Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

I have been plagued with Bake Sales this school year…  If not Bake Sales, then it’s various class celebrations (which happens after completing  huge projects), or just plain baking for different school or kids related events.  I feel like it’s a test to see how much they (meaning my kids) can squeeze out from me (every ounce of life that is). 

Anyway, for the most recent baking request, I made these rich Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars.  I wanted something different other than brownies or chocolate chip cookies brought in by others, so I started to look for traditional sweets with a little twist.  I found this wonderful recipe here!  It gives you the recipe from scratch and the short cut (using refrigerated cookie dough), but really, it’s not difficult making chocolate chip cookie dough.   You can use your favorite chocolate cookie dough recipe, but this came out really crisp, and I’m pretty sure that’s the result of adding quite a lot of butter!!  Seriously though, I don’t feel guilty adding a lot of butter, because you only eat a tiny piece (well, that is if you can use self restraint…). 

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Chocolate chip cookie layer:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup butter flavored vegetable shortening (I just used butter)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon  salt
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon  baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Cheesecake layer:

1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla, salt and vinegar. Beat in the egg, then the baking soda and flour. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the dough into two equal portions and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl cream the cream cheese with the sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a 9×13 pan, spread 1/2 of the cookie dough mixture evenly across the bottom. Dollops of dough will work and then I used a spatula sprayed with cooking spray to help aid with spreading. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the top of the cookie dough. With the remaining cookie dough, flatten chunks of dough between your hands into discs, and then place on top of the cream cheese mixture. (The dough discs don’t have to touch, just place them near each other so they cover the surface as well as possible.)
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Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is brown and cooked through. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.
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My opinion: Sin, Sin, Sin!!!!   Wonderfully forbidden marriage between chocolate chip cookie and cheesecake!!  I purposefully cut these bars as small as I can so I don’t sin deeper.  A huge huge hit at my kids school.  The teachers wanted to keep these morsels for themselves! 

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