Nutella Cheesecake Layer Bars

19 Mar

As a rule, I love cheesecake…in small doses. It’s delicious, but so dense and rich that I have trouble getting through a whole slice by myself. Also, it’s usually very labor intensive. One time I made an “Almost Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake” from a copycat recipe of this delectable dessert at The Cheesecake Factory. It came out great! Just like the real thing! BUT not until after the long, complicated process involving almost three hours of baking time and EIGHT hours of cooling time! That is much too long to wait to taste the fruits of my labor.

Then along came Nutella Cheesecake Layer Bars. They solve both of my usual problems with cheesecake: 1) they are cut into small, perfect squares with just the right balance of cheesecake, chocolate graham crackers, and nutella, and 2) they are incredibly easy to make, with baking time only around 45 minutes and cooling time 3 hours.  OK, so it’s still hard to wait three hours, but they are totally worth it!

The layers: nutella cheesecake, vanilla cheesecake, and chocolate graham cracker crust

You may have seen this recipe by the Moonlight Baker featured on Foodpress recently. I saw it and immediately wanted to give it a try. My husband says he doesn’t like nutella, but it seemed like the perfect opportunity to change his mind. Indeed, the nutella flavor is actually quite subtle. I waited until after he took a bite and said “Oh my GOD…these are good” to tell him that they were made of nutella. Hehe, that was sneaky. But I love changing minds about ingredients through good cooking and baking!

Spread very carefeully to get close-to-perfect layers...if you care about that sort of thing, that is

Nutella Cheesecake  Layer Bars (slightly adapted from recipe by The Moonlight Baker)

Ingredients:

  • 8 Chocolate Graham Crackers
  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 16 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup Nutella

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Butter an 9 x 9 baking pan and line with parchment paper, making sure that the parchment is well pressed in the corners.  Set aside.
  • In a food processor, pulse chocolate graham crackers until they become crumbs (like bread crumbs).  Add in melted butter and 1 tbsp sugar, and pulse until moistened.  Press graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Bake crust in the center of the oven until set, about 12 minutes.  Set aside and cool.
  • Clean out the food processor.  Add cream cheese, eggs, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup heavy cream, and vanilla extract.  Pulse until smooth.  Put 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture in a bowl and set aside.  Add Nutella and 1 Tbsp. of heavy cream to remaining 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture in the processor.  Pulse until smooth.
  • To assemble, spread the vanilla cheesecake mixture over the cooled graham cracker base, being careful not to disturb the crust.  Pour Nutella cheesecake layer on top of vanilla 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 bars out of the pan by lifting up the parchment paper (it should release easily).  Slice into 16 squares and serve.

Makes 16 bars.

Gotta love hand-held cheesecake!

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5 Responses to “Nutella Cheesecake Layer Bars”

  1. dru March 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    i’ve never really tried nutella n i’ve wanted 2….maybe this is the time, :). i love hazelnuts n chocolate…..this looks nummmmy
    dru

    • yumtherapy March 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

      Yes, you should definitely try it, especially if you love hazelnuts and chocolate! 🙂

  2. itsybitsybrianna April 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I LOVE NUTELLA
    YUMMYYYY

    xxoxo
    bB

    please do stop by and say hi
    http://www.itsybitsybrianna.wordpress.com

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Play me a song to set me free. | bird on a wire - May 5, 2011

    […] Over the weekend, I got to go to a cookout with some friends. It was so nice to be outside and soak up some sun. It was a breezy 70 degrees and it put me in just a great mood! Unforutnately following the picnic, I had to go back home to finish working on a paper, but hey, I’ll take what I can get! I really don’t have much to update on right now, this week is exam week, but mine has been pretty uneventful. I am just finishing up some forms and loose ends. I’m quite jealous of Kasey who is on a cruise right now. By the way, you should check out her blog, she cooks and bakes such wonderful things! At the cookout, I was lucky enough to try her Nutella Cheesecake Layer Bars–delicious! […]

  2. Potato Salad, as It Should Be « Yum! Therapy - May 9, 2011

    […] bad joke). But anyway, the cookout was a potluck, so I decided to prepare two foolproof recipes: 1) Nutella Cheesecake Layer Bars, and 2) My grandma’s potato […]

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