Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I know, I know. It's been 4 months since my last post, and you thought I'd dropped off the face of the earth, right? Well, this semester has been one tough battle, and I thought senior year of college was supposed to be fun!!! Well, it has been fun, but it has also been my toughest year to date, with GMAT preparations and graduate school applications, on top of all my school work. However, even if I have taken a little break from blogging, I most certainly have not taken a break from baking :) I do still have my friends over for dinner as frequently as possible, not least because it gives us all an excuse to see each other(not that we need one, of course), but it also gives me an excuse to bake some sweet treat or another every time(not that I need an excuse for that, either ;) ). Well, a couple of months ago(yes, I know how far behind I am), I had a reunion dinner with my study abroad friends, and I was looking for something rich, creamy and cooling for dessert to offset the spicy Indian food we would be enjoying for dinner. I came across this recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars at Brown Eyed Baker, and seeing as cheesecake is one of my absolute favorite foods(read foods, not even desserts), I didn't need to give it a second thought. And hence, the only change I made to this recipe-as Michelle suggested, I increased the amount of cheesecake batter by 1.5 times the amount called for :)
These bars, even with the additional step of preparing the cookie dough, are quite simple to prepare, and take much less time than a traditional cheesecake, since they bake for half the time and only have to chill for a couple of hours in the fridge. Also, they make for much more reasonably sized portions than your average slice of cheesecake, so it's totally fine to serve them even after a larger meal. It's easy, it's tasty, it's different too-what are you waiting for?! Bake away, my friends!!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
5 tbsp. melted, cooled butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
15 oz. room temperature cream cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 eggs(I didn't want to waste 1/2 an egg, so I used one whole extra egg, and it worked fine)
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. butter
Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8x8" baking pan, line with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper.
Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 6 minutes, and let the crust cool slightly.
For cookie dough, beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Stir in the flour, then vanilla and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm(about 30 minutes), and then roll teaspoon-sized balls of the dough. Place the balls on a plate, and refrigerate the plate while you make the cheesecake filling.
Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until thoroughly combined.
Remove the cookie dough balls from the fridge, and toss with 1 tsp. flour. Drop into cheesecake filling and mix together. Pour the filling into cooled crust, and spread it into the corners and sides as needed. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling is almost set and only slightly jiggles in the center. Let cool completely on the counter, and chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge. Lift the bars out of the pan using parchment paper as handles, and cut into squares after placing on a cutting board. Melt chocolate chips and butter in a microwave on 50% power, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over the bars, and let it set for 20 minutes. Store leftovers in the fridge. I enjoyed them best at room temperature, but they are obviously wonderful cold as well :)