A chocolate cookie crust, creamy chocolate chip cookie dough-studded cheesecake layer, and a dollop of whipped cream on top make this cheesecake a decadent treat for a special occasion…or any day you want to treat yo’ self.
In some ways, a recipe like this chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake seems like it has no place on a health-focused blog. But, at the same time, my version of a healthy lifestyle is about 90% nutritious eats and about 10% treats…and this recipe fits perfectly into the treats category.
Since I do my best to limit my sugar intake and only splurge on dessert when it’s really worth it, my desserts have gotta be good….and this cheesecake is REALLY good. There are huge chunks of gooey, egg-free chocolate chip cookie dough, a creamy cheesecake filling, a chocolate cookie crust, and a dollop of whipped cream on top. Need I say more?
I’ve been working through my cooking bucket list, and a homemade cheesecake was one of the desserts I wanted to conquer. I was inspired to make a chocolate chip cookie dough one after falling in love with the Cheesecake Factory’s version a couple months ago.
I used half regular cream cheese and half reduced-fat (not fat-free), which was a nice way to lighten up the cheesecake a bit without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Since I’d never made a baked cheesecake completely from scratch before, I also did some research on methods of cooking cheesecakes to prevent cracks on top and I’m happy to report that my cheesecake was crack-free! One key was making sure not to overmix the cheesecake batter. The other trick I used? Filling a shallow pan with water and placing it on the bottom oven rack. Apparently, the steam that rises in the oven helps prevent cracks from forming on top of the cheesecake. #booyah
- 2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I used one full box of crushed chocolate Teddy Grahams, but you could use any chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate graham crackers, or even Oreos)
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- Cookie Dough
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water or milk
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks regular cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature (I used 2/3 fat- do not use non-fat)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup chocolate chips, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup whipping cream with 2 teaspoons sugar
- Additional chocolate chips for sprinkling, if desired
- For the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, stir together softened butter, sugar, brown sugar and salt. Add water or milk and vanilla and stir again. Add flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts, if using, and stir until just combined. Dough will be soft. Roll the dough into small balls, slightly larger than teaspoon-sized, and place them on a wax paper-lined tray or plate. Place them in the freezer to harden while making the rest of the cheesecake.
- For the crust: Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, stir together chocolate cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of the greased springform pan.
- For the cheesecake filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and flour until smoothly combined using an electric mixer on high speed. Add the vanilla, sour cream, and 3/4 cup chocolate chips and mix until just blended. Don’t overmix because incorporating too much air into the batter can lead to a cheesecake cracking during baking.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared chocolate crust and then gently stir the cookie dough into the remaining batter. Pour the rest of the batter into the pan, gently smoothing the surface so no cookie dough is popping above the surface. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup walnuts on top of the batter and gently press down into the batter.
- Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for one hour. Let the cake sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. NOTE: some commenters have found that their cheesecake required longer- the cheesecake should jiggle only very slightly after the initial baking period. Turn off the oven and prop the door open several inches.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled completely, remove from springform pan and refrigerate until chilled (ideally overnight) before serving.
- For the whipped cream: Beat 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 teaspoons of sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed for several minutes, until stiff peaks form. Top each cheesecake slice with a dollop of whipped cream and an additional sprinkle of chocolate chips, if desired.
To crush the chocolate cookies, you can use a food processor or place the cookies in a gallon-size ziplock bag and pound them with a rolling pin or other heavy object. Make sure the cream cheese is completely at room temperature. If it’s too cold, your cheesecake may have small lumps.
Adapted from this recipe
P.S. No nutritional info because…with a dessert like this, my best advice is to just enjoy a small piece or two in moderation!
P.P.S. Slivers don’t count.