Mother’s Day Edition! Aka: Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Hey interweb world! It is no secret that I consider myself an incredibly fortunate person. I’ve written before about how great my friends are and how wonderful my husband is. Today, it’s all about the other ladies in my life. The moms.

I have an amazing mother. She went back to school and got her master’s degree when she was 60 years old. She’s been teaching in what many consider is the worst area of the city, for almost 30 years. She is one of my closest confidantes. I can tell her anything, and I do. She’s is full of amazing advice and will always share a bottle of bitchy cabernet with me. We think alike, we take care of each other.

My mother-in-law Janet is a musician and sound engineer. She has a corporate job by day, but by night, she plays rock/blues violin and sings like a total rockstar. She is a die hard Royals fan, loves grisly TV shows like Breaking Bad and True Detective, and would rather spend a weekend fishing in southern Missouri than going to a fancy dinner. I love her. She has become an amazing addition to our family. My husband’s family is incredibly small, so rather than figure out who is going to who’s house for this holiday or that holiday, she comes to all our family gatherings. We just keep acquiring wonderful people. 🙂

My grandmother is also incredible. She and I have gotten really close over the last several years. My grandfather had dementia for many years before he passed away and, despite protests from some members in our family, my grandmother insisted on keeping him home to take care of him. They were married for more than 60 years and are actually the model of what I want my marriage to be. In addition to being a general badass in that sense, she also ran her church for many years and is the wedding coordinator there to this day. At 87 years old, she still drives herself, lives alone and does crossword puzzles every morning. In pen. She is sharp as a tack and has the biggest heart of anyone I know.

I come from a family of powerful, strong women and sometimes I wonder if I’m living up to that legacy. My grandmother and cousin Marlys (another crazy awesome lady), assure me that being a part of the family MAKES me part of the legacy. They rock.

As is our custom, we all got together for Mother’s Day and I felt like I needed to bust out the big guns for these amazing ladies. So I did.

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Cookie. Dough. Cheesecake. Yep. This delicious treat, featured over at The Chunky Chef has three layers of yum. Brownie on the bottom, cheesecake in the middle, and eggless cookie dough on the top.

Let’s get turnt.

Grab a 9″ springform pan. Coat lightly with vegetable oil and dust the entire inside of the pan in flour. Be sure to tap off any extra flour. We want the pan to pop off easily, we don’t want it to taste like flour.

Now, gather the ingredients for the brownie layer.

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We have butter, eggs, sifted flour, sugar, almond milk, and chocolate chips. You could totally use any kind of milk you want, but I really like the flavor of almond milk in my baked goods and it has less sugar than regular milk. We are already putting in enough sugar. Believe me.

On the stovetop, melt together the butter, sugar and chocolate. I start by stirring with a wooden spoon.  As the ingredients melt down, I use a whisk force the butter and sugar together. We want to whisk everything with some chutzpah, until the chips have completely melted and the sugar and butter are bestest friends exchanging friendship bracelets they made during class when they should have been practicing their independent reading.

Let this cool, completely off heat, for 10 minutes. Things got crazy in that saucepan and they just need to chill. See the butter told the sugar that she didn’t like her bracelet because the braids were too tight. Then the sugar said to the butter that she was a b-word. Then the teacher overheard it. They both lost 10 minutes of recess and had to write each other apology letters. It was rough. They need to calm down.

Once they have calmed down for 10 minutes and exchanged apologies, add the milk and eggs. You want to whisk these very quickly to prevent any residual heat from the chocolate mixture from cooking the eggs.

Pour this chocolate mixture into the flour and stir to combine. Honestly, I didn’t plug in any electronics to do this part. Carmelita is going to work pretty hard later, so I didn’t bother her with this bit.

Pour this business into the springform pan and bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Set that guy on a wire rack to cool a little. While it is cooling, make the cheesecake layer and lower your oven temp to 325°.

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Here we have cream cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt, vanilla and sugar. These are what make our cream cheese layer. My cream cheese layer was not as smooth as I wanted upon baking, but it turned out ok. I did some research and figured out what I did wrong. I will go ahead and share what I did and then let you know what you should probably do in order to have non lumpy bumpy cheesecake.

What I did was just dump all the ingredients for his layer into Carmelita’s bowl and try to beat it to a bloody pulp.

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What I think I should have done, in order to smooth out the cream cheese, was treat it like the start of a cookie dough. I should have beat together the cream cheese and sugar until everything was smooth and fluffy before adding extra liquid. I think the extra liquid in there from the beginning prevented the sugar crystals from cutting apart the cream cheese. Live and learn.

So. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until everything is all fluffy and smooth and you don’t see any lumps. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and beat until combined. Once you have everything mixed together, pour the cheesecake mix into the springform pan directly on top of the brownie layer. The brownie layer will have cooled a bit by now, but by no means needs to be completely cool before adding the cheesecake.

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You can see the lumps all in the middle. If you beat the cream cheese and sugar together before adding the rest of the cheesecake stuff, you should avoid that.

Bake at 325° for 50 minutes. A couple things to address here:

  1. Upon reading this recipe, I had this thought, I already baked the brownie for 25 minutes. I’m gonna bake it for another 50? Really? Really. It’ll be fine. I thought it would dry it out or burn it, but it is just fine. You need the brownie layer to be a little more solid than a regular brownie so it can withstand the weight of the other layers, but it is not rock hard. Promises.
  2. Oh geez, I’m never made cheesecake before, how do I know when it is done. I’ve heard 8,000 ways to make sure cheesecake turns out right…WTF do I do?! F it, I’m just going to drink wine. Calm down. It’s fine. I mean, go ahead and drink your wine, but chill about the cheesecake. Once the baking time has expired, insert a toothpick or fork or something pointy into the cheesecake about an inch from the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Also, if you have a cooking thermometer like I do, you can insert that directly into the center. If it is 150°, it’s done.

