I love combining two desserts into one irresistible treat such as these cheesecake bars topped with peanut butter cup cookie dough!
Week two of college football not only means another Buckeye football game (this time against Tulsa), but also another #PBChocSat! I feel like a bad fan because I sold my tickets, wanting to have just one weekend in September where I am not running amok. But don’t you worry, I will be wearing my scarlet and gray, cheering them on from my couch at home, with some Buckeye-inspired peanut butter and chocolate treats at hand.
After 3 years of doing #PBChocSat and years of general peanut butter and chocolate loving recipes prior to that it’s safe to say that my I’m starting to run out of ideas. Most of the time when I think I’ve come up with something new, I’ve already done it and have simply forgotten. Somehow however I have never done a peanut butter cheesecake cookie bar, so here we are! A graham cracker crust under a cheesecake is nothing fancy, but then on top is peanut butter cookie dough with mini peanut butter cups.
Two years ago: Open-Faced Ricotta, Arugula, and Egg Sandwiches
Four years ago: Rosemary Brie Chicken Burgers
PEANUT BUTTER CUP COOKIE DOUGH CHEESECAKE BARS
Makes 24 bars
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped mini peanut butter cups
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-13 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 6 minutes, remove to a cooling rack, and keep oven on.
- While the crust is cooling, prepare the cookie layer. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed until just incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter cups by hand. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
- Distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps (I flattened out each piece to evenly cover the cheesecake layer), covering most of the cheesecake batter.
- Bake for about 45-55 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- Lift the bars out by the overhang. Slice into desired size and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Source: Adapted from my Blueberry Blondie Cheesecake Bars.