Friday, October 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake: Having My Cake And Cookie Too!

This year Boss's Day fell on a Sunday, so it was decided at work that we would celebrate on Friday.  Our idea of celebrating always involves a fairly large amount of food.  The celebrating was scheduled to start at 12:30 that afternoon and therefore would require a certain amount of lunch like food items, but we would still need desserts.  So I began searching for a new and different recipe and came up with this. 

I found the original recipe on the food network website.  It was a Paula Deen creation, and although I love her stuff, after reading through the recipe and the reviews I decided to make a few adjustments.  Here is a link to the original recipe, and the recipe including the changes I made is below.

I followed the recipe exactly for the crust and the chocolate layer. 

I omitted the caramel layer.  After reading through all the other ingredients listed the caramel just didn't really appeal to me.  Next came the cookie dough layer.  I let the dough come to room temperature while I was working on the crust and chocolate layer.  I found it was easier to just crumble the dough onto the chocolate layer and then press it out rather than cut it into slices and then spread it out.  Then I popped the pan back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes to bake the cookie dough a little before adding the cheesecake layer.

I followed the recipe for the cheesecake layer, and beat the batter approximately 1 minute between each egg addition. 

This was the moment the Girls had been waiting for, the availability of an egg beater.  They are their mother's daughters when it comes to licking the beaters.  Hard to reach spots?  No problem, we have the tongue skills of a horse after a sugar cube in a pocket.  Raw eggs?  Still no problem, if it doesn't look like raw egg and it doesn't taste like raw egg then it obviously isn't raw egg.  And on those occasions when I've had more children present than egg beaters to pass out I've been known to dip a beater spoon into the batter strictly for licking purposes. 

I read a review that mentioned pouring the cheesecake batter from the outside in so as not to mash the center down.  This made sense so that was the way I poured the batter.

Several reviews recommended increasing the temperature of the oven, so I increased the temperature to 350 degrees but I left the cook time at 1 hour.  This worked very well.  When the hour was up I removed the cake from the oven and allowed it to begin cooling.  After about 30 minutes of cooling on the counter I popped it in the refrigerator to speed the process. 

After it had completely cooled I went ahead and removed it from the spring form pan and placed it on a serving plate.  I then began the chocolate ganache layer.  Once again, based on the recommendations of various reviews, I adjusted the recipe and added an additional 3 tbs of heavy whipping cream to the original 4 tbs listed in the recipe.

I placed the chocolate ganache topping on the cheesecake and popped it back in the refrigerator to set overnight. 

I removed the cheesecake from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before I was ready to cut it to allow the chocolate topping to warm a bit and lessen the cracking.  I recommend cutting smaller slices since this cheesecake is very rich. 

This was a big hit with everyone and has already been requested for our next occasion.  After consulting the calendar it appears that Halloween is the next approaching holiday.  Cheesecake is an acceptable trick-or-treat goody, right? 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate Layer
6 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
6 tbs butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbs all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Layer
1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, room temperature
2 pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache
6 (1 oz) squares semisweet chocolate
4 tbs heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine crust ingredients in bowl and mix well.  Press crust into the bottom of spring form pan.  Bake for 6 minutes: let cool.  Melt chocolate and butter in double broiler; whisk in sugar, eggs, and flour until combined.  Pour onto cooled crust and bake 15 minutes; let cool.  Crumble cookie dough over chocolate layer and gently press out creating an even layer.  Place in oven and bake 15 minutes.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.  Beat in eggs one at a time, beating approximately one minute after each addition.  Add vanilla and flour and beat until just combined.  Stir in sour cream.  Pour mixture over cookie dough and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and gently run a knife around the edges to loosen cake from the pan.  Cool completely.  In a large sauce pan combine chocolate squares and cream; stir until melted and smooth.  Spread over cooled cheesecake.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

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