The line between cookies and bars is blurred this month in the most delicious way as the #CreativeCookieExchange is sharing treats today along the theme of Layered Bar Cookies. Is it a bar or is it a cookie? Guess what? It doesn’t matter what you call these beauties, just enjoy them! My assignment for book club recently was to bring desserts along a Mexican fiesta theme for a friend’s birthday. I started with these celebratory margarita cupcakes from the blog, Brown Eyed Baker. Oh so good! My next thought was to bring churros along but fresh churros are best eaten right away and I needed a dessert that I could make ahead of time. Enter these tasty layered creations: the Churros Cheesecake Bars. A quick google search proved that my idea was not an original one, the concept of incorporating cheesecake and churros’ flavors had been done before. I made these my own by combining a few recipes and a few ideas and the outcome was really a joy to share with my friends.
How did my layer bars come together? The cheesecake layer recipe hails from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen; her churro cheesecake bars look like they could have won a Pillsbury recipe contest as she delicately created layers with their refrigerated crescent rolls. Wow. Really something! The base of my bars is a shortbread crust since I didn’t have crescent rolls on hand. I had previous success with this shortbread crust from Sunset’s caramel-chocolate shortbread bars and the recipe served me well again. I added a bit of cinnamon sugar in between layers and my churros cheesecake bars were a success!
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 pkgs (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Cinnamon Sugar:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 by 13 pan with parchment.
- In a food processor combine the 1 1/2 cups butter, 2 1/2 cups flower, 1 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons cornstarch. Pulse until