Back in the beginning of January I had made some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Topped Cupcakes for my brother. Well, I ended up with a TON of leftover, eggless cookie dough. It’s been in my freezer ever since because I couldn’t bear to see it thrown out and there is just no way I could have tackled that one on my own… So for awhile now it’s been sitting in the back of my mind that I have this cookie dough that needs to be used up before it succumbs to freezer burn. I knew it was time when I came across these decadent beauties in my recipe arsenal. The cookie doughs’ fate was decided- they would become one with cheesecake.
I had a couple qualms with the original recipe for these bars though. A lot of bloggers that have made these mentioned that they wish that there had been a greater cheesecake to cookie dough ratio. Apparently they were a little bit on the thin side. Since the cheesecake batter only called for 10 oz of cream cheese I could totally see this happening. The Nutella Cheesecake Squares that I made a while back used 16 oz and I thought that they had been the perfect height for a cheesecake bar. I decided to change up the recipe a little bit on my own.
Instead of just 10 oz of cream cheese, I changed the quantity to 16 oz. Not only does that allow for more cheesecake filling, but you don’t have to bother dividing out 3 oz of cream cheese from a block- just use 2 blocks. Since there was more cream cheese there needed to be an extra egg as well as some additional vanilla and sugar. I doubled the sugar even though the amount of cream cheese wasn’t doubled- 1/4 cup was a little low for 10 oz anyways. I only increased the vanilla by half, from 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp. AND because I don’t like my cheesecake to be dense, I took a note from the Nutella Cheesecake Squares and added 2 Tb of heavy cream to smooth it out. PERFECT. Now, if you do like a thicker, denser cheesecake use sour cream instead of heavy cream. Or just opt out entirely from that addition. Although I highly suggest doing one or the other.
The cookie dough I used isn’t the same as that in the recipe. My cookie dough didn’t firm up very well so it was kind of lost in the cheesecake. I am hoping that the one from the recipe takes the baking process into consideration and does a better job at that. My cookie dough wasn’t meant to be baked, but eaten fresh. It was still delicious and the flavor was there, I just lost some of that texture. And I’m a texture junky, so I was a little sad : (
My favorite part about these cheesecake bars is that they are SO versatile! You can easily swap out the add-in’s, changing the flavor entirely. Maybe use just chocolate chips. Or some chopped Oreo’s! OR some chunked brownies… YUM! The possibilities are endless!!
- 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
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- For the Cheesecake Filling:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tb heavy cream (or sour cream for a denser cheesecake)
- For the Chocolate Drizzle:
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla extract and heavy cream, beating until thoroughly combined.
- 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 30-35 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.
- 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.
adpated from Brown Eyed Baker