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Creamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Creamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars Recipe

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Welcome to our decadent dessert recipes section! Today, we’re sharing a rich and indulgent recipe for Creamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars. These bars feature a delicious cookie dough base, a creamy peanut butter cheesecake layer, and a delightful topping of peanut butter and chocolate chips. Perfect for any special occasion or just because, these bars are sure to impress. Let’s get started!

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Ingredients

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Cheesecake Layer:

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large egg

For the Topping:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Cookie Dough

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
  2. Cream Butter, Shortening, and Sugars: In a large mixing bowl, beat the unsalted butter, vegetable shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  4. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and baking soda.
  5. Mix Dry and Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined.
  6. Fold in Chips: Fold in the peanut butter chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Step 2: Prepare the Cheesecake Layer

  1. Beat Cream Cheese and Sugar: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add Peanut Butter and Egg: Mix in the peanut butter and egg until well combined.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake

  1. Press Cookie Dough: Press half of the cookie dough mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  2. Add Cheesecake Layer: Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the cookie dough layer.
  3. Top with Remaining Dough: Crumble the remaining cookie dough mixture over the cheesecake layer.
  4. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool: Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Step 4: Prepare the Topping

  1. Melt Peanut Butter Chips: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the peanut butter chips with 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
  2. Melt Chocolate Chips: In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.

Step 5: Decorate and Serve

  1. Drizzle Topping: Drizzle the melted peanut butter chips and melted chocolate chips over the cooled bars.
  2. Chill: Place the bars in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the topping to set.
  3. Serve and Enjoy: Once set, remove the bars from the pan using the parchment overhang, slice into squares, and serve. Enjoy your Creamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature for the best texture and consistency.
  • Mixing: Be careful not to overmix the dough and cheesecake batter to keep them light and airy.
  • Chilling: Chilling the bars before serving helps the layers set and makes slicing easier.

Variations

Nutty Cheesecake Bars

Add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (such as peanuts or pecans) to the cookie dough for extra crunch.

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Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Swirl 1/4 cup of melted chocolate into the cheesecake layer before baking for a marbled effect.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars

Replace 1/2 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup of rolled oats for a chewy texture.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Use double the amount of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in the cookie dough and topping for an extra chocolatey treat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make these bars ahead of time?

Yes, you can make these bars a day in advance. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze these bars?

Yes, you can freeze the bars. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

What can I serve with these bars?

These bars are delicious on their own but can also be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

How can I make the bars healthier?

Use a sugar substitute suitable for baking, reduce the amount of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, and use light cream cheese to make the bars healthier.

Creamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars are a rich and indulgent dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. With their delicious cookie dough base, creamy cheesecake layer, and delightful topping, they’re sure to be a hit. Enjoy making and sharing these delicious bars with your family and friends!

Explore More Recipes

If you loved this Creamy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars recipe, be sure to check out our other rich and indulgent dessert recipes. Happy baking!