Friday, October 11, 2013

chocolate cheesecake bars

As many of you know, baking is generally not my "thang" but cheesecakes are actually one of my few specialties in the dessert category.  One day I'll share my famous triple-layer lemon cheesecake, but today, it's decadent chocolate!

These bars are uber rich.  I converted the recipe to make them into bars so people could cut them to the size they like.  I suggest serving them quite small...even my sweets-loving kids can only eat one fairly average size one.  This are a great recipe for entertaining or a bake sale because one recipe makes a bunch!

For the crust I used Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers.  They are fairly common in grocery stores but can sometimes be placed in odd areas of the market, like with the crackers. I found mine by the ice cream toppings (random!) so ask around if you don't see them.  If you can't find them you could always make an Oreo cookie crust, but I'd scrape out the white filling if doing so.

Serves: many

1 box Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
1/4 c. unsalted butter - melted
2 T. granulated sugar
1/8 t. nutmeg

2, 8 oz packages cream cheese - room temperature
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs - room temperature
10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips - melted, cooled
1 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
3/4 c. sour cream - room temperature

Shaved chocolate for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking oil.  Line the pan with parchment paper that has a 2 inch overhang on each long side (the cooking oil will make the parchment paper stick to the pan).  You will eventually use these overhangs as handles to lift the cheesecake out of the pan for easy slicing.

Place chocolate wafers in a food processor.  Grind cookies into fine, even crumbs.  One box should give you a little over 2 cups of crumbs.

Combine chocolate crumbs, melted butter, 2 T. sugar and nutmeg in a bowl.  Stir until all crumbs are coated with butter.  Pour crumbs to 9 x 13 pan, press into an even layer, and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven & cool slightly.

In a standing mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar and mix on low until incorporated.  Add eggs, one at a time and mixing on low.  Add chocolate, vanilla and salt and mix on low until just combined.  Add sour cream and mix on low until just combined and smooth.

Pour cream cheese mixture over chocolate crust and smooth evenly.  Bake for 24 minutes until cheesecake is just set but still jiggly in the middle.  Remove and cool on wire rack to room temperature.  Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Before serving, garnish with chocolate shavings.

When ready to serve, lift parchment paper “handles” and remove entire cheesecake onto a cutting board.  Slice into squares.

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