Friday, November 18, 2011

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

* 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
* 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® SWIRLED™ Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Morsels, divided
* 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 4 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
2. Combine crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl. Remove 1 cup mixture and reserve for topping. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup morsels over crust.
3. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, flour and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Pour over crust and morsels in pan. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping and remaining morsels.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars, serve and enjoy!

If you like cheesecake but making cheesecake intimidates you, try it in bar form. These were easy to make, and came out delicious! Hannah and I made these at 7pm the night before I needed them. After they were cooked and cooled, I refrigerated them and didn't cut them until about 5pm the next day.

For the graham cracker crust, using two of the three packages in a box of graham crackers is the perfect amount. Just run them through your food processor to create the crumbs.

I used Philadelphia 1/3 Less Fat Neufchatel Cream Cheese instead of original cream cheese. It worked beautifully in the recipe.

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