Soft yet crunchy layered bars that are the perfect combination of cheesecake and chocolate chip cookie dough.
Cookies. Cheesecake. Chocolate Chips. Need I say more?
These bars are ridiculously good, even more so than they sound, and cheesecake sandwiched between soft chocolate chip cookies sounds pretty great!
Cookies: This is my favorite recipe for cookie bars (or blondies—the two are practically the same thing). They’re soft and delightful, super chewy due to the melted butter, and have a slight butterscotch flavor from the brown sugar. You can replace part of the brown sugar with granulated sugar if you want the bars crunchy, but why on Earth would you?
Cheesecake: The recipe for the cheesecake layer is a classic mixture of cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!
You can use your favorite chips for these such as peanut butter, semi sweet, dark, or white chocolate. Adding nuts such as walnuts or pecans is a great option, too.
To assemble the bars, press about half of the cookie dough into the pan. It will be a very thin layer and that’s ok. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the cookie dough, then drop spoonfuls of the reserved dough on top of the cheesecake layer. The batter doesn’t need to be fully coated with the dough, but if you prefer it that way, then flatten several tablespoons full of cookie dough into disks. Places these disks on top of the batter, covering as much of it as possible to create a second cookie layer. Either way, watch and make sure you don’t overbake these because you want the bars to be soft and slightly undercooked.
You’ll need to refrigerate these bars for at least 4 hours, preferably more. I personally like to let them sit until the next day since that’s when the cheesecake layer tastes best. They’re good either cold or at room temperature, and can keep in the fridge for up to 4 days—that is, of course, if they last that long!
- 1¾ cups (250 g/8.8 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks (170 g/6 oz) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1½ cups (300 g/10.5 oz) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (250 g/9 oz) chocolate chips (I love using a combination of white and dark)
- 8 oz/227 g full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (50 g/1.7 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to lift the bars out of the pan after baking.
- To make the cookie layer: In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar until well combined. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and fold, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside ½ of the dough and press the rest in a thin, even layer in the prepared pan.
- To make the cheesecake: Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and beat just until smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. On low speed, beat in egg and vanilla extract until combined. Pour batter into pan, on top of the cookie dough.
- Take the reserved cookie dough and drop several spoonfuls on top of the cheesecake batter. It’s ok if it doesn’t cover the cheesecake fully.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the top layer of cookie dough is golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting into squares.
- Store bars in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave overnight in the fridge.