Oreo Cheesecake Bars

I’m not really a fan of Oreos, but when picking recipes for Carroll Cafe I like to pick things that I wouldn’t normally make myself.  However, these bars might just turn me into an Oreo fan!  These are rich and decadent treats.  The cheesecake is creamy, the Oreos add a nice crunch (although they soften up by the second day), the cookie crumb crust adds extra chocolate.  They’re pretty incredible, even if you think you don’t like Oreos.

Oreo Cheesecake BarsOreo Cheesecake Bars (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 16-20

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Crust:

  • 9oz box chocolate wafers
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:

  • 24oz (3 pkgs) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 package)

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line a 9×13″ baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside.

To make the crust, process the chocolate wafers in a food processor until crumbs.  Pour in the melted butter and pulse several times until butter is well distributed.  Pour crumbs into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.  Bake for 9 minutes, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.  Leave the oven on.

For the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth.  Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well mixed.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides and then beat in the sour cream and vanilla.

Gently fold in the chopped Oreos, then pour batter over the prepared crust, smoothing into an even layer.  Bake until set, about 55-60 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours, before serving.  To serve, pull cheesecake out of pan using the foil or parchment paper, then cut into bars.

Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

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These bars are definitely a taste of spring.  While they’re not quite as delicious as my favorite cheesecake, this Blackberry Cheesecake, they’re easier to make and less fussy to share.  The lemon and blackberry goes great together and while I was a little skeptical about baking the blackberries, it really brings out the sweetness in them.  These have a subtle sweetness and aren’t as rich as traditional cheesecake.  The the graham cracker crust adds the perfect amount of crunchy to the creamy filling.

Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake BarsBlackberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 12-16

Adapted from Spoonful of Sugar

  • 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 1/2 pkgs (20 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 pints (about 4 cups) fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line a 10×15″ (or 9×13″ would also work) baking dish with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and mix with a fork.  Pour into prepared pan and press down evenly to form the crust.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Slowly pour in the condensed milk, then add in the lemon zest and juice, beating until smooth.

Pour mixture over the pressed crust and top with blackberries.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until mostly set.  Turn off oven and let sit for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

This has been a sweet-filled month!  To keep the treats rolling, these Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies were something I made a few weeks ago for Carroll Cafe, the monthly concert hosted at my church.  These fudgy brownies are topped with a creamy, sweet raspberry cheesecake.  These add a fun new twist on the classic brownie.

Raspberry Cheesecake BrowniesRaspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Makes one 9×13″ pan

Adapted from Baker’s Royale

Raspberry Cheesecake:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup raspberry puree (thaw frozen raspberries, blend and strain)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp flour

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the sugar, then slowly add the raspberry puree and the remaining ingredients, beating until smooth.  Set aside while making the brownie batter.

Brownies:Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 9×13″ pan with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add in the vanilla and both sugars.  Add in butter, mixing well.  Sift together the dry ingredients and fold into the wet mixture.

Pour batter into prepared baking sheet, then top with raspberry cheesecake mixture.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Blackberry Cheesecake

Some close family friends invited us over for Easter dinner.  We had a wonderful time!  Lots of laughter, good conversation, and delicious food!  So much to be thankful for!  For this special occasion I busted out the Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cheesecake.  Sister made this about a year ago with blueberries and it was OMG delicious.  I’ve been afraid to learn how to make it for fear of eating a whole cheesecake myself.  So knowing I had wonderful people to share it with, this seemed an appropriate time to make something fancy (and how great is it that you have to make cheesecake ahead of time, it’s the perfect dish to make for a party).

Blackberry Cheesecake

Serves about 14

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Crust

  • 1 box Vanilla Wafers (I used reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1  1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 3 (8oz) packages cream cheese (I used 2 reduced fat, 1 regular)
  • 1  1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Topping

  • 2 – 3 cups blackberries (blueberries are also delicious)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or less depending on how sweet your fruit is)
  • 2 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place vanilla wafers and pecans in a food processor, pulse until mixture becomes crumbs.  Add melted butter and vanilla and pulse again until combined.  Pour into a 10″ springform pan and press crumbs into the bottom.
For the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add sour cream and beat again.  Pour mixture into crust, smooth the top, and bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes.  Turn off oven and open door and allow to sit in the oven with the door opened for 15 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.
For the topping, add blackberries, sugar, and water to a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Top cooled cake with the blackberry sauce.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but longer is better!

Happy Birthday, Chocolate Lover

Today is the 70th birthday of a very dear friend.  I’ve been going to church with Mary Carol my whole life!  In honor of her birthday, I made two decadent chocolate cakes.

Since we celebrated after church on Sunday, I made a chocolate sheet cake so there’d be lots of cake to go around.  This was pretty popular, and seemed to bring back lots of memories for other people of cakes they’d had in their childhood (Texas sheet cake and crazy cake were mentioned).  I, personally, would cut back on the sugar in the frosting, but I tend to like things a little less sweet.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Serves 48

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp (heaping) unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter.  Add cocoa and stir.   Add the boiling water, allow to boil for 20 seconds, then turn off the heat.  Pour over the flour mixture and stir lightly to cool.
In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.  Mix buttermilk mixture into the chocolate/flour mixture.
Pour batter into a large sheet cake pan (18″x13″) and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing.
Chocolate Frosting
  • 1  3/4 stick butter
  • 4 Tbsp (heaping) unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 1  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lb (minus 1 cup) powdered sugar
Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add cocoa and stir.  Turn off the heat and then add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Mix well and then pour over the warm cake.

Then, in order to make it extra special, I made a chocolate cheesecake.  This was my first time making a cheesecake.  It’s a little time consuming, but totally worth it.  This turned out so well!  In fact the birthday girl herself said it was the best cheesecake she’s ever had!

Chocolate Lovers’ Cheesecake

Makes 1 9″ cheesecake

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Crust:

  • 1  1/2 cups finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs (less than 1 pkg of Nabisco chocolate wafers)
  • 2  Tbsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with a round of parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  Mix with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened.  Add the crumb mixture to the springform pan and gently press about 1 inch up the sides and in an even layer over the bottom.  Bake for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Cheesecake:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat free)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, room temp. (I used two 1/3 reduced fat, and one regular)
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1  1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp.

For the filling, combine the sour cream, vanilla, and espresso powder in a small bowl.  Whisk to blend and set aside.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until completely smooth.  Set aside and let cool slightly.

Beat the cream cheese, cocoa powder, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in the sugar and continue mixing, scraping down the sides as needed.  Add the cooled chocolate and mix well.  Beat in the sour cream mixture, then beat in the eggs one at a time until just incorporated.  Don’t over-beat the eggs or the cheesecake will puff too much.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust.  Bake until the center jiggles very slightly (mine was still pretty jiggly), about an hour.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about two hours before covering and refrigerating for at least 8 hours or overnight.  After a few hours in the fridge, top with the chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Turn off the heat and add chopped chocolate to the saucepan.  Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.  Add butter and whisk until incorporated.  Pour the glaze over the chilled cheesecake.  Chill thoroughly.

To serve, carefully unmold the sides of the pan.  Run a sharp knife under hot water to warm the blade, and wipe dry.  To slice cleanly wipe the blade clean after each slice.  Serve chilled.