Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Ever since I saw this dessert on Mel's Kitchen, I knew one day we would meet again. The hardest part about making a cheesecake is that it feeds an army! Which is fine if you have an army to feed, but when it's just the two of you, it's mucho difficult-o. I even cut the recipe in half and we still had 3/4 of it left. I served this for Valentine's Day and it was the perfect ending to the rich and hearty Osso Buco.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the cheesecake, I would have liked more of an even distribution of cookie dough balls in the batter, so I made my reflections below. While the cheesecake part was nice and tangy, some of my bites consisted of only cookie dough and it was a bit of an overkill - so I had to fish around my slice for an equal ratio of cheesecake to cookie dough. I think perhaps even using half the amount of cookie dough would work as well. Also during baking the top of the cake browned a bit too quickly - might have been due to cooking it in my toaster oven - but it did not affect the end result whatsoever. Rich, decadent and oh so sweet!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
One 7-inch cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I like to use chocolate Teddy Grahams but you could use any chocolate wafer cookie or even Oreos)

2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light and it worked just fine)

Cookie Dough:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugars for the cookie dough. Add the water (or milk), vanilla and blend. Mix in the flour, salt and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. The dough will be fairly soft. Gently roll the dough into small balls (about a teaspoon size, maybe a bit larger) and place them on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. 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 7-inch springform pan and wrap outside with foil to prevent any water from leaking into the pan. In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the chocolate cookie crumbs (you could easily use a food processor to crush the cookies and incorporate the butter). Press onto the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the prepared pan.

For the cheesecake: Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs until smooth. Add flour and blend until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Be careful not to overmix – incorporating too much air into the batter can contribute to a cheesecake cracking on top during baking.

Pour half the batter into the prepared crust. Drop half of the cookie dough balls into the batter that is in the pan distributing them evenly in the pan. Gently stir in the remaining cookie dough balls and remaining half of mini chocolate chips into the remaining batter. Pour into the pan, spreading the batter to the sides of the pan and evening it out across the top (it is ok to see bumps of cookie dough here and there, smooth it the best you can). Place in a water bath using cold water. Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes to one hour. Cake should slightly jiggle in the middle. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until chilled (ideally, overnight). To serve, cut into slices.

Recipe Source: adapted from Nate and Kylie W. (my brother and sister-in-law)