Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brownies

I love Pinterest.  It is a great place to get inspiration for food, crafts and even places to visit.  Today my husband and I were talking about a dessert that was both cake and cheesecake and I stumbled upon the Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars recipe from Handle the Heat.  This recipe looked delicious but unfortunately for people like me, it involved too much waiting.  Cooking for over an hour plus waiting over three hours for resting and cooling was not going to happen this evening, especially starting at 7pm.  So back to Pinterest I went to find a quicker cheesecake substitute.  Boom, I found the Small Cheesecake recipe on Rita’s Recipes.  This could be the answer to my dilemma.  What you will see below is my rendition of Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brownies.


The ingredients for Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brownies



  • 1/2 a box of your favorite brownies (and the box mix ins which are usually oil and water)
  • 4 tablespoons margarine, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4+ teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or more if you desire)
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs

Step 1: Preheat your oven

Preheat the oven according according to your brownie box instructions.  I set my oven to 325 degrees.  I kept it at this temperature throughout

Step 2: Make the Brownies 


Brownie batter base

Mix the brownie batter, oil, water or other ingredients. REMEMBER: if using half of the brownie box, you only need half of the oil and water.  If your batter is a little runny, feel free to add flour or cocoa 1 tsp at a time to get to desired consistency.  It will look like cake batter or brownie batter.  With brownies you should try to stir as minimally as possible to avoid making the brownies too chewy.  Put the batter in an oiled 9×9 pan.  Put in the oven and cook until the brownies are almost set, about 20-22 minutes.  You do not want the brownies to be completely set as they will be going back into the oven.  If they are done before you are ready to add the next layer, set aside to cool.

Step 3: Make the Cookie Dough

While the brownies are cooking in the oven, this is the perfect time to prepare the cookie dough.  While you can mix the ingredients listed with a spoon, it works best with a hand mixer.


Eggless cookie dough topping

Start by adding the following ingredients to a medium bowl:

  • 4 tablespoons margarine, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk

If you are like me and forget to let the margarine set to room temperature, you can microwave it for a just a FEW seconds.  I microwaved this half a stick for 7 seconds and it turned out soft but not melted.  Also, I tend to be heavy handed with vanilla because I love the flavor in desserts.  Mix these ingredients with a hand mixer on low until a fluffy consistency.

Then add in 3/4 cups of flour.  Using the hand mixer in the off setting, gently begin mixing the flour before turning on the mixer to complete mixing.  By starting to mix with the hand mixer off, you avoid the poof of flour when you first turn on the hand mixer.

Finally, add in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  This was enough for my cookie dough but the big chocolate lovers can add more.  The original recipe calls for mini chips but I never have those on hand.

The dough will look like eggless cookie dough and should be placed in the fridge until ready to top the cheesecake.

Step 4: Make the Cheesecake Filling

Again, the hand mixer will come in handy.  What is great about this recipe is it does NOT call for 2 packages of cream cheese.  That always seems like too much cream cheese to me.

Okay, so put the following ingredients in a bowl:

  •  1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • dash salt

Using the hand mixer, blend until light and fluffy.  Because I ran out of clear vanilla extract, my cheesecake filling is going to have a light almond color to it.


The cream cheese, cheesecake filling before eggs

After whipping the batter until smooth and fluffy, add the 2 eggs in, one by one, mixing completely after each is added.  The batter will look more runny.


Cheesecake filling after eggs added

Step 5: Add Cheesecake Layer

By this time, your brownie should have come out of the oven and be cooling.  Take your cheesecake batter and pour evenly over the brownies.  Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the batter starts to set.


Step 6: Add the Cookie Dough to the Cheesecake

Remove the cheesecake brownie pan from the oven.  Grab the cookie dough batter recipe from the fridge.


Adding cookie dough

I chose to take the cookie dough and make small balls to mix into the cheesecake batter. This is optional.  Take small portions of cookie dough and flatten into cookie size pieces.  Lay on top of the cheesecake.  Be careful as your batter may start to sink or not cook evenly if not spread fairly thin.  I choose to place pieces around the pan then go back in with smaller pieces to fit the puzzle pieces together.

When you have covered your cheesecake, place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook the cookie dough, the harder it will set up like a cookie.  I was playing with time and 10 minutes is not enough to harden up like cookies dough due to the moisture.  Allow the cheesecake mixture to cool completely, usually at least 1 hour.

Step 7: Chill dessert in fridge at least 1 hour

While this still adds unwanted wait time, this time allows your Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brownies to set.  If eaten before the hour is set, the cheesecake layer will not be set and as such, will be more like melted ice cream than cheesecake.  I do NOT recommend it although all ingredients will have been cooked by that time.


Coming out of the oven

Once completely chilled.  Cut the brownies into 12 or 16 bars based on portion choices and enjoy!

Slice size when making 16 bars

Slice size when making 16 bars

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Posted in Shhh... Don't Tell

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