Monday, July 25, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

With less than a month before Becky and I move into our new dorms, Mommy Mode has officially begun. She's always loved baking us elaborate desserts, but now homemade treats have become an every-weekend occurrence.  Add on the fact that Becky was returning from England, and it should come as no surprise that we spent yesterday afternoon pouring over The Goodhousekeeping Illustrated Cookbook and Mark Ballard's The Four Seasons searching for scrumptious desserts.  After much deliberation, we decided to try chocolate chip cheesecake bars.  If you'd like to try this super simple sweet treat for yourself, here's the directions:  

What You'll Need-
3 (16-oz) packages of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs

On a well-greased 15x10x1-inch jellyroll pan, take 1 1/2 packages of your cookie dough and roll it out into a thin crust.  If your bottom layer's a little fine in some areas and a few holes remain, don't worry.  Set aside the pan.  To make the filling, beat cream cheese at high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add sugar and mix well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Then, pour the mixture onto our bottom cookie layer.  Then, arrange the remaining cookie dough over the cream cheese mixture.  Word to the wise, this is definitely the messiest part, but the results are sweet.  Bake at 350ยบ for 45 minutes.  Be sure to  let the cheesecake bars cool before you cut them into squares.  
Now, if you really want to take your dessert to the next level (or if you have a little bit more time on your hands), making the cookie dough from scratch could be an added adventure.  I'd suggest you'd make a double batch to sufficiently cover both layers.  Here's the recipe that we used to make each layer:

What You'll Need-
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16-ounce package semisweet-chocolate

In a large bow, measure all ingredients except the chocolate pieces.  With you electric mixer at medium speed, beet the ingredients until they're well blended.  Next, add the chocolate pieces and stir well.  

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