Chocolate, vanilla, and cheesecake! These Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars are a crowd pleasing dessert.
Name your top 3 ice cream flavors from childhood. Chances are, cookies and cream was somewhere in there. Who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate cookies, creamy filling, and EVEN MORE DESSERT? Cookies and cream anything is like getting milk, cookies, and a bonus extra something else. In this cake, bonus cheesecake. I can’t even tell you how quickly these disappeared, and I love that they were so much easier to make than a classic cheesecake. Less worry about cracking, and definitely easier to serve to a crowd or share with friends. Hooray!
This is also a great way to use up a huge warehouse sized box of chocolate wafer sandwich cookies you may have brought home when you were shopping hungry with a toddler. Not saying this happened, but it could have, hypothetically, to a friend. 😉
If you browse the dessert recipe archives, you’ll notice we are big fans of cheesecake in this house (check out key lime and caramel apple streusel). But making a good classic cheesecake is a commitment in time. Cheesecake bars are a little quicker to make, about an hour from mixing to baking to cooling rack. And, they’re the best make ahead dessert since you need to account for chilling time. I usually bake a day or two before I plan to serve, then slice and serve when I’m ready. Chocolate drizzle totally optional.
A few tips for successful cheesecake bars…
To make the cookie crust, its easiest to use a small food processor like this one to crush the cookies to a fine texture. Depending on what your local store carries, you could also use pre-crushed chocolate cookie crumbs. I find the best result comes from using just classic chocolate sandwich cookies, but if you only have the “double filled” kind on hand, go ahead and scrape the filling out of about a quarter of the cookies, just to keep the crust from being too filling heavy.
Another good tip to help you make the best cookies and cream cheesecake bars is to line your baking pan with parchment so you can easily lift the cheesecake out and cut the bars on a cutting board if you’d like.
I hope you enjoy this cookies and cream cheesecake bar recipe!
Chocolate Cookie Crust
- 12 ounces Oreo (or other brand) chocolate sandwich cookies, about 28 cookies
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Topping
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 ounces chopped Oreo cookies, about 13 cookies
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips or chocolate candy coating for topping
- 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, 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 or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, 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.
Make these cheesecake bars a day or two in advance of serving to keep party or holiday prep easy!
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