Mocha Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Hi! Consider this an interim post. But let me explain before I get ahead of myself.

Remember my productibaking post that was meant to motivate me for my upcoming qualifying exams?

Two things:

1) Productibaking is working really, really well as a  motivational concept.

2) The actual baking, photography, and blogging–not so bueno.

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Here’s the update: In addition to hitting the books full-time this summer in preparation for my oral exams this fall, for which I need to know 120+ books’/works’ worth of material, I’m working a completely, honest-to-goodness full-time internship. Hallelujah to those of you crazy (and awesome!) working-world people who have decided to go back to school. Seriously, it’s a full-time gig!

As if I didn’t already possess a keen death wish (as my friends call it) in attempting to finish about a book a day for the next 4 months, I’ve somehow ended up taking on a second internship. I’m currently learning about marketing, SEO’s, and the wonderful world of corporate advertising America.

Uh. Yeah. Brilliant idea?

Let me get back to you on that one.

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On my kitchen table: Frankenstein (1818 edition, not the 1831 one!), Mary Shelley’s renowned novel about a monster and a scientist with too much ambition for his own good. Oh, and of course the creepy line, “I will be with you on your wedding-night”…

So after waking up at 6, hitting the gym, running back home to take a shower, heading to work at 9, work work working like a soldier ant until 6, finishing up work for my part-time internship, maybe eating dinner at a reasonable hour, and then trying to finish an entire book in one night until I finally keel over like a beached whale on my mattress around 1 AM–

Yeah. A little less time for baking, lately.

Fortunately, when I do bake these days, it’s an especial treat. And I’m still trying to keep up with my posting (although it might just be vaguely jumbled productibaking posts and grumbles until November). It’s also just a bit difficult trying to bake in between study sprints when your parents keep demanding why you waste time at the oven while you’re supposed to be studying and you sort of have to keep your patience with them because, you know, they’re housing and feeding you.

Okay, end ramble.

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In the meantime, though, I did manage to turn out these really quite wonderful mocha cheesecake bars (despite my mom breathing down my neck every 5 seconds or so) and would love to hear from all of you! Because, as you might have figured, I’m kind of in my little qualifying exam hiding hole for the next 5 months. With a little (or huge) stash of sugary snacks in the corner. Maybe it’s a good thing I can’t find as much time to bake, after all.

Happy readings, and happy eatings!

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Mocha Cookie Cheesecake Bars
Yield: 9×9-inch baking pan
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua (substitute with any coffee liqueur or strong brewed coffee as desired)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua (substitute with any coffee liqueur or strong brewed coffee as desired)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together melted butter and brown sugar. Add lightly beaten egg and 1 tablespoon Kahlua; beat well. Add remaining dry ingredients for cookie layer (except chocolate chips) and mix in until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Spread cookie batter evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, until slightly firm but still underbaked. While your batter is baking, prepare cheesecake layer.
  4. Cheesecake layer: Cream softened cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in white sugar vigorously until entire cream cheese is light. Add egg and 1 tablespoon Kahlua; mix until smooth.
  5. When cookie layer is finished baking, pour cheesecake layer immediately over it and return entire pan to oven. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until cheesecake jiggles only slightly and the edges become a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. (I placed mine in the refrigerator for about an hour after the pan cooled to room temperature.)
  6. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!


13 Replies to “Mocha Cookie Cheesecake Bars”

  1. These look really delicious. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you create the chocolate ganache on top? Did you melt chocolate chips, and then just drizzle the liquid over the bars? Did you do the drizzling when they came out of the oven, or did you allow the bars to cool somewhat before applying the ganache?

    I hope I’m using the right terminology – I’m your basic home baker. I don’t try anything really experimental, but I’m looking to broaden my horizons, and I’ve enjoyed following your blog.

    Best of luck with your studies – I hope it goes well!

    1. Hi! That’s a great question and you can see how muddled I am for not even thinking of it. So I drizzled on chocolate I had microwaved after the bars cooled completely–this is important because if your bars are warm, the chocolate will melt. To melt chocolate, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 30 seconds, give it a stir, return it to the microwave at 15 second intervals and stir each time until your chocolate is melted. (Just in case you haven’t done the microwave method at home before.) I hope that helps–it’s great to hear from you!

      1. Thanks, that was helpful! I need to print out this recipe and get the ingredients next time I do my monthly grocery shopping.

        Please, if forgetting the instructions for putting chocolate on top of bars is the worst thing you’ve forgotten, I wouldn’t sweat it! You’ve got a lot going on.

  2. Cheesecake bars, love em 🙂

    1. Oh, my sentiments exactly 😉 lovely to see you!

  3. Phew! I was beginning to worry that the lack of productibaking posts meant your reading wasn’t getting down. Although we all love your posts, the reading of course does come first – and it sounds like you’re busy busy busy! Anyway, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to share this recipe with all of us little people. 😉 Good stuff – thanks.

    1. Hi John–I was worried for a week or two there, too! I still need to catch up on all of my blog reading 🙂 but no worries, I got in one baking spree and have another batch of photos (and another novel) ready…good to see you around again! I’ll have to drop by kitchenriffs again soon.

  4. These look amazing! Best wishes to you in your studying. Thanks for taking the time to post this!

    1. I should be the one saying thank you–thanks for the kind wishes, Shari! I’m going to need to file them away for future reference 🙂

  5. Love cheesecake bars!! And mocha anything. These look amazing. Good luck studying!

    1. Yes, I totally agree, Sally! Thanks a bundle.

  6. Cheesecake AND mocha?? Yes please!

    1. Thanks, Trish! 😀

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