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Done! Now we let this cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then, we carefully cover it in foil and pop the entire pan in the fridge to chill overnight.

Worth the wait. Seriously.

Next morning!

We make the cookie dough layer. This is an eggless cookie dough so you can eat it raw. It is so good you guys. I wanted to just serve the cheesecake without this layer and save it to crumble into ice cream. Or to use as a cupcake topping. Or to just eat with a spoon.

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Typical cookie stuff minus a couple ingredients. We have flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, mini chocolate chips, salt, butter, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk. That wonderful stuff is going to basically take the place of the eggs by providing some fat, liquid and binding proteins to our mixture.

I think you guys are pros by now. Ya’ll know where this is going.

Cream together the butter and sugar until all fluffy like.

Mix in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until everything is crazy smooth. I started my mixer on a lower speed for this bit and then ramped it up to medium speed toward the end. That way everything gets mixed in but you don’t spill everything all over the place.

That didn’t happen to me. It happened to a cousin of a friend of a friend. Totally.

Mix in all the salt and half the flour. Then add the other half of the flour. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Like Kids Incorporated. That was a thing, I’m a sure of it. Add the mini chips and stir them in. Viola! Eggless cookie dough. Nom away kids!

Wait. We have to finish this damn cheesecake.

Take your pan out of the fridge and run a knife around the edges to help convince the cheesecake that it really is okay to let go of the pan and come out into the world all on its own. Then carefully unhook the pan and ease it off of the cake.

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If the edges of the cheesecake are a little rough like mine, that’s all good. We are going to drizzle stuff all over it anyway. 🙂 Ok. Now. To add this cookie dough layer, I went a little crazy.  You can try to spread the cookie dough over the cheesecake layer. If you do, please tell me how you did it, because the idea of doing that and possibly ripping this cake apart in the process might have made my eye twitch. I went another route.

Dump the cookie dough onto a large piece of parchment paper. Cover it with another piece of parchment paper and roll it out until you are able to use the springform pan as a giant cookie cutter. I had to roll a little, check the size and roll a little more to get it right. Try and make it the same width all the way around. I also ended up using my hands a little bit to shift some of the dough here and there to maintain the width.

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Cut the dough like it is one giant cookie. Trim the extra dough from around the edges of the pan and evenly distribute it inside the pan mold thing you have Frankensteined into existence. Boom. Giant cookie dough thing that is the exact size you need for the top layer of the cheesecake.

Now, carefully slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet or cutting board so you have some stability.  I also cut away the extra parchment paper so there was less superfluous business in my way. Move the cheesecake right next to your cookie dough and take a deep breath or a shot of whisky, cause you only get one shot at this. Once it is stuck on there, it ain’t going anywhere.

This is Indiana Jones level right here. IMG_9211

Me trying to get the timing right on this freaking top layer.

Now! Flip it! Go! Run from that rolling ball of death! Don’t trust Satipo!!

Oh. We’re not in the movie anymore? Sorry. But did put the thing down, flip it and reverse it?

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Now, carefully use a knife to help peel off the parchment paper.

Yay! All three layers are done!

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All we do now is the chocolate drizzle. Mix together your chocolate chunks and vegetable oil in a small microwave safe bowl. Zap the chunks in 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until the chunks are melted and the mixture is shiny.

Then drizzle your shizzle.

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Craggly, sweet goodness awaits!

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It is so good. My family ate about half, then I dropped some off in the office when I went to take care of some stuff at one of my many lovely jobs. In two hours, the rest of this thing was gone. It is rich to be sure, but it is a showstopper. 🙂

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Nosh on, friends!

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Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Yield: 1 cake Prep: 30 minutes ish Bake: 75 minutes total

Ingredients

Brownie layer

1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup all purpose flour (sifted)

Cheesecake layer

2 1/2 blocks cream cheese (20 oz.)

3/4 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Cookie Dough layer

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour (sifted)

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Drizzle

2/3 cups semi sweet chocolate chunks

2 tsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by lightly coating with vegetable oil and dusting with flour. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt together the sugar, butter and chocolate chips. Whisk to combine. Cool 10 minutes.
  • Add in milk and eggs. Whisk quickly.
  • Pour this mixture into the flour. Stir to until smooth. Pour into your prepared springform pan and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly. Prepare cheesecake layer.
  • Lower oven temperature to 325°.
  • Beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and Greek yogurt and beat until completely incorporated.
  • Pour this mixture into the springform pan on top of the brownie layer and bake at 325° for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight. Prepare the cookie dough layer.
  • Beat together butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Add all the salt and half the flour. Beat. Add the other half of the flour and beat until all the flour is completely incorporated.
  • Stir in mini chocolate chips. Set aside
  • Take cake from fridge and carefully remove the springform pan from the cake.
  • Pour the cookie dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll out to fit inside the circle of the springform pan.
  • Use the circle as a giant cookie cutter and cut the cookie dough. Take extra dough from around the edges and work it into the circle you have cut.
  • Slide a baking sheet or cutting board until your dough circle. Flip it to place it on top of the cheesecake.
  • Stir together your chocolate chunks and vegetable oil. Melt in 20 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each burst. Drizzle this mixture over the top of the cheesecake.
  • Return to refrigerator until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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