1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1 cup Oreo cookies, finely crushed
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened, condensed milk
3 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips (plus more for topping)
sea salt (optional-for topping)
1. Make the caramel sauce- in a small saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat. Use a heat-resistant spatula to continually stir the sugar. It will start to melt and from brown clumps. Keep stirring! Once the sugar is melted, add the butter. Be careful to keep stirring as the caramel will bubble up when you add the butter. Stir the butter until completely melted, 2-3 minutes. Continue stirring as you slowly drizzle the cream in. Keep stirring again, because the caramel will bubble up again when you add the cream. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute, then remove pan from heat. Immediately stir in the salt. Set sauce aside and allow to cool before using. Store in a glass jar for ease of use, keep sauce in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 300º. Thoroughly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine Oreo’s and butter. Press mixture evenly into the springform pan.
4. Prepare the filling- place cream cheese in a stand mixer or mixing bowl to use an electric beater on in. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the condensed milk. Beat in the eggs, one by one until thoroughly mixed. Mix in the vanilla. Add chocolate chips to the bowl, and fold in gently with a spatula. Pour filling into springform pan. Top with a handful of mini chocolate chips.
5. Bake in preheat oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set and jiggles slightly in the center. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cheese cake (but leave it in the pan) and place on a cooling rack. Allow cheese cake to cool before chilling in the fridge in the springform pan overnight.
6. Before serving, heat caramel sauce in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Pop springform pan off cheesecake. Pour enough caramel sauce over the top of the cheese cake to cover it. Top with more chocolate chips and a sprinkle of sea salt, if desired. Slice, and serve immediately.
*A note about the caramel sauce- Caramel is extremely temperamental during the spring and summer months when the humidity is high. A more experienced baker than I told me that they never make caramel sauce in the summer because it almost always seizes. I can testify to that. A good work around for me in the summer is to cheat with the caramel sauce. I take a bag of packaged caramels (like Werther’s), place them in a saucepan, and add 2-3 tbsp of heavy cream. Heat the pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the caramels have melted and the cream is incorporated, add the salt to taste. Start with 1/2 tsp. Only add another 1/2 tsp of salt if you need it. Use as you would the other sauce.
*A note about baking time- My oven is a convection oven, which bakes about 20% faster than a normal oven. If you are using a regular oven, baking time may take longer, about 60-70 minutes. Check your cheesecake every 5 minutes or so after 50 minutes by jiggling the pan.
You can watch this video to make it easier