Sunday, June 12, 2011

Neapolitan Cheesecake Bars

I honestly wish that every recipe that churned out of my kitchen was 100% my brain child.  Sadly, its not.  I spend hours sometimes scouring the internet for ideas that I usually tweak with my own little dash of anything. I subscribe to at least half a dozen recipe newsletters ranging from Betty Crocker, Food & Wine Magazine, Kraft, and many more. Even if I don't use all the recipes, they are a great inspiration and starting place for at least 50% of my dishes.

I remember as a kid my mom would buy the Neapolitan Ice Cream from the store. I also remember how I would strategically eat all the vanilla and chocolate and leave the nasty strawberry behind. What can I say? I've never been a fan of fruit, let alone fruit in any of my desserts. (I will some day go into detail of my aversion to fruit in my yogurt). Que bueno that I at least grew out of my strawberry phase!

Mi Gringito works very hard and he comes home dead exhausted most days.  My greatest joy in life is to have something tasty waiting on the dinner table for him. When I think he needs an extra little oomph, I make him some sort of dessert.  I made this winner a few weeks ago for him and he made it a point to eat a bar (or two) at every meal. I admit, I snuck one (or two) myself and wowee!

I had the opportunity to make them again this weekend for a gathering of friends and I think Mi Gringito felt cheated because we left them at our friends house and I didn't make a separate batch for ours! Pobresito, but then again, we cannot have too much of this temptation in la casa or I will be forced to start wearing a muzzle!

Neapolitan Cheesecake Bars adapted from Betty Crocker
1 Pouch (1lb 1.5oz) Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
1/2 C Butter or Margarine, Melted
3 Eggs
2 Packages (8oz each) Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 C Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Container (12oz) Whipped Strawberry Frosting

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a 13x9" pan with foil and spray bottom and sides with cooking spray

  • In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, melted butter, and 1 egg until mixed well

  • Press dough in bottom of pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes

  • While the cookie is cooling, beat cream cheese, sugar vanilla and the two remaining eggs in a large bowl 

  • Use an electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is smooth

  • Spread over cookie base

  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes
  • Spread frosting over cream cheese layer

  • Refrigerate about two hours or until chilled (I left it in the fridge overnight and it was easier to handle)
  • Remove from pan using the edges of the foil.

  • Using a wet knife, separate into 6 rows by 6 rows

  • I placed the bars in cupcake cups for easy handling at the party

  • Store leftover bars covered in the refrigerator

It got rave reviews at the party and I swear that Mi Gringito ate at least six!

Here's a note: the longer this delicacy sits in the fridge, the better it tastes! Let me know if any of you try it.  Also, feel free to substitute ingredients to make this one less sinful.  I used fat-free cream cheese in an effort to lessen the blow and have considered also trying it with either Splenda or Truvia.

Hasta la proxima! Un beso desde el Norte!

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