Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

This past weekend Billy’s family was getting together at Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, an adorable little spot in Dickerson, MD, to celebrate his cousins’ birthdays.  I love family get-togethers because they give me the perfect excuse to experiment with new treats. Plus, this one was at a vineyard and what could be better than food AND wine?! I wanted to make something that was easy to eat and wasn’t too heavy, so I decided to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. I came across the recipe for them awhile back   over at My Baking Addiction.   

 The cookie bars were a hit!  They are a perfect combination of cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies and they are pretty darn easy too.  We had a great time and I mentioned to everyone that I would bake a dessert for anyone who took the best picture of the bars for me to use on my blog.  I think I’m going to have to start doing this more often because the pictures turned out great!  So great that I couldn’t decide on a winner and am using all three.  Looks like I’ll be busy making some desserts for some deserving people in the near future 😉  

Scenic shot!
Courtesy of Mr. B

They go great with wine 🙂
Photo Courtesy of Maria Bigelow

Almost gone! 
Photo Courtesy of Bruce Wowk 

Ingredients:
THE CRUST
– 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

– 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

– 2/3 cup chocolate chips
THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
– 10 OZ cream cheese, room temperature
– 1/4 cup sugar

– 1 large egg, room temperature

– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs 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.
3. 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.
4. Mix in the flour on low speed, and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
5. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl, until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
6. Use your hand to form clumps of the cookie dough. Flatten the clumps of dough a little bit. Then distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter. Be sure to use all of the dough. You will cover almost all of the cheesecake batter.
7. 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.
8. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely, then let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
9. Cut bars into squares.
Enjoy 🙂
Lindsay likes a little wine with her chocolate chip cookie dough bars! 



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