Chocolate, vanilla, and cheesecake! These Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars are a crowd pleasing dessert.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Butter or spray a 9x13" casserole dish and line with parchment paper, leaving enough to make "handles" up the side of the pan.
In a food processor (ADD AFFILIATE LINK), pulse the chocolate cookies until they are like course sand. Melt the butter and stir into the cookie crumbs. Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (AFF) or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer (AFF), beat the softened cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Whip in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping the bowl between each addition. Then stir in the flour and vanilla. Finally, stir in the chopped cookies.
Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the crust and place into the oven for 10 minutes at 425 F. Without opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 350 F and bake an additional 15-18 minutes until the cheesecake at the center of the pan is just set and still wiggles a bit when the pan is gently shaken. Turn off the oven.
Crack the oven door open and let the bars sit for 25-30 minutes in the cooling oven, then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before covering and placing in the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours.
When you are ready to serve (or after 4 hours), remove the bars from the refrigerator. If you are using the optional chocolate drizzle topping and haven't done so already (I prefer to drizzle after I cut), melt your chocolate. Cut the bars, then top with the drizzle, which should set rather quickly since the bars are cold.
Serve once the chocolate is set, or return to the refrigerator to serve at a later time. May be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.