Handle the Heat

handletheheat.com · Mar 21, 2018

Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

These Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars take indulgence to a whole other level!

The last few days here in Arizona have been wonderfully chilly. Of course, nothing compared to the spring snow storm that’s been happening on the east coast! But here in the desert rain is such a welcomed sight that we relish in the overcast dreariness whenever it does happen.

If the weather drops below 70°F here, you have to stop yourself and think, “Wait a second, you mean I can’t wear a t-shirt like every other day?” It’s a wonderful realization. I’ll jump at any opportunity to wear scarves and boots!

The gloomy and cold weather this past weekend was PERFECT baking weather and I have had the idea for these Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars on my mind for a few weeks now.

Let me just say, I was SO excited to update this recipe for you.

Fair warning, these bars have three layers and each layer dirties at least one bowl, if not more. So yes, there are some dishes involved. One bite and I would gladly do three times as many dishes, that’s how incredible these are. You have to make them for your next party, birthday, or potluck… everyone will love them!

Recipe Tips


I would HIGHLY recommend reading the entire recipe through before making it. Since there are three distinct layers involved here, reading through completely will give you a better sense of the order and flow of the steps involved.

Once you’ve read it through, here’s an answer to a question I received: The recipe assumes that once you remove the brownies from the oven you won’t immediately have the cookie dough layer and the cheesecake layer ready to put on top of the brownies. So, while you prepare those two layers, you can keep the oven on (so you won’t have to preheat it again) WHILE the brownies sit and cool. When I made this recipe I found that timeframe worked perfectly. OR, if you don’t have time to finish the recipe, you can turn off the oven, pop the brownies in the fridge, and come back to the kitchen at some later point to finish the cookie dough cheesecake layers.

Baking Pan

For best results, use a metal 8-inch square baking pan. Glass or ceramic pans will take much longer to bake.


I wrote that this recipe yields 12 brownies instead of my usual 9 for an 8-by-8-inch square recipe. That’s because these are so rich! You could cut them into even smaller bite sized pieces, more like fudge, if you wanted to as well.


These brownies are easiest to slice when they’re chilled. The cheesecake layer requires that these be stored in the fridge anyways! I like to remove the bars from the pan and slice them on a work surface to make it easier. Use a big sharp knife and run the blade under hot water and wipe off in between cuts.

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Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

000 Yield 12 bars Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes Total Time 1 hr 35 mins


For the brownies

  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (62 grams) all-purpose flour

For the cookie dough

  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

For the cheesecake filling

  • 2 (8 ounce, 227 gram) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt


  1. For the brownies:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang.

    In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until well combined, mixture will be thick. Let cool if the butter is still hot. Stir in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, stirring very well after each addition. Stir until the batter is very well blended. Add the flour and stir again until very well blended. Spread into prepared pan.

    Bake for 15 minutes, or until just starting to set but not fully cooked. Let cool to room temperature then place in the fridge to chill until ready to use while you make the other layers. Maintain 325°F oven temperature if baking cheesecake layer immediately.

    For the cookie dough:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, and milk until smooth, about 2 minutes. On low speed gradually add the flour and beat until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment and roll into an 8-inch square. Refrigerate while you prepare the cheesecake.

    For the cheesecake:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined and smooth. Beat in the eggs, flour, and salt just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie. Place the cookie dough sheet over the cheesecake batter.

    Bake at 325°F for about 50 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set and the cookie dough is barely golden but dry. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 2 hours to chill. Cut into 12 bars before serving. Bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

by Tessa

Recipe Notes

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram with #handletheheat so we can all see!

More recipes you’ll love:

  • Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites
  • Best Chewy Brownies
  • Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe was originally posted in 2013 and updated with weight measurements, more baking tips, and photos by Jess Larson.

The post Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars appeared first on Handle the Heat.

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