Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
You won’t be able to stop eating these gooey peanut butter chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars oozing with melted chocolate!
I rarely make the same thing twice.
But I made these twice.
And I’ll be making them again, and again, and again.
Forget birthday cake, I’d prefer to blow out the candles on these peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake bars, stacked on top of each other any day.
I love cheesecake- it’s something my father asks me to make every time we have people coming over- or every time I consult him for desserts, for that matter. “That’s the one thing you make really well,” he’ll say. “It always comes out good”. More often than not, I won’t listen to him because I’d rather try something new. Today cheesecake is ubiquitous- although I do feel like – ‘cheese’ and ‘cake’ sound slightly odd. There’s no question for why it’s become so common. Cheesecake is luxurious in a sense- tall, creamy, sweet with a slight sour hint that comes with cream cheese. Topped off with blueberries or strawberries? I love it.
I also love Pinch of Yum. Lindsay has a way, not only with photographs but also with words. By the time I reach the end of a post, I want to try the recipe out. So when I came across this one- a combination of three things I most likely wouldn’t be able to live without- peanut butter, cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies, I wanted to taste it. Just once.
Because the list of ingredients made the recipe seem so rich, I decided to make the bars and take them on a field trip. A group of us were going on a Journey for a Lifetime day trip. We’d raised over 15,00o Polish Złoty which is around 5,000 USD for children with terminal illnesses. The organization, Coalition for Kids, International is similar to the Make A Wish foundation, except people are allowed to personally deliver the gifts and meet with the families. We’ve created a relationship with the organization and were able to go on a day-long trip and meet with two lovely children who lived close to Warsaw. We left the campus at around 7:30 am and returned at 11 pm. Long day. Most of our time was spent on the bus, so we played a lot of Heads Up! and ate these. I offered everyone one, and then put the rest back in my backpack. My friends finished them up when I wasn’t looking.
I don’t blame them.
These bars are slightly crumbly, incredibly soft and have a nice texture from the oats. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter alongside cheesecake accounts for their incredibly rich flavor. I do like a plain cheesecake, but I love these. So much more. The oats give these bars a little chew- that extra little touch that makes them extraordinary. Oats are also healthy, so um. yeah.
I wouldn’t recommend adjusting this recipe very much because it’s quite flawless the way it is- the perfect ratio of cheesecake to cookie dough. You could use M&M’s instead of chocolate chunks, but I enjoyed the slight bitterness of chocolate, especially when the bars were warm and the chocolate oozed out. I did do one thing differently- I changed the ratio of brown and white sugar because I like brown sugar better. Personal preference.
I also recommend making these for people – you know, share the decadence- because if you don’t, you’ll eat them all. That’s a guarantee. I wanted to taste them just once.
Yeah. I’ve had a lot of ‘tastes’.
- For the cookie dough:
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups chocolate chunks (I like to use a mix of milk and bittersweet chocolate)
- For the cheesecake layer:
- 8 oz (225 g) cream cheese at room temp
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 F or 160 C and line a 9×9 inch square pan with parchment paper or grease with butter.
- Beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla, continuing to beat.
- Whisk in the salt and baking soda, followed by the flour.
- Fold in the oats and chocolate chunks and set aside.
- To prepare the cheesecake layer, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.
- Press about 2/3 of the cookie dough onto the baking pan in an even layer.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture on top and and spread evenly.
- Take bits of the remaining cookie dough and fatten in your hands, then place the flattened pieces on top of the cheesecake layer until it is covered as best as possible. You can also just crumble up the mixture and spread it on top.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes- check until it no longer jiggles.
adapted from Pinch of Yum