Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
What is your favorite cake? I'm talking about your all-time birthday/celebration/promotion/engagement/I-just-got-a-new-car cake?
For me it's most probably cheesecake. There is nothing like taking a bite out of a cool and creamy slice of cheesecake. Except taking a bite out of a cool and creamy slice of cheesecake covered in chocolate.
When I still lived at home, I asked for a cheesecake for several of my birthdays (fortunately for me, my mom owned a bakery and made THE BEST ones). Now that I'm living on my own, though, I rarely get the chance to enjoy it anymore.
But, when I saw these bars, I knew that I wanted to make them to satisfy my cheesecake urge. They taste just like an amazing slice of cheesecake without all of the extra work and time that needs to go into actually making a "real" cheesecake.
And they're pretty cute...
These bars had the perfect ratios of everything. The cheesecake layer was perfectly complemented by the sweet and chocolatey cookie dough. The crust was sweet and subtle.
My life began when I took my first bite... Okay, maybe I get a bit overdramatic when I talk about food.
They were just really, really good. And they were gone very quickly.
I'm a big proponent of substituting ingredients if I don't have something in the apartment. I think that it adds a personal touch to what I make, and it uses up ingredients versus having 5 of the same-ish things.
So when I saw that I had everything except graham cracker crumbs, I rooted around to see what I could use. I decided on Barnum's Animal Crackers. These are the graham cracker-y kind (they even taste like graham crackers), not the smooth ones.
Yes, some animal cracker friends were sacrificed in my food processor, but it was for a good purpose. Does that mean that these aren't vegetarian? ;)
I prefer to make my own graham (or animal) cracker crumbs, but you can buy them already "crumbed" too.
I added a bit of cinnamon to the crust mixture. I think it brings a really nice warmth to the crust. But you can leave it out if you'd like.
Eggless cookie dough! This stuff is legit.
It was a bit more dry and crumbly than I had expected, but if you squeeze it in your hands, you can form larger cookie dough crumbles.
The cheesecake mixture is super simple and very tasty. It's creamy and complements the cookie dough poi-fectly.
I misread the directions (this happens wayyy too frequently) and just poured all the cookie dough over the cheesecake layer without crumbling it into large cookie dough-like pieces. It still tasted delicious, but looked more like a streusel topping versus cookie dough crumbles.
These are the perfect treat. I'd love to try it with peanut butter chips and maybe a bit of peanut butter in the cheesecake batter. Yummmm...
Creamy and sweet with chocolate and love. They will steal your heart.
Looking for more chocolatey goodness?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars (lightly adapted from My Baking Addiction)
Makes 16 bars (or larger, if you prefer)
For the Crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker (or animal cracker) crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Layer
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips
For the Cheesecake Layer
- 10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil or parchment paper, letting it overhang for easier removal. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and cinnamon, to taste. Mix well. Press crumb mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. Leave oven on.
- For cookie dough: While the crust is cooling, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, and vanilla (with the paddle attachment on a stand mixer or with a large bowl and hand mixer) until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour on low and mix until just combined. The mixture will be crumbly. Add chocolate just, and mix until combined. Set aside.
- For cheesecake layer: In a stand mixer or with hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low until just incorporated.
- Pour the cheesecake into cooled crust. Smooth layer with a spatula or knife. Crumble cookie dough over cheesecake layer. It may seem like a lot, but use all of it; it will cover the whole top of the cheesecake.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top cookie dough is firm and dry and the cheesecake appears to be set (it shouldn't really jiggle that much). Allow bars to cool completely on an oven rack. Cut into desired sizes. Serve cold or at room temperature.