These chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars combine edible cookie dough with creamy cheesecake bars. They are baked on a buttery graham cracker crust and have an easy to make creamy cheesecake. The chocolate chip cookie bakes like a cookie on top, but in the middle it is pure cookie dough magic.
The BEST Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
If I can give the award of best dessert of 2020, it would definitively go to these cookie dough cheesecake bars. These bars are super simple, but it combines my 2 favorite things, cookie dough and cheesecake.
These cheesecake bars don’t require a water bath and no extra decoration needed, so they are much easier than a full cheesecake. They are also made in a 9X13 pan so there is plenty for everyone!
If making a full cheesecake seems a bit daunting, you have to try these bars out.
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These Cheesecake Bars Are Made Using 4 Major Steps
- Part 1: Graham Cracker Crust– The first layer of these bars is a buttery graham cracker crust. These are made with 3 simple ingredients. You can’t go wrong with a graham cracker crust!
- Part 2: Cheesecake Layer– On top of the graham cracker crust is a very creamy original cheesecake. It has both sour and heavy cream so it is super creamy.
- Part 3: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Layer– This layer is a small batch of regular chocolate chip cookies, but they are missing 1 ingredient. It is a soft, but firm cookie on top. In the middle, however, it is pure cookie dough.
- Part 4: Chill– Chill these cookie dough cheesecake bars for 6 hours or overnight. Then, cut them up and serve. No extra decoration. Pure and simple cheesecake bars.
How To Make Graham Cracker Crust
The first layer is a classic graham cracker crust. This crust, however, has a secret ingredient that makes it amazing. Here are the ingredients you will need:
- Graham Crackers
- Melted Butter
- Brown Sugar
First, use a food processor/ blender to crumble all of the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Then, mix together the crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar until it is all wet and soft.
Next, pour the graham cracker crumbs into a prepared 9X13 baking pan. Baking tip- if you want to easily take the bars out of the pan, line the bottom and 2 sides of the pan with parchment paper. Make sure there is enough sticking out of top so you can easily grab it to pull it out.
Then, take your fingers and press the crust down evenly. It doesn’t need to go up the sides at all. Use a measuring cup to compact it down. Bake it for 8 minutes.
Can I Use Store Bought Graham Cracker Crumbs?
Yes you can, if you don’t have a blender of some sort. However store bought crumbs are full of preservatives and usually more expensive.
If you can, buy regular graham crackers and make it yourself!
Quick and Easy Creamy Cheesecake Layer
First things first, make sure all of your dairy ingredients are room temperature. Pull them out at least 2 hours before you plan to bake these cookie dough cheesecake bars. The cheesecake layer will be much creamier and smoother if the ingredients are room temperature.
Use a mixer, and cream together the cream cheese and sugar for over 2 minutes on medium to medium-high. The cream cheese should be smooth and fluffy.
Next, add the sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla to the batter. Mix again for at least 1 minute. Then, add in eggs one at a time. Make sure to mix on low and stop mixing as soon as it’s combined. Extra air could cause the cheesecake to crack.
Then, pour the cheesecake batter over the top of the cooled graham cracker crust. Use a spatula to smooth it down evenly. Try not to get the crust mixed into the batter!
Can I Use Reduced Fat Cream Cheese Or Sour Cream?
No. I don’t recommend using reduced fat in cheesecake. The fat that comes from cream cheese and sour cream is what make the cheesecake super creamy.
Also, reduced fat cream cheese can cause your batter to be more clumpy, which we don’t want!
Use full fat cream cheese and sour cream to get the best results.
How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
I mentioned earlier that this cookie dough is missing 1 ingredient that regular cookie dough has. That ingredient is baking soda! The baking soda is what causes it to rise.
Since there is no baking soda the cookie dough will not spread which allows you to have the cookie dough middle instead of fully cooked chocolate chip cookie throughout.
Start by sifting the dry ingredients into a medium bowl. Then, use a mixer and cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar for 2 minutes on medium. The butter should be very soft and creamy.
Next, add the vanilla and egg. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
Luckily this cookie dough requires no chilling! Once it’s ready you can place it on top of the cheesecake batter.
Take 2-3 TBSP of cookie dough and flatten it into a disc with your hands. Then, place it on top of the cheesecake batter. Repeat this process until the entire pan is filled and barely any cheesecake batter peeks through.
Now bake the cheesecake bars for 50-60 minutes. They are finished baking when the cookie layer is golden and baked through and there is a slight jiggle.
Why Cool The Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars For 6 Hours?
It is very important that you chill these cookie dough cheesecake bars for 6 hours to overnight.
First, allow the bars to cool completely before you transfer them to the fridge. If you put them in while they are still hot, there will be a lot of condensation and the top will get very wet.
If you try to eat the cheesecake bars before chilling it will turn into cheesecake soup. The layers will not be set and it will be like mush! Chilling the cheesecake bars for over 6 hours will give it time to set.
When they are fully chilled, they should be easy to pull out of the pan. Cut them into 12-16 squares and serve immediately. They taste great with a glass of milk!
Can These Cookie Dough Bars Be Gluten Free?
How To Store Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
To store them, cut them into 12 squares and place them back in the baking pan. Then, cover in aluminum foil and store in the fridge. They are good for 5-7 days in the fridge.
For More Cheesecake Recipes:
- Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bars
- Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
- Monster Cookie Cheesecake
- Blueberry Swirled Cheesecake
Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 1/4 cup Graham cracker crumbs about 2 full packets of graham crackers.
- 1/4 cup Packed brown sugar light or dark
- 1/2 cup Unsalted butter melted
- 16 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup White granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Sour cream room temperature
- 1/8 cup Heavy cream room temperature
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- 2/3 cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup White granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Packed brown sugar light or dark
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 1 Large egg room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup Mini chocolate chips
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a 9X13 pan with non-stick baking spray. Line the bottom and 2 sides with parchment paper. Make sure that parchment paper is sticking out far enough on top so it's easy to grab. This will help make it easier to get the cheesecake out of pan.
- Use a food processor or blender to blend the graham crackers until a fine crumb forms.
- Mix together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter until it is all nice and wet. (it should feel like wet sand).
- Pour the graham cracker crumbs into the pan. Use fingers to spread it evenly on the bottom (crust will only go on the bottom and not on the sides.) Then, use the bottom of a measuring cup to compact the crust down.
- Bake crust for 8 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, start the cheesecake batter. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high for 1 minute until most of the chunks are gone and it is smooth. Add in sugar and beat for another minute. It should very smooth. Scrape the bowl.
- Add the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat on medium for about 1-2 minutes until batter is very smooth again. Scrape the bowl. Add in eggs one at a time on low and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl between eggs.
- When the crust is done baking, pour the cheesecake batter on top and spread evenly.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.
- Using a mixer, beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together on medium for 1-2 minutes. The butter will become light, fluffy, and well blended.
- Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl. Add in the eggs and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low. Then, add in the chocolate chips and mini chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
- Take small amount of cookie dough ( about 2-3 TBSP at a time), flatten into a disc shape and place on top of cheesecake batter. Repeat until the entire cheesecake is covered. See above for a photo.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. The cheesecake is done baking when the cookie is golden brown, the edges are set, and the middle has a slight jiggle.
- Let the cheesecake bars cool completely before covering and transferring to the fridge. Let cheesecake bars cool for 6 hours to overnight. Once cool, pull the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Store the cheesecake bars in the fridge until ready to eat.