just haven’t gotten around to it. But I will.


  3. Well I, for one, am very glad the coin landed that way and that you got to share this recipe with us. These decadent bars look sensational and I’ve bookmarked them – I’m starting a new job next week and thought I’d get in good with everyone off the bat by bringing in some baking – I think this is just the thing🙂


    • Your new co-workers will love you for sure! Well, unless they are low-carbing or going on diets.. then they might start avoiding you… nah, I seriously doubt that 😉


    • what’s that saying? One moment in the lips, forever in the hips? This dessert is one of those of course, but… a little bit is more than enough – and as you said, taking it to a party or a get together “dilutes the danger”


  4. These look SO amazing! Dulce de leche is close to being my favorite thing ever. I lived in Buenos Aires for 6 months and ate it every single day for breakfast on toast and/or a banana, and never got tired of it (most days I had some a second time for tea or dessert, too). I will have to try these bars! Great pick.


    • Oh, Melissa! If you have never had dulce de leche anything, this would be a fantastic introduction! I love dulce de leche, to me is a taste from childhood, hard to beat.


  5. I was really excited when you got my blog because I love reading your posts🙂 You’re a hoot, Sally!!🙂 We won’t be going the Jack Russell Terror route, but rather the German Shepherd route (yes, a huge dog – we’re crazy). glad you picked these bars – they are one of my favorites. They do take quite a bit of time to make, but are so worth it and I’m sure everyone will talk about them for eternity. I know all the soldiers did when I brought them in. And if I remember correctly…I think I had trouble slicing them too…but I think I had taken pictures of the one that looked nice on one side🙂 I’m sneaky that way! Happy Reveal Day and thank you for such an amazing post.


    • German Sheperds are wonderful dogs, but wow, real big… you are brave! My only concern with having a dog bigger than a dalmatian is being run over – I was once catapulted towards a Christmas tree by a black labrador. Unforgettable experience! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the post! Now I can finally stop hyperventilating…


    • Isn’t that true? I am so glad the coin pointed me in that direction, although the blueberry braid would be wonderful too, I am sure… maybe I should make that one soon


  6. Oh my gosh you weren’t kidding, these are drool worthy! I love cheesecake, and it is one of the desserts I miss the most since giving up dairy.😦 I think if someone offered me one of these beauties though, I might just go ahead and eat it.🙂 They look great Sally, happy reveal day!


  7. Hmmm Not sure if my comment made it through or not… But just in case, these cheesecake bars are absolutely drool-worthy, and with cheesecake being my favorite dessert, these bars really make me miss dairy. Great job Sally, Happy Reveal day!


  8. I laughed at your joke Sally =) (I work at a university, ha ha). I’ve had Sara too and loved all of the choices. I’d say she does a wonderful job herding this group of cats. Your bars (and nail polish) look wonderful! Happy reveal day!


    • Thank you! Glad you liked it… I guess one day when I retire – hopefully not for at least a decade – I’ll have to find other “customers” to share my baking adventures, as we won’t have graduate students or departmental colleagues. I guess the answer is simple: never retire! 😉


  9. These bars look delicious. I love your little note to Sarah at the end. She is the best about getting our assignments out.


    • I am always amazed at how fast she sends the assignments out, for me it is a huge help, and I thought it was a good opportunity to make a public “thank you”

      she does a fantastic job as a moderator!


  10. You did a great job covering Sarah’s blog! And the recipe you chose (coin or no coin toss) was fabulous too! Congrats on making your first “cheesecakey” dessert! I hope you are now hooked on such a dessert. I LOVE anything “cheesecakey”🙂


  11. This year is definitely FLYING by. In a crazy way.

    Perfect choice on these bars. I am such a dulce de leche FANATIC. Pretty much need to make these in a serious way.


  12. Look at the layers in that bar! (and of course the fantastic nail polish colour contrasting them😉 ) — I can relate 100% to the singular cream cheese package… these things seem to happen a lot to folks on the go. The classic for me is running into the grocery store for a particular item, coming out with 7 other items and forgetting the original one I went in for! Ughh! :O). That chocolate glaze looks like a sparkling skating rink – gorgeous!


  13. Pingback: Most Popular: Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Bars – Bewitching Kitchen | The Secret Recipe Club

  14. dulce de luche is one of my favorite sweet things. I could eat it with a spoon… oh, wait… I already do.
    Now this is just a great excuse to get some more and make these bars!
    great SRC pick


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