Raise your hand if you like Tiramisu.
My friend Kylee loves Tiramisu. In fact, she's probably staring at her computer screen, waving both hands in the air and shouting, "Me! Me! I do! Me!"
Sigh. I miss my Kylee, who now resides in Indiana, and who I have not seen since her wedding in August. Being adults suck....with our crazy-busy lives. I miss the days when I used to lounge around watching FRIENDS, sharing a plate of tortilla chips smothered in cheese and Red Hot with Ky and Jess. (I wrote about Jess over here.) Ahhh, those were the days. Our only concerns were tomorrow's exams and the ridiculous line at Rosie's <--- which had the best baked potatoes and Philly sandwiches in Kent.
While I was making these Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars for my work's Christmas party a few weeks ago, I thought of Kylee and how she'd be here demanding to lick the spoon. But since she wasn't, someone had to do it. I gladly took that job. And it was de-licious.
And so were these bars. The hazelnut-flavored coffee was perfect-O. The sugar cookie crust had a nice crunch and the cheesecake layer was perfectly creamy. The whole bar had a melt-in-your-mouth kind of feeling. Yum.
So here's a little step-by-step photo shoot of these delectable little squares.
First, you prepare the cookie dough and bake it off until golden. And then let it cool a bit.
Then pour on the creamy cheesecake layer. Bake that for a little over a half an hour; cool and chill for an hour.
Meanwhile, whip up this amazing, fluffy topping that consists of more cream cheese and chocolate decorations to make it look fabulous. And then chill some more, which is definitely the hardest part any time cheesecake anything is involved.
The best thing about bars: You don't have to serve them in the dish you baked them in, or as a whole (unlike cake). They're much prettier on a platter, which means no one has to know you already tried one...or two.
Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars
*adapted from Betty Crocker's Christmas Cookies
Yields 36 bars
1 pouch sugar cookie mix
2 Tbsp flour
1/3 c butter, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten + 2 eggs
2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp instant hazelnut-flavored coffee granules (or whatever you can find)
2 tsp vanilla
1 c mini semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 13x9" pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix with flour, butter and slightly beaten egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into bottom of pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add condensed milk; beat until well blended. Add coffee, vanilla and 2 eggs; beat until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour over cookie base. Bake 35-40 minutes or until set. Cool at room temp for 30 minutes. Refrigerate 30 minutes to cool completely.
Topping:6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c whipping cream
Chocolate shards, pieces, sprinkles, curls, etc. for garnish (it makes it look pretty)
While chilling, in small bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in whipping cream; beat about 2 minutes longer or until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled bars. Garnish with chocolate. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.
Per serving: Calories 210; Total Fat 13; Protein 3