Butterscotch Maple Cheesecake Bars

I’ve been hanging onto this recipe for a while, but I held it because maple and butterscotch seem well suited to Octobers.

The hard part hasn’t been gushing over this recipe because it’s so good {it is!}.

The hard part has been not adding to it.

You see, I have this thing with maple. I add it into so many things. Sausage patties and scones. Drizzles on cakes. Whipped sweet potatoes. But it starts collecting other ingredients.

Bourbon. Bacon. Sage.

And while I’m down with making my cheesecakes quite savory, I’m not sure about a bourbon maple bacon cheesecake combo.

Although now that I say that, it has an absurd amount of appeal.

But let’s just leave that alone for now.

This recipe was actually born of one of my favorite mess hall treats while I was a Cadet at West Point – this ridiculously simple dessert we just called Nilla Pudding.

It was just a bowl of butterscotch pudding surrounded by Nilla Wafers. Stupidly simple. And yet so sweet and enjoyable at the same time.

I make that dessert for us routinely around the house because it’s just so easy. But when I made this recipe, I was trying to think of ways to dress it up.

Somehow cheesecake got into the mix. So I decided to make butterscotch cheesecake with Nilla Wafers as a prominent ingredient.

The maple showed up just because I simply have to add pure maple syrup to just about everything on my plate. It just happens. My son approves – he’s a little maple syrup fiend.

You’d better go ahead and make this now. Wait too long, and I’ll find a way to add bacon into the recipe, even though I know it will clash with the butterscotch.

Butterscotch Maple Cheesecake Bars

Makes 9 large bars or 16 small bars, depending on how you slice them.

What You’ll Need:

For the crust and topping:

  • 2 cups crushed Nilla Wafer Cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 11-oz package butterscotch chips

For the cheesecake bar:

  • 12 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup Nilla Wafer Cookies, roughly chopped

How to Make Them:

1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9×9 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

2. Heat butterscotch chips and butter together in a sauce pan, stirring frequently, over low heat until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir Nilla Wafer crumbs into butterscotch mixture. Measure 2/3 cup mixture and set aside. Press remaining mixture into the baking dish for crust.

3. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high until light and fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, egg, vanilla, and maple, and continue to mix on medium high until it’s again light and fluffy.

4. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. Sprinkle reserved mixture over cream cheese mixture layer and crumble the remaining Nilla Wafer Cookies.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-60 minutes. Let the bars cool and then chill in the refrigerator for about three hours.

6. Pull the foil and set the bars on a cutting board. Cut 3×3 or 4×4, depending on if you want larger bars or smaller bars.

7. Serve and enjoy!

What ingredients find their way into your favorite recipes?

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