Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Now that I live alone, I don’t bake as often. Sure, I could take stuff into work (and I have), but it seems like everyone is on Weight Watchers. Plus I don’t always have the energy. How do all you parents do it? I barely have energy to cook and clean for myself, let alone a family. I guess you get used to it? I hope so, or I’ll never be able to take care of one.

My family does come up to visit, so when they do, I want to have a special treat for them. That way I can bake and get rid of the extra calories. Several months ago, I found a used copy of The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook. I’ve had this on my Amazon Wish List ever since I saw these on Bake or Break. It’s more than just chocolate chip cookies. It has cookies, muffins, pies, tarts, puddings, cakes, ice cream desserts, pretty much anything with chocolate chips, including the Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake I made back in June.

Anyway, after drooling at the pictures, I decided to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. What a mouthful! And a good one too. The cookie dough layer on top ending up being almost a whole layer rather than chunks here and there, so the cheesecake layer isn’t as dominant. I opted to leave off the chocolate drizzle. I enjoy them cold, preferably from the freezer. Of course my family forgot to take the extras home, so that’s why they ended up in my freezer in the first place.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp butter, melted
2/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

5 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Crust: Preheat oven to 325F. Line 9-inch square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir crumbs and butter together until crumbs are evenly moistened. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Press crumb mixture over bottom and 1 inch up the sides of pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Cool pan and leave the oven on.

2. Dough: In large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smoothly blended, 1 minute. Add flour, mixing just to incorporate it. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

3. Filling: In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla, beating just to blend them in. Pour cheesecake batter into the crust. Drop teaspoonfuls of cookie dough over top of the batter. Bake until top feels dry and firm and looks set if given a gentle shake, about 30 minutes.

4. Optional drizzle: Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips until melted and smooth, either in a microwave or heatproof bowl over boiling water. Use a teaspoon to gently drizzle thin lines of melted chocolate over the top of the bars. Cool about 1 hour. Cut bars into 16 pieces. The bars can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes 16 bars.

Source: The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook, page 47-48

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