Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

I think I’ve made my love for cheesecake abundantly clear by now, but just in case you’re new around these parts, let me climb up onto the roof once more… I.Love.Cheesecake. It’s been my favorite dessert ever since I can remember. I make myself cheesecakes as my birthday cake each year. For awhile I was hooked on the Oreo cheesecake for my birthday, but a few months ago I decided to turn it up a notch and churn out a Peanut Butter-Fudge Cheesecake for the big 3-0. Amazingly though, one thing that I don’t seem to make very often are cheesecake bars. And I feel like such a knuckle head about it – it’s an easy, more manageable alternative to an entire cheesecake and I wouldn’t be tempted with an entire cake. Not that I have ever backed down from a cheesecake…no sir. So I just about threw a little party when I saw this recipe. You see, I am also a big, big fan of chocolate chip cookie dough. Especially in the best vanilla ice cream. And I was correct in assuming that I would positively adore it in a cheesecake filling.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

These bars require a few separate steps to get put together and baked, but none are difficult or terribly time-consuming. The hardest part will be the waiting time while the bars chill in the refrigerator. This is a crucial step, though, and helps them firm up. Now, when you pour the filling into the pan, it’s going to look rather thin and the balls of cookie dough pretty much stick out. Just use a spatula to coax the cheesecake where it needs to go; it will puff up during baking (as you can see from my photos). That being said, the big cheesecake lover in me will more than likely double the cheesecake filling amount the next time I make these. After all, one can never have too much cheesecake. I’m almost certain that’s written on a stone tablet somewhere. Yes?

Before you go, please click over to see this recipe on Bake at 350. Bridget has done a series of posts called “Kiddo in the Kitchen” where she bakes with her son. I love the pictures and it looks like they have so much fun together! Plus, they make things like these amazing cheesecake bars. What’s not to love?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 whole graham crackers)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


For the cookie dough:

5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup light brown sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips


For the cheesecake filling:

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the chocolate drizzle:

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vegetable shortening


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper; set aside.


2. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.


3. To make the cookie dough, stir together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes), and then roll teaspoon-sized ball of the dough and place on a plate, and refrigerate plate of cookie dough balls while you prepare the cheesecake filling.


4. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until thoroughly combined.


5. Remove the cookie dough balls from the refrigerator and toss with 1 teaspoon of flour. Drop into the cheesecake filling and mix together. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, coaxing the filling into corners and sides. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake filling is set and doesn't jiggle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.


6. Using the parchment paper as handles, lift the bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into squares. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl and microwave for 1 minute at 50% power and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the bars and allow to set for about 20 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


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(Recipe adapted from Bake at 350)


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