Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

When making these, don't cut back on any of the butter!  I was being lazy with cutting an extra tablespoon for the cookie dough.   So, it didn't spread out like the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.  It took a lot of effort to smash the crumbs together as it wasn't as adhesive either.  Nonetheless, these were a hit with my coworkers at our company pre-fourth of July BBQ.

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
slightly adapted from Brandy's Baking

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
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
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8" square baking pan with foil, allowing a little overhang, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.

Using your hand to form clumps, distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple hours.

Lift the bars out by the overhang and cut into squares for serving.  Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

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