Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I’m almost 3 months into my off-season and finally to the point where I can make (and sample) things like these crazy-good Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Even in my off-season I still eat fairly clean. I get a cheat meal every 6 days, and those are my naughty meals (pizza or pancakes or cake or pancakes and cake . . .). After being on a prep diet all spring and half of the summer, then depleting for two shows four weeks apart, it feels wonderful to be able to humor my sweet tooth now and then. I don’t indulge too often, but when I do, I fully enjoy it. No regrets!

My off-season is all about the 3 B’s: building, blogging, and balance. I’m building my physique, eating and working out with the goal of putting on muscle. I’m taking advantage of the flexibility in my diet to catch up on experimenting in the kitchen, developing new recipes, and blogging about them. And I’m loving a life that balances fitness with fun, discipline with indulgence.

I hope you find the same sense of satisfaction and balance by complementing your health and fitness pursuits with an occasional departure into the land of sweets and treats. Life’s too short to give up cheesecake!

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking pan with nonstick pan spray. Line pan with parchment; spray parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt to combine. In the bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat to incorporate. Add dry ingredients to butter-and-sugar mixture; beat to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Pat 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, forming an even layer. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla and spread over crust layer. Crumble remaining third of cookie dough over cheesecake layer.
  4. Bake 40-45 minutes, until cheesecake is set and cookie top is golden brown. Let cool completely on rack, then chill for at least an hour before slicing. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator.

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


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