{Recipe} Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

I'd like to formally welcome my new Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer into my life. Lucky for me, my birthday and Hanukkah fall within a month of each other and family members are all too happy to get me one mega gift for both occasions. My sister, Jen, got this for me, and my world is now just a little brighter.

 knew the first time I used the mixer, it had to be for something big. Of course, I found a recipe that required me to use the mixer TWICE...and it was awesome. I almost didn't know what to do while it was mixing. I literally just stared in awe.

J and 2 of his friends were going on a weekend man-cation and what better time to make a super rich dessert that I can sample and then send off with the boys and OUT of my house. I knew these were a success when I got a text that night telling me how half the tray was already gone...and this was after I was told I wouldn't hear from J because he was with "the guys"...win for me!   Big thanks to Brandy's Baking for this awesome new recipe!

An important note, these bars need at least 3 hours-overnight of refridgeration. I didn't see that part until it was too late, so I had to send 95% ready bars off with the boys. This final picture came from J in the midst of them chowing down.

Serves: 9-12
Cook time according to Brandy: 50-60 mins
Cook time according to Rachel: 55 mins PLUS 3 hours to chill in the fridge (or overnight)
How difficult was this for Rachel? Not too hard & worth the work!

1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
(I used graham cracker pie crust & broke it)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup chocolate chips (I used mini)
Cheesecake Filling
10 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or fil allowing some overhang.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. 
Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake in oven for 6 mins.
Remove pan to a cookling rack.
Leave oven on while preparing the dough.
While crust is cooling, prepare chocolate chip cookie dough.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined. 
Mix in flour on low speed until mix is just incorporated. 
Mix in chocolate chips and set aside. Note: mix will be try. More like a crumble topping)
Clean bowl and using your mixer again (stand mixer, use paddle attachment) cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
Mix in the egg and vanilla on low until just incorporated.
Pour cheesecake batter into prepared crust.
Cover the top with the cookie dough.
Mash until top is completely covered using all the dough.
Bake for aprox 30 mins until the top feels dry and firm.
Give pan a gentle shake; nothing should move. 
Move dish to a cooling rack allowing to cool completely.
Chill in fridge for 3 hours -over night.
Lift bars out by the overhang and cut into squares.

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