How do you start your day?
Mine always begins with the biggest physical shock possible to my system. I stumble out of bed (no snooze, get right up), throw on my workout clothes, and immediately start moving. It’s always a little odd knowing, as I lie in bed for those last precious seconds, that within a few minutes I’ll be moving at top speed.
It sounds awful to almost everyone I know, but I love getting my body going before my mind. As I do my routine, my mind slowly wakes up and catches up with the rest of me. And there’s something really gratifying about getting all those muscles firing before most people are even awake.
Plus, then I have the rest of the day to eat cheesecake bars! No, really. If I kick my own butt for an hour every morning, you can bet your own derriere that I’m eating dessert every day. Not all day. Just every day.
These bars in particular are quite the reward for any early-morning workouts. Butterscotch is neglected and that is so unfair, because it’s one of the best dessert flavors out there. I was going to do this as a cheesecake before Lindsay did it, and because she’s better than I am, I adapted my idea to this.
These might be the most addictively sticky cheesecake bars I’ve ever made. Yes, you’ll need a fork for that butterscotch ganache top, and it’s worth the extra effort. If you’ve never been to butterscotch heaven, this is it!
There are actually three layers of butterscotch in these bars. The first appears in the graham cracker crust. One of my favorite baking hacks of all time is melting baking chips into the crusts, so the butterscotch chips are part of the base. They also appear in the cheesecake filling, and finally, in the ganache on top.
Ganache sounds complicated, but it’s really easy. You simply melt the butterscotch chips with some heavy cream in the microwave, stir until smooth, and then pour on top. It chills very nicely indeed, and that makes the glossy, enviable topping!
Truth be told, these are very sweet. Bar squares are just right for something like this. You can eat your cheesecake and not undo your workout!
We all start our days differently. By all means, share your favorite way to wake up! But mine is to exercise first and sugar later. I know that seems contradictory, but we’re all human, and we’re allowed our inconsistencies. And we’re definitely allowed our cheesecake!
Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 oz. cream cheese (I used light), softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butterscotch chips and butter for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Add the brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs, stirring until moistened.
- Press the crumbs tightly and evenly into the prepared pan with a spatula. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, egg, and vanilla, beating until completely smooth. Fold in the butterscotch chips.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the bars sit in there until the oven cools.
- When the bars are cool, make the ganache. Melt the butterscotch chips and the heavy cream in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until completely smooth. Pour over the cheesecake bars.
- Chill completely, anywhere from 3 hours to overnight. Cut into squares. Serve with forks!