Chocolate Topped Cheesecake Bars

makes about 30 bars

 

for the crust:

 

1/2 cup finely crushed or ground pretzels

1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

for the filling

16 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

 

for the topping:

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tsp vegetable oil

 

Preheat the oven to 325°.  Line an 11 x 7" baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan.  Spray the foil lightly with nonstick spray; set aside.

 

In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients and stir until the crumbs are well moistened.  Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Place the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

 

On medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until very light and fluffy, 3 minutes.  Add the sour cream, flour, and vanilla; mix well.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.  Pour the filling over the prepared crust and spread into an even layer.

 

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is barely set and the cheesecake is barely golden around the edges.  Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.  To make the topping, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave.  Stir every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Stir in the oil until completely incorporated.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the warm cheesecake and spread in a thin, even layer over the top.  Place in the refrigerator to cool at least 4 hours and up to overnight. 

 

Use the foil overhang to remove the cheesecake from the pan.  Cut into squares to serve.  Drizzle with caramel sauce and/or nuts if desired.  Store in tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

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