I joined the Slow Trav chat this morning. The topic was ~ Share your Homemade Gifts and Recipes for a Thrifty Christmas. I mentioned cheesecake bars (a recipe my mom used to make) and said I would post the recipe on my blog. They are very easy to make, even for someone who rarely bakes.
2 rolls of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
2 eight ounce packages of softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat together cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar until very smooth.
Cut one roll of the cookies into 1/4 inch thick circles and spread on the bottom of a slightly greased 9X13 baking pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of the cookies. Add the second roll of cookies on top of the cream cheese mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Let cool, then cut into squares. Refrigerate.
I suppose you could use homemade chocolate bit cookie dough instead of using the rolls of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough to make this recipe a bit healthier.
The last time I made these, I tried using the new pre-cut refrigerated cookie dough mix that comes on sheets. They were easier to use than the rolls of cookie dough (the cookie dough starts melting very quickly here in Hawaii and can get quite messy) but I ended up having too much cream cheese mixture and not enough cookie dough mix because the pre-cut cookies are much smaller. I think they would work well though if you bought more pre-cut sheets of the cookie dough.
I have always received great feedback and requests for the recipe whenever I have made these. The only catch when giving them as gifts at work is that you need to make sure refrigeration will be available unless your friends plan to eat them all right away.
**Edited to add photos...
Cheesecake filling and top layer:
Cheesecake bars just out of the oven:
Of course I forgot to take a picture of the cheesecake bars cut up to show the 3 layers ~ cookie/cheesecake filling/cookie.