Monday, 25 July 2011

A day at the park followed by Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The weather was beautiful yesterday and perfect for a get together with friends in the park. Though as you can see from the following photos, my outdoor photography has a long way to go!

We had a picnic, involving a mish mash of food we had individually chosen to bring to eat, to fuel our energetic efforts on the tennis court.  

In order to work our cerebral muscles, a game of Scrabble followed the tennis.

Can you spot the food related words? 

We Dietitians, plus one Personal Trainer, cant help but always have food on the brain.

It was a fun day and i was really hungry when i got home. Ideal as i had also planned to make these Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. I've had this recipe book-marked for awhile now. I'm so happy I came across it on the fabulous blog 'Traceys Culinary Adventures'. A day in the fridge after baking and these cheesecake and choc chip cookie hybrid bars were irresistible. I had three in a row and will be taking the rest into work to stop me from polishing off the lot.

Recipe - Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 

Yield: Approx 28 bars


Cookie Dough
64g unsalted butter, at room temperature
64g cup shortening
128g packed light brown sugar
64g cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 egg
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
256g plain flour
256g semisweet chocolate chips

227g/8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
64g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.  13 inch x 9 inch baking tray buttered or sprayed with cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, both sugars, vanilla and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. I used a hand held beater.

Beat in the egg until well combined.  With the mixer on low, add the baking soda and flour and beat just until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Press half of the dough into an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan (I found it easiest to use my fingers to do that).  Set aside the other half of the dough.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Again, i used a hand held beater.

Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. (I rinsed the bowl of my stand mixer & used it here but you could also do this with a hand mixer in another bowl if you'd rather.)

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cookie dough layer in the bottom of the pan and spread to the edges.  Use the second half of the cookie dough (that you set aside earlier) to top the cream cheese.  The easiest way to do that is to grab pieces and flatten them into discs between your hands then place them around the cream cheese layer.  You don't have to cover the cream cheese layer completely as the cookie mixture does spread abit.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is brown and cooked through (the bars will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan slightly). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes then store in the fridge for at least 2 hours before slicing into bars. Store covered in the fridge.



  1. What does 'ASPS' on the Scrabble board mean?!?

    As an aside, I also thought you might be interested in this well written article I came across re: philosophy and food.

  2. Hey Dez.

    Asp is a term for a venomous snake apparently.

    Had a read of the article you recommended about philosophy and food.

    I agree with some of the things Tim Ferris is saying in that its important to eat with awareness, whether its to do with the impact on your health, psychological well being or the enviroment. But on a day to day level it may prove to be difficult to be so mindful of everything you eat, especially with constraints such as finances, availability and time.

    With Milk and Flour has gone abit deep and meaningful!

  3. Sounds and looks like you had a wonderful day in the park! These bars sound fantastic. I love those straws too, they're adorable. I need to invest in some!

  4. What a fun day of picnicking, playing tennis, and enjoying a scrabble match! The cheesecake chocolate chip cookie bars look scrumptious! I'll bet they didn't last long.

  5. Thank you Caroline and Sheila. The bars went down very well with people at work!

  6. These cakes look brilliant. Im a physio so I know how much us AHPs appreciate our cake. Looks like a lovely day.

  7. Thanks Iona. There has been cake in our dietetic department everyday this week!

  8. Look like you guys had a blast at the picnic. I love these cheesecake bars...i tried them a few months ago and they were incredible! :)

  9. seems like you had a good day out working your cerebral, physical and stomach muscles! love the cheesecake chocolate chip bars!

  10. Those sound INCREDIBLE.
    And the picnic looks like fun too.

  11. Looks like a fun picnic weekend! And the bars sound amazing - love the addition of cream cheese.

  12. Just discovered these browsing through your blog. Yum. That 7 links challenge has inspired me to do a bit of digging round blogs I love reading...there are so many recipes you never even think to look at :-) thanks again for inviting me to participate.