EASY CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BARS



Easy chocolate cheesecake bars are rich, creamy, and so decadent! You can make these up to two months in advance and store them in your freezer!

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cookie Crust:
  • (1) regular full-size package Oreo cookies, crushed into fine crumbs (36 sandwich cookies in total)
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
For the Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 and 7/8 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache (optional):
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cookie Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing two of the sides to overlap (you want an overhang of at least 2-inches on two sides) and spray lightly with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the crushed cookie crumbs and melted butter, mix well to combine.
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom - and slightly up the sides - of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the crust in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack until needed.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees (F).

For the Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:
  1. Fill a medium pot one-third full with water and bring it to a low simmer over medium heat. Place a heatproof bowl that will fit on top of the pan snugly, but will not touch the simmering water, on top of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the chopped chocolate into the bowl over the pot. Heat until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring occasionally with a silicon spatula. Remove the pot from the heat, leaving the bowl of chocolate over the hot water. Set aside until needed.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor (or high-powered blender), pulse the cream cheese until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Add in both sugars and cocoa powder and beat smooth. Add in the eggs, egg yolks, and heavy cream and mix until just combined, about 20 seconds. Fold in the chocolate. Finally add in the vanilla and pulse for another 20 seconds.
  3. Remove the bowl from the food processor and, using a rubber spatula, stir the filling several times to ensure it’s evenly blended.
  4. Scrape the filling over the partially baked crust in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set but still slightly jiggly. The cake will set completely as it cools.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Carefully loosen the foil, then immediately run the tip of a knife around the sides of the pan, to prevent the top from cracking. Cool completely (in the pan), then transfer cheesecake to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours before removing from the pan and slicing.

For the Chocolate Ganache (optional):
  1. Add chopped chocolate to a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-heat, bring the cream to a rolling simmer. Pour the cream on top of the chocolate pieces and set aside for 1 minute. With a whisk, begin to incorporate the melted chocolate into the cream, whisking until smooth and glossy.
  3. Set aside, at room temperature, until needed.
  4. Pour ganache over cooled cheesecake. Set aside until ganache is set, about 1 hour.
  5. To serve, slice the cheesecake with a thin-bladed sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between each cut.
  6. Store, loosely covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

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