Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Today is our annual Euchre tournament!  I had a hard time learning to play about 25 years ago or so.  My poor husband had to play two-handed Euchre over and over one year.  We were camping in Algonquin Park and it poured rain for four days so if there’s any time to learn a card game, that was it.  A few months later, I went to my first Euchre tournament.  It was a bigger one, over 20 people for sure.  I was petrified.  I mean, I liked the game and felt I could play, but all day long? With seasoned players?  Some of them a bit competitive?

I was at my first table and watched as they were dealing cards face up.  I had no idea what was happening so I asked.   “First black jack determines the dealer”, was the answer.  Oh, I didn’t know that.  My partner looked worried.  I couldn’t comfort him.

We won that first round.  And I won a few more.  And before I knew it, I had won the whole tournament.  (Yes I tell this story as much as possible).  Maybe that’s why ever since then Euchre has been my favorite card game?

I haven’t won a tournament since, but that’s okay, I just love the game.  We started hosting Euchre tournaments six years ago.  When we play cards all day, we don’t want fussy foods; after all, we play 30 minute games and only have a ten minute break.  That’s only time for bathroom break, drink and plate refill, and back to play.  So these bars are a great game day food.

Call me weird, but I love desserts that cut well, nice and even. It seems like there’s less waste, less crumbles.

This is one of those.  It does have a few steps and an extra bowl, but it’s worth it.  It’ll make all the people at your dessert table happy.  Chocolate? Check.  Cheesecake? Check.  Cookie Dough? Check check.

cheesecakebites2

I can’t make this a lot because sadly, we can’t buy graham cracker crumbs down here unless we sell some diamonds.  I’ve only found them in one store in town and they charge an arm and a leg for the Costco size bag.  So it’s become one of the treats that I get brought down by friends, and inevitably, these friends get searched and questioned as to why they are carrying 5 bags of graham cracker crumbs when going on a beach vacation.  I’m grateful for these gifts.  Who would have thought bags of graham crumbs could make a girl so happy?

Make sure you use all the cookie dough.  It does seem like a lot, but it doesn’t spread when you crumble it on top, so you can cover the entire top of the pan.  You are guaranteed to have a nice chunk of dough in every bite.

Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 TAB unsalted butter, melted

COOKIE DOUGH:

  • 5 TAB unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 TAB sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

CHEESECAKE FILLING:

  • 10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil and grease.

Crust: Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until combined.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake in oven for about 5 minutes.  Remove pan to a cooling rack.

Cheesecake Filling:  In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Mix in egg and vanilla just until incorporated.  Pour batter into prepared crust.

Dough: In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla about 2 minutes.  Add the flour in on low speed just until incorporated.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Using your hands to form clumps, distribute cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in small clumps.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until top is dry to the touch and the pan looks set if given a gentle shake.  Remove from oven and cool.  Chill for a few hours or overnight.

 

Adapted from: The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook

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