I got very moody about dessert on Friday. Way back when, I had wanted brownies, but then I made those monkey cupcakes and then the girls got sick and my brownie craving passed, and I just couldn’t decide.
I was leaning toward something with cream cheese, but everything I was finding had either a brownie bottom (nix) or a traditional shortbread bottom (nix). Then I remembered these bars, created by the CLBB’s Helene. I had pulled them off of a thread about good holiday cookies, way back in 2006, and although they looked fabulous, I forgot about them after all of the holiday gluttony (this is why I always have a trillion documents open, trying not to forget various recipes I have found online—I think it really slows my computer down).
But then I spotted it when perusing my cookies/bars folder.
Yum. Seriously, just yum. I took just a few liberties with Helene’s recipe: I put some vanilla into the cheesecake batter; I added a pinch of salt to the chocolate shortbread bottom, and I Jackson Pollacked the top, rather than trying to create a domino effect with chocolate chips—mostly because I was certain mine would never look as good as hers anyway! Oh yeah and I used full fat cream cheese since it was all I had. These are really fabulous. I should have made them at the end of the weekend right before John was sposed to go to work—instead of right before we would be home all day Saturday and Sunday! But I just couldn’t resist, since we have been waiting to bake something since Alex got sick.
This recipe is my submission to Bookmarked Recipes, possible my favorite new regulat blogging event. Head on over to Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments and check it out! I found the recipe on the Cooking Light Bulletin Boards, and it was created and posted there by Helene, of La cuisine d’Hélène.
Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Helene, CLBB
1 ¼ cups (158 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup cocoa ( I used Scharffen Berger natural)
Pinch of salt
¼ t baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, diced
250 g light cream cheese, softened (I used full fat; this is slightly more than one 8 oz package)
300 milliliters (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly (the mixture will be somewhat dry). Press mixture firmly onto bottom of parchment-lined 13x9x2-inch rectangular baking pan.
Bake in 350 F oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese in a large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating inbetween each as well as scraping down the bowl.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the prepared crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake 20 min. longer or until the center is set, but not dry and cracked. Cool completely and then chill at least one hour in the fridge. Cut into bars and decorate with miniature chocolate chips to resemble dominoes, if desired. Or streak with melted chocolate chips, Jackson Pollack-style.
Store covered in refrigerator.