Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars

By Gretchen Kruesi

My sister recently discovered a recipe from Made with Pink ( for Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars.  I love to bake (only wish I had more time – and skill). I especially love Fat Toad’s Farm new bourbon salted caramel and have been looking for a good recipe to try out.  I adjusted the original recipe to use local products and made a couple of alterations. You can check out the original recipe here:

I’ve tried many new recipes this year (mostly in the pie and cake end of things) but this is one of my favorites. Seriously, delicious! If you don’t try it you are missing out. And to boot it is very simple — no really, my first crack at it and I don’t have any adjustments. That never happens.








2 1/4 cups graham cracker or digestive biscuit crumbs (from about 17 whole graham crackers)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

10 tablespoons (142g) butter, melted


3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup (225g) sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 cup caramel (I’d recommend Fat Toad Farm’s Salted Bourbon Caramel but any flavor will do)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


2/3 cup caramel

2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

10 caramel chews

Sea Salt (I recommend the kind used on candy – bigger grain)

The crust:

  •  oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Coat 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan coated with nonstick spray.
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  • Add melted butter; stir until coated.
  • Transfer crumb mixture to pan. Press evenly onto bottom of pan.
  • Bake until crust is light golden, about 10 minutes.
  • Cool completely on rack



The Filling:

  • Blend the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. This is where making sure the cream cheese is room temperature will be helpful. If it is too cold it will have some “chunks” in it, which isn’t a disaster but just not as “smooth”.
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time, blending for 3 to 5 seconds each time until incorporated.
  • Add in the Salted Bourbon
  • Caramel (or whatever flavor you’re craving) and vanilla and blend until just mixed – about 10 seconds.
  • Spread the batter evenly over the cooled crust and bake until the cheesecake mixture is just set in center and the edges are puffed and slightly cracked. Original recipe called for 38 minutes but my oven took about 45 min.
  • Transfer to rack and cool completely


The Glaze:

  • Once the cheesecake bar is cooled, pour 2/3 cup Bourbon Caramel and 3 tablespoons of whipping cream in a glass measuring cup.
  • Microwave at 10 second intervals stirring between each interval.  Do this until the mixture is smooth and combined.
  • Next, take about 10 caramel chews and heat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds until melted.
  • Quickly dump the melted caramel chews into the caramel mixture and stir continuously until combined. Note: make sure combined otherwise the caramel chews will become more solid than the caramel mixture. I put the mixture in the microwave for another 20 seconds.
  • The consistency should be pourable, but not too liquid. You want the caramel topping to be soft and gooey, but not too runny that is pours down the side of your bar once you cut it.
  • Cover and chill until ready to serve.


Lastly – (and this is the best part!) sprinkle the caramel glaze lightly with sea salt. This is what gives it the wonderful sweet and salty combo (my favorite).

It’s pretty rich and the caramel makes it a bit gooey. I brought mine to a pot luck so cut the squares in half for smaller size. I can report back they were a huge hit – and one recipe that I’ll be adding to my high rotation list.




The Holiday Caramel Popcorn Gift

Ok, so every year we work together to create a food gift for all our neighbors and many of our friends and family. This year we’re excited to be making lots of batches of caramel popcorn. Carrie Lipps, an intern at the farm came up with this awesome recipe. Find some cute jars to put the popcorn in and decorate with your favorite ribbons and cards!

FTF Goat’s Milk Caramel Popcorn
This recipe makes approximately 3-4 quarts of deliciously crunchy caramel popcorn and makes a great holiday gift!


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cups popcorn kernels

1 8oz jar of your favorite flavor of FTF caramel
salt, optional
Heavy-bottomed pot with lid
Baking pan lined with parchment paper
Rubber spatula
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2.  Add the oil to the heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
3. Add 3 kernels of popcorn.
4.  When one or more of the kernels pops, add remaining kernels and cover pot with lid.
5. Gently shake or tilt pot over the heat to keep kernels moving so they don’t burn.
6. After a few minutes you will start to hear lots of popping sounds.  Keep shaking the pot until most kernels have popped and popping sounds have slowed or stopped.  Do not remove the lid unless you want a room full of popcorn!
7. Turn off heat, keep lid on and continue to shake for a few seconds as the last few straggling kernels pop.
8. Transfer popcorn to another bowl and sprinkle with salt to taste, if desired.
9. While the pot is still warm, pour half a jar of caramel into the pot, add half of the popcorn and stir to coat.  Add more popcorn and more caramel until all popcorn is evenly covered.
10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
11.  Spread caramel-popcorn mixture on parchment paper with a spatula, breaking up clumps to promote even drying in the oven which will result in a deliciously crunchy finished product!
12.  Bake popcorn for 40 min, stirring twice.
13.  Remove pan from oven, allow popcorn to cool as long as you can stand it, then enjoy!

