The day we made these Nutella Cheesecake Bars did not start out so smooth. Our initial plan was to make Churro Cupcakes, which Kara and I had both been eyeing for months. The cupcakes had lots of steps, which we usually try to avoid, but we made them anyway. We had high expectations and they were a complete and utter flop. In fact we disliked them so much that we immediately tossed them, deciding to not even bother with the frosting. We were back to the drawing board.
I am so glad that we decided on this recipe because they were delicious! I know I’ve gone on and on about Nutella in several past posts, so today I’ll go on and on about cheesecake instead. I love cheesecake!!! It’s rich and smooth and you can do so much with it–chocolate drizzle, caramel sauce, nuts, berries, whipped cream, ganache. The possibilities are endless. Berries on top is one of my favorite choices, but Nutella seemed like an idea so fabulous I couldn’t pass it up. Oops there I go with the Nutella! The fact that the food processor does literally ALL of the work makes me love this recipe even more.
These cheesecake bars were one of the desserts we prepared on Mother’s Day. Because we had such a big dinner and several dessert options they didn’t all get eaten. I passed the rest along to my friend Julie (Hey Juls!), who is a 4th grade teacher, and she brought them to school to share with the other teachers. They loved them! If they only knew how little work it took to make them.
Yield: 16 squares
2 cups Oreo crumbs
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste)
¼ cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8×8 baking dish and line with parchment paper, making sure that the parchment is well pressed in the corners. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse Oreos until they become crumbs. Add in melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press Oreo mixture evenly into the bottom of your baking dish. Bake crust until set, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Clean out the food processor. Add cream cheese, eggs, sugar, ¼ cup heavy cream, and vanilla. Pulse until smooth. Put 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture in a bowl and set aside. Add Nutella and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream to the remaining 1/3 cream cheese mixture in the processor. Pulse until smooth.
To assemble, spread the plain cheesecake mixture over the cooled Oreo crust, being careful of the crust. Then pour the Nutella cheesecake layer on top of the plain cheesecake layer and spread evenly. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
When ready to serve, lift the bars out of the pan by lifting up the parchment paper (it should release easily). Cut into 16 squares and serve.
Source: adapted from The Moonlight Baker