Last night I was struck by a craving to bake. Do you know the feeling? When you just. need. to. bake. However, at 5.30pm I was reluctant to try and brave the hordes of other students buying dinner at Tescos so I was restricted to what storecupcoard ingredients I had. Luckily with me being me, there is almost always chocolate, butter, flour and sugar in the house. A few eggs generously donated by a flatmate (perhaps with a vested interest in the products of said baking…?). And finally a quick look in the fridge revealed a tub of cream cheese. Et voila! Everything you need to make these absolutely heavenly Chocolate Chip Cookies Bars right at your fingertips.
I found the recipe on another food blog, Tracy’s Culinary Adventures. Nine times out of ten I will choose cookie bars over cookies themselves, simply because I am a lazy baker – I don’t like having to pop trays in and out of the oven every 10 minutes. No, I much prefer brownies and cookie bars. One baking pan, leave it in for 30-40 minutes and you’re sorted.
However, I was also feeling a bit creative and wanted something to make these cookie bars unique… so seeing the cream cheese in the fridge I immediately thought of cheesecake. And let me tell you, the cheesecake layer makes these something extra special.
The bottom layer of cookie was thick and chewy and slightly crisp on the bottom. Perfect. The cheesecake layer added an extra dimension both taste and texture wise. Topped with more chocolate chip cookie, there is just no way you could go wrong with these bars.
So without further ado, Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
adapted from Tracy’s Culinary Adventures
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (trust me!)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or 400g of milk/plain chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 13×9 pan with foil and grease with cooking spray.
- Using an electric handmixer, in large bowl, cream the butter, both sugars, vanilla and vinegar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the egg until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
- Pres two-thirds of the dough into an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan (I found it easiest to use my fingers to do that). Set aside the other third of the dough.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cookie dough layer in the bottom of the pan and spread to the edges. Use the other third of the cookie dough (that you set aside earlier) to top the cream cheese. The easiest way to do that is to grab pieces and flatten them into discs between your hands then place them around the cream cheese layer. My top layer kind of looked like little islands of cookie dough in a cheesecake estuary (so says my biologist flatmate). The cream cheese layer doesn’t have to be fully covered.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes (mine took closer to 45-50 min but I think my oven is generally slower), or until the top is brown and cooked through (the bars will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan slightly). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool to room temperature then store in the refrigerator.
- Cut up into 24 pieces and enjoy. Best kept chilled.