Cheesecake has long been my dessert infatuation of choice. Having never been a big fan of traditional cake with frosting (I know, right?!), I started turning to birthday alternatives around the time I was in middle school. I went through an ice cream cake phase, then it was tiramisu and finally, cheesecake. I’ve had some version of cheesecake for my birthday more years than I can count. Once I really got the baking bug, I started experimenting with baking my own. The very first birthday “cake” that I made myself was an Oreo Cheesecake, as that was my favorite flavor from The Cheesecake Factory at the time. I don’t make many cheesecake bars (instead opting for a cheesecake the size of my head), but after playing around with some cheesecake bars this summer, I decided I needed to make more of them. An Oreo version was the next logical step.
These cheesecake bars have a thick, substantial crust, which I love. Nothing is worse than cheesecake or cheesecake bars that sit upon a wimpy, thin, soggy crust. Thick and sturdy is the only way to go, and this crust fits the bill. On top is a smooth, creamy cheesecake that is absolutely packed with chopped Oreo cookies. One of the things I love about cheesecake bars is that I don’t feel nearly as guilty about eating two as I do when I eat two pieces of cheesecake (not that that’s ever stopped me!).
I haven’t used them in this recipe yet, but if you wanted to go the 100% from-scratch route, you could even use homemade Oreos! That cuts down on the guilt factor even more ;-) If you give them a try in the recipe, I’d love to hear how it goes!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing it to hang over two of the sides.
Make the Crust: Process the Oreo cookies in a food processor until they are turned into fine crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter over top and pulse a handful of times until the butter is evenly distributed and all of the crumbs are moist. Dump the crumbs into the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes (leave the oven on).
Make the Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated.
Slowly add the eggs, beating well after each addition, and mix until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sour cream and vanilla, beating until incorporated.
Gently fold in the chopped Oreos, then pour the batter over the prepared crust, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or up to 24 hours) before serving.
To serve, lift the cheesecake out of the pan using the parchment or foil handles. Slice into bars and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.