I made these for my "Blind Wine Tasting" birthday dinner party. Since I'm not a chocolate fan. Or even much of a "cake" fan. And I figured it was my birthday...so cheesecake and salted caramel are two of my favorite things. And pretty much everything is better in a Mason jar. Yep...that's how this recipe was born.
Salted Caramel Mason Jar Cheesecakes
Makes 1 dozen
2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt (I used the extra fine from Trader Joe's)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, two at a time, blending between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add sour cream and vanilla and blend until smooth.
Pour filling mixture into mason jars, about 2/3 full. Place the mason jars in a 13X9 baking dish and set it all in the center of the oven. Add enough hot water to the baking dish to reach about half way up the sides of the mason jars. Bake the cheesecakes 20 minutes, until set at the edges but still quite jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecakes for 1 hour.
While the cheesecakes are baking, make the Caramel.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the corn syrup. Stir in the sugar and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until a deep amber color forms. This will take about 10 minutes and the mixture will boil! So be sure to use a large enough saucepan that the mixture doesn't boil over (hot liquid sugar is a bear to clean off the stove top!)
Remove from heat and carefully stir in the butter with a wooden spoon. Stir in the cream in a thin stream. Transfer caramel to a heat proof pitcher or bowl. Stir in sea salt. Allow to cool to room temperature.
After the 1 hour, remove cheesecakes from oven and take out of water pan. Top each with 2 Tablespoons of the caramel and swirl to coat the tops. Refrigerate the cheesecakes until well chilled, at least 4 hours. Sprinkle with chopped salted peanuts just before serving.