I've had my eye on these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars for a few years, ever since I first saw them over at Bake or Break. I finally decided it was time I make them and I'm sure glad I did! These bars are absolutely amazing. The graham cracker crust has little speckles of miniature semisweet chocolate chips which takes it to a whole new level. The filling is a super rich and creamy vanilla cheesecake that is spotted with little chocolate chip cookie dough balls. After baking, the whole thing is drizzled with melted semisweet chocolate chips. The combination is absolutely brilliant!
I baked mine in a 8-inch square pan because I don't have a 9-inch pan. I'm honestly not sure how long I ended up baking my bars because I never heard my kitchen timer go off after the suggested 30 minutes and, frankly, I wasn't really paying attention to the time so these little puppies could have been in the oven 31 minutes or 45. I honestly have no idea, but they turned out perfect. When I pulled them out of the oven the cheesecake filling was still wobbly everywhere except the very edges. Once these cool overnight in the fridge, they finish setting up and you have the most rich and creamy cheesecake filling.
I almost didn't want to cut into the bars and ruin their pretty little drizzled chocolate topping.
But these bars looked too delicious to resist.
I was absolutely smitten with the cute little specks of mini chocolate chips in the graham cracker crust.
Finally I couldn't resist any longer, so I cut into the bars and served myself up a slice. I admired the smooth, creamy appearance of the filling.
And once again awed over the pretty crust. Then I took a bite and it was sheer heaven!
What I love most about these bars is that, while being incredibly rich, they aren't overly sweet. In my opinion these are perfectly balanced in flavor. The chocolate chip cookie dough balls add a nice contrast in texture to the super creamy filling. When really cold, the dough balls have a very stiff texture but they soften up a bit as the bars warm up. I think the flavors blend and harmonize when the bars are slightly warm but they are equally pleasant ice cold. These are absolutely delicious and I completely and wholeheartedly suggest serving them with a big glass of ice cold milk. Trust me.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
adapted from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook via Bake or Break
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 9″-square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving enough to extend over the sides. Butter the parchment paper.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.
Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and 1 inch up sides. Bake for 6 minutes. Set pan on wire rack to cool.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used miniature)
Using an electric mixer , mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape into teaspoon size balls. Chill while making cheesecake filling.
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended.
Pour batter into baked crust. Drop cookie dough balls over the top of the filling.
Bake about 30 minutes, or until set but still wobbly in center. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
For chocolate topping, melt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave (I melted them in a ziplock bag in the microwave). Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter if necessary to make chocolate smooth. Drizzle over top of bars. Once the pan feels cool to the touch, chill the bars completely in the fridge overnight before cutting.
Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove bars from pan. Cut into bars and serve.