Friday, December 30, 2011

By the Batch - Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars

Normally around the holidays I bust my butt in the kitchen making all sorts of cookies to give to family, friends and colleagues. This Christmas, being pregnant and always tired, I decided to forgo the tradition. Instead I didn't bake anything until my week of holidays during which I baked only recipes that sounded good to me! And that's how I ended up with these amazing Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars.

I used a recipe found on Brandy's Baking. While the recipe does have a lot of ingredients and steps it was surprisingly easy to do. I'll apologize now for the lack of pictures in this post - I got into the baking zone and forgot to take any until the bars were completely done - oops!

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
2/3 cup 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 parchment paper allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. 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.

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

In another large bowl 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. 

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm 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.

And that's it - you're left with extremely delicious bars that are dangerous to have around the house! I've pinned this recipe and will definitely be returning to it again - maybe next time I'll actually share some ;)

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