Valentine's Day and Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Is your mouth watering?!?!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I wanted to make the hubby an extra special treat to go with dinner tonight and thanks to Brandy's Baking, I found just that! It was not very valentine-y (yes, I make up words! haha...) so I decided to use the heart shaped cookie cutter that has just been sitting in the kitchen drawer.

This cookie cutter got it's work out today! For starters, I got up early today and made the hubby heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. I was able to crawl back into bed before he got out of the shower, so he had no idea I had snuck out to make him a special breakfast :) Needless to say, he loved it! (Picture is courtesy of my hubby's iPhone.)

Now where was I... oh yeah! DESSERT!!!!

After a fabulous dinner of chicken and pasta in a garlic cream sauce (you can never go wrong with pasta... or cream sauce for that matter!), we sat down to watch a movie and delve into our dessert... Of course, this was after we let dinner settle for a while. We wanted the dessert to be a great experience, not an "I'm too full to eat another bite" experience. I love spending time with my honey and this dessert was the perfect end to the perfect day!

The cards on the left are the cards we gave each other. I gave the hubby the card on the right... it is 2 feet tall! Go big or go home!

Here's the recipe to this yummy-in-my-tummy creation. Watch out though... you'll want to eat the whole thing!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8" square baking pan with wax paper. Allow for a little bit of an overhang.

2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.

3. While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In a large bowl, mix together (one at a time) the ingredients in the order listed.

4. For the cheesecake filling, mix the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer. Then add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended.

5. Putting it together: Pour the cheesecake batter onto the prepared crust. Using your hand to form clumps, distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough. 

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top looks "done." The cookie dough portions will have a golden glow to it, and when given a gentle shake, the entire pan appears "set." Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple hours.

6. Lift the bars out by the overhang and cut into serving sizes... Here is where I used my heart shaped cookie cutter.

Try not to eat it all at once!! :)

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