As my family and friends (especially my husband) will certainly tell you, I hardly ever follow a recipe. Even if I start out intending to use a recipe, I usually stray from the original, adding a little bit more of one ingredient, a little less of another, or substituting something completely different altogether. That was very much the case today when I had the idea of combining three of my favorite dessert items: cheesecake, chocolate and Girl Scout cookies (in this case, Do-Si-Dos). While people in my day-to-day life might not consider me to be terribly creative, the kitchen is where my creativity really comes out. I feel like I have a knack for combining things that people might not always think would “work,” and I must say, they usually do.
I would consider myself a cheesecake aficionado, of sorts, both in terms of eating it and baking it. I love all of the different textures and flavors, and I feel like cheesecake is the kind of food you can really “play with.” I am constantly trying out different recipes, and I have to say, I haven’t found many that I don’t like. The one that I decided to use today is a little different from some others, as it uses a little bit of flour. I figured that this might be a good pick for the particular dessert that I was making, since it was going to be baked in a 13×9 pan, as opposed to a springform. I made the crust using Do-Si-Dos (any cookie would work just fine though), then “peppered” the cheesecake batter with semisweet chocolate chips (chocolate & peanut butter, do you see where I’m going with this?). These cheesecake bars have just the right amount of everything: a little saltiness, sweetness, creaminess and a crunchiness. They were delicious! In case you want to try them for yourselves, here’s my recipe:
1 1/2 boxes of Do-Si-Dos (roughly 2.5 cups), crushed
1/2 cup unsalted butter (I prefer Kerry Gold or Plugra), melted
4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp. vanilla
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Combine the butter and cookie crumbs, and press them into a 13×9 pan, either greased or lined with parchment paper. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, then remove from oven to let it cool.
3. Beat the cream cheese until it appears to have a creamy, yet whipped, consistency (about 3-4 minutes). Add the sugar and flour gradually, and beat until well mixed.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Finally, stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips. Pour the batter onto the crust, making sure that it is evenly distributed.
5. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. After removing it from the oven, let it cool for about 30 minutes. When it has cooled, transfer it to the fridge to chill for 4-8 hours.