Mar 132013

My husband’s two favorite desserts are cookie dough and cheesecake. This dessert is the perfect solution…you get both!  It’s a thin layer of cheesecake topped with a crunchy chocolate chip cookie.  It’s the perfect amount of each.

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

For the Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips

For the 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 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs and the remainder of the crust ingredients 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. Do not turn your oven off.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or 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. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a 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. Flatten the clumps of dough in your palms to flatten them out a bit. Distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter. Be sure to use all of the dough. You will cover most of the cheesecake batter.

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. Place in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours.

Lift the bars out by the overhang; slice into desired size and store in the refrigerator.

Adapted from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook

Feb 182013

If you like peanut butter cups, this is the cheesecake for you! You can easily substitute your favorite candy bar instead of the peanut butter cups, or go with the plain cheesecake. It’s that good!

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

For the Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:
2 blocks of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter cups, chopped

For the Topping:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter cups, chopped

To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a few inches of foil draping over the sides of the pan (which will help with removal later).

In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk together until well combined. Add the melted butter and mix together with a fork or whisk until all the crumbs are moistened. Transfer the mixture into the lightly buttered pan and press the crumbs evenly with the back of a spoon to form the crust.

Bake in the preheated oven until crust is beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.

To make the filling:
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg into the mixture. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until fully combined, about 30 seconds.

Stir chopped peanut butter cups into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the pan over the cooled crust and spread evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle jiggles slightly when you shake the pan.

Place pan on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

To make the topping:
Melt chocolate morsels in the microwave for about 1 minute and stir well. Drizzle half of melted chocolate over the top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups pieces evenly on the surface to stick to the chocolate, then drizzle the other half of the melted chocolate over top.

Using the overhanging foil, lift the bars from the pan. Remove the foil and cut bars into 16 pieces (or more for smaller pieces). Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.