I go through phases of complete and total obsession with Pinterest. And then for weeks I won’t log on at all. In one of my obsessed phases where I search endlessly for new recipes to try, I saw these lovely chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen. I don’t know about you, but those are two of my favorite treats to eat so how could a recipe that brings those together be anything but AMAZING!
The thing with this recipe though, is that it failed for me the first time I tried it this weekend, but I have no one to blame but myself. Being the cookie dough snob that I am, I decided to use my own cookie dough recipe for the cookie dough layer because I have a slight infatuation with my recipe. Figured that would be an easy one to switch out, right? Apparently, not. My bars did not bake through. The cookie dough was an uncooked mess even after a good 50 minutes of baking, well over what the recipe called for.
I wanted to figure out what went wrong so I made the recipe in its original version. What I discovered is that the dough in this recipe is drier than my own and it also made slightly less dough which I think both contributed to the bars baking in the appropriate amount of time versus my dough which did not bake through. I’m no expert, but that is my best guess as to why my cookie dough recipe did not work.
One day I will try it again adjusting my usual cookie dough recipe to accommodate this recipe, if anything just for experimentation sake.
What I can say for sure though, is that regardless of the cookie dough recipe used, these bars were incredible! You just can’t get better than cookie dough and cheesecake together!
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used graham crackers and crushed them in the food processor)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Layer an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper so that the parchment hangs over a bit on the sides which will make it easier to remove the bars from the dish once they are cooled. Grease parchment paper with shortening.
Crush graham crackers in a food processor and combine with the melted butter. Press into the baking pan using your hands and bake for 6 minutes. Remove and let cool on cooling rack.
While crust is cooling, in the bowl of a stand mixer prepare the cookie dough by combining the butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt. Mix for about 1 minute. Add in flour and on low-speed mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.
Next make the cheesecake layer by mixing the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Spread the cream cheese onto the graham cracker crust using a spatula. For the cookie dough layer, first split the dough into 4 equal parts, taking each part and flattening with your hand. Lay each part in one corner of the baking dish so that all of the cream cheese is covered. Think of the baking dish divided into 4 quadrants and each flattened cookie dough piece will cover one quadrant.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. I checked mine at 35 minutes but needed the extra 5 minutes to finish baking.. Cool on baking rack. Store in refrigerator.