Snickerdoodle Cookie Cheesecake Bars with Waffle Cone & Brown Sugar Crunch Topping

This is a concise ode to all things excessive.

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Iron Chef America on the Food Network, you know that taking your ingredients and doing something simple and expected with them is most likely going to send you home. No one ever wins on account of chocolate cake, unless said cake is amped up with a hit of serrano chili heat and sprinkled with deep-fried grasshoppers coated in cinnamon and sugar on top. Anything less is child’s play.

Sure, there’s beauty in simplicity. But simplicity is the skanky ho-bag of the food world– it’s been done SO.. MANY.. TIMES. So why not go buck wild, layering flavors and textures in a way that has people furrowing their brows with a mixture of skepticism and intrigue?

This recipe is the product of an aimless venture into the grocery store. After wandering the aisles and scooping up items that collectively presented me with recipe potential, I  hurried home. Like a mad scientist without the hard years of trial and error and accidental monsters, I was eager to develop my recipe into a tangible creation, some assembly required.

This is what popped out of the oven:

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cheesecake Bars with Waffle Cone & Brown Sugar Crunch Topping

For the cookie crust (for a 9 x 13 baking pan):

1 (17.5 oz) pouch snickerdoodle cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker.. classic)
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 pack instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

For the cheesecake:

2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg and 3 egg yolks

For the crunch topping:

4 waffle bowls (located in the ice-cream toppings section)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350° F

2. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray

3.  Mix cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter,  vanilla and egg with a wooden spoon. Once dough starts to come together, knead with hands

4. Press cookie dough into the bottom of the pan with your fingers, allowing the dough to rise slightly up the sides

5. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla in a large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth

6. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cookie dough in the pan and even out with a spatula

7. Bake for 26-30 minutes, until center is set

8. While bars are in the oven, grind waffle bowls in a food processor

9. Add brown sugar and melted butter and process until just mixed

10. As soon as you pull the bars out of the oven, sprinkle the crunch coating on top so it can set

11. Allow bars to cool for 45 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to cool overnight (it will take a while for cheesecake center to solidify)

12. Cut into squares and serve. I found these are actually best served frozen!

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