A friend sent me this recipe yesterday. It’s called Cocoa Cheesecake Streusel Bars and it’s adapted from Penzey’s Spices. At first I thought these were just another version of cream cheese brownies, but the bars are a little different.
The base has a chocolate shortbread texture and the top is a crumbly and light streusel. As for the cream cheese filling, it’s a convenient cream cheese and condensed milk version which bakes up smooth and creamy. The bars are tasty and pretty sturdy so you can pack them and carry them somewhere if needed
- 1 3/4 cups flour (220 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened natural style cocoa powder
- 1 cup (230 grams) cold butter (if using unsalted, add 1/4 tsp salt to recipe)
- 8 oz cream cheese -- softened
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
- Some chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13x9 inch pan with non-stick foil or parchment. If you prefer not to line the pan, that is fine.
- Combine flour, sugar, and cocoa in a large bowl and then cut in the butter until crumbly and rather dry. This can also be done in a food processor.
- Reserve 2 cups of the mixture for the topping, then press the remaining into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust for 15 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese until fluffy, then gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. If using nuts, combine with the 2 cups of reserved chocolate mixture. Sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake 25 minutes until bubbly. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top as soon as you remove from oven. Chill thoroughly. Lift from pan by grasping foil or parchment, then cut into squares.
- Makes about 32 squares
- Note: You can halve the recipe and make it in an 8 inch square pan. Halve everything, use two tablespoons of egg and cut about 2 minutes of each cook-time listed.