Die hard cheesecake fans may want to avert their eyes as what I'm about to say might be considered blasphemy: I prefer cheesecake bars to actual cheesecake. There, I said it and I'm glad.
My reasons are this:
1) I hate fussing with desserts that need to be baked in water baths 2) My true love is the cheesecake's graham cracker crust
Cheesecake bars solve both of these issues. They're super easy to prepare and that ratio of graham cracker crust to cheesecake filling is much more favorable. While mint and chocolate might not be the first combo that comes to mind when you're envisioning a cheesecake, it's surprisingly delicious. If it works for ice cream, why not cheesecake, right? These bars take the classic mint and chocolate pairing and give it an extra bit of tang. With plenty of chocolate chips spread throughout the filling and a chocolate graham crust, this makes for a terrific dessert or late night snack for chocolate lovers.
- Yield:Serves 12
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 hour and 40 minutes
- 7 ounces chocolate graham crackers, finely crushed
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 ounces sour cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 to 2 drops green gel food coloring (optional)
- 12 ounces chocolate chunks
Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl pour melted butter over chocolate graham crumbs. Toss to coat. Press the crumbs into the bottom of glass dish.
Bake crust for 10 minutes or until crust is set. Remove crust from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and mint extract. Beat until combined then add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating until fully incorporated. Beat in food coloring until uniformly distributed. Fold in chocolate chunks then pour batter over cooled crust, use a spatula to spread it out evenly in the pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until filling is set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes then refrigerate until serving. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.