Recipe: Goat’s Milk Caramel Pecan Pie to Die For

Insta-pecan pie
Recipe by former Fat Toad Farm Intern and baker extraordinaire Geneva Wrona
For the crust
1/3 c. chilled butter plus chilled lard (I do about half and half, but any proportion will work)
1 c. flour
1 T. powdered sugar (optional)
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2 or more T. ice water
(Obviously you can also use a store-bought crust if you’re short on time or just feeling lazy.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Use your fingers to work the flour and powdered sugar into the cold butter/lard until you have a relatively uniform, crumbly mixture. Make a “well” in the middle of the mixture and pour the vinegar plus 1 T. ice water into the well. Use one finger to incorporate the liquid, starting from the center of the well and working outward. Add ice water 1 T. at a time until you have a dough that holds together in a ball, but does not stick to your hands. If it is too crumbly, add ice water 1 t. at a time. If it is too sticky, add flour 1 T. at a time. This dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for several days, or in the freezer for several weeks. Form the dough into a disk and roll out on a floured surface. Place the crust into a greased 9″ pie dish and prick the bottom several times with a fork.
For the filling
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 t. fine grain sea salt
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. boiling water
4 eggs, beaten well
1 T. goat’s milk (or any kind of milk)
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract OR bourbon
2 c. raw pecans
1/4 c. of your favorite flavor of Fat Toad Farm Goat’s Milk Caramel, plus about 1/4 c. more for drizzling on top
Mix the brown sugar, white sugar, salt and melted butter. Add the boiling water. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add the beaten eggs and milk, and mix well. If you want a very boozy-tasting pie, add 1 1/2 t. bourbon. Otherwise, add 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract. I prefer the bourbon. Mix in the pecans. Spread 1/4 c. caramel on bottom of prepared crust. Heat up the caramel first if it helps to spread it. Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 350. Bake about 30 minutes more, or until the pie puffs up, and a knife inserted into the center comes out relatively clean. Cool the pie for at least two hours. Before serving, drizzle about 1/4 c. more caramel on top. It helps to heat up the caramel for this step as well. Try putting it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.



Salted Bourbon Caramel Pecan Bars

Salted Bourbon Caramel Pecan Bars


  • 1 1/2 cups  all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup  brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 sticks  cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 & 1/2 sticksbutter
  • 1 8 oz jar Fat Toad Farm Salted Bourbon Caramel
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Cooking Directions

The base:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut ingredients together in food processor, blend in 2 Tablespoons cold water to make dough hold together. Be sure to be careful on quantities so the mixture is not too wet. You do not want it to stick to your fingers.
  3. Press dough into a foil-lined 9 x 12 pan (foil should extend beyond edge of pan by a few inches and be sure to use sturdy foil – you will lift the baked bars out of the pan by the edges of the foil).
  4. Bake the crust at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes

The topping:

  1. Blend together butter, caramel and brown sugar, then combine butter and caramel mixture with pecans.
  2. Spread on top of crust. Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Lift bars out of the pan by tinfoil edges and place on a cutting board to cool further – another 30 minutes-ish. Cut and serve!

Recipe: Banana Cream Pie with Fat Toad Farm Salted Bourbon Caramel

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Peanut Shortbread Crust
1 1/4 cups unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp.(1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg yolk
Vanilla Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into1/2″ cubes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup Fat Toad Farm Salted Bourbon Caramel
Equipment: A 9″ pie dish
Peanut Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse peanuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer 1/4 cup ground nuts to a small bowl; cover and set aside for garnish. Pulse remaining peanuts until peanut butter forms, about 2 minutes.
Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat both sugars, peanut butter, and butter until well combined and mixture resembles wet sand, 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until well blended, about 3 minutes (mixture will be clumpy). Gradually add dry ingredients; beat just to combine (mixture will be crumbly; do not overmix or crust will be tough). Gather dough with your hands, place in pie dish, and press evenly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake until edges are deep golden brown, 15-17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover tightly.
Vanilla Pastry Cream: Bring milk and cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add egg yolks; whisk until smooth (mixture will be very thick). Whisking constantly, gradually add milk mixture to yolk mixture. Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thick, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a blender with butter and vanilla. Puree until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream. Chill until set, at least 2 hours. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.
Assembly: Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat 1/2 cup cream and powdered sugar until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover and chill.
Spread 1/4 cup vanilla pastry cream evenly over bottom of peanut crust. Slice bananas into 1/4″-thick rounds. Layer half of the bananas over pastry cream. Top with 1 1/2 cups pastry cream. Arrange remaining bananas over; top bananas with remaining pastry cream. Whip remaining cream and put on top with reserved ground peanuts. Drizzle with Salted Bourbon Caramel.