Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Brownie Bars

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Today has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me.  I had an appointment this morning, ran an errand and then went to the vets to pick up Tool’s prescription refill.  As I walked to the car I saw a man and a women come around the corner of the vets office carrying a box covered with a blanket and looking sad.  I sat in the car and waited for them to walk past to the car next to mine.  The women opened the front seat, picked up a dog toy, and the man put the box in.  Then they hugged – I felt like I was intruding on their moment by just being there.

I backed out and started driving and couldn’t help but cry as I drove away.  Tool isn’t getting any better, most likely he has started his decline now as the steriods don’t seem to be working anymore.  He has bumps that didn’t used to be there, he tires really quickly and seems to struggle to catch his breath sometimes.  As I looked at that couple today I could see hubby and I in the not so distant future.  Tool doesn’t seem to be in any pain and for the most part he acts the same.  I remind myself not to dwell on what is to come and enjoy every moment we have.

So this emotional meltdown this morning lead to a need for either ice cream or a baked good!  I decided on the later as I love baking and haven’t made anything by myself in a while.  Buddy was napping and Boo Boo was at school so I decided to make us some chocolate chip cookie cheesecake brownie bars.  The recipe comes from Handle the Heat.  I’m not going to say this is an easy recipe – its not really that hard but its more complex due to the amount of prep work needed for the three distinct sections.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownie Bars

yield: 12 bars

Ingredients:

Brownies:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Cookie dough:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Cheesecake filling:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Brownie Bars

First preheat the oven to 325º.  Next spray your pan with nonstick baking spray (you can use a 9×9 pan or a 8×11 with this recipe).

Brownies

The first step is to make the brownies.  Melt the butter in a glass mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Stir until combined, the mixture will be very thick.  Let the mix cool if it is still hot from the butter.  Add the vanilla and the eggs, stirring well after each addition.  Add the flour and stir until fully mixed.  Pour into the pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 15 minutes or until just starting to set but not fully cooked.  Cool at room temperature while you are making the cookie mix and cheesecake filling.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I made the cookie dough next in my stand mixer.  Add the softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla and milk.  Mix until smooth – I left the stand mixer running on medium while I washed the brownie dishes (probably at least two minutes).  Next add the flour – mix until the flour is no longer visible.  Finally mix in the chocolate chips.  I moved this from my stand mixer bowl into a smaller bowl so I could use the stand mixer for the cheesecake filling as well.

Cheesecake Filling

Once you have washed your stand mixer bowl, reattach it and add the cream cheese, and sugar.  Beat on medium until smooth.  Turn the speed down to low and add the flour, salt and eggs.  Beat until all ingredients are fully mixed (be careful not to over mix).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Final Prep

Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the brownies.  Spread until it is even.  Scoop the cookie dough into balls, flatten and place on top of the cheesecake filling.  Bake at 325º for 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is set and cookie dough on top is lightly browned.  Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least two hours prior to serving.  Store in fridge for up to three days.

Final Verdict

The kids absolutely loved these!  They inhaled the bars and Boo Boo even made sure any crumbs that dropped were picked up and eaten.  I thought they were good but I would use a different brownie recipe next time.  They were a little more bitter than I like.  Overall – awesome recipe and I have already received requests from friends to make it for them!

 

 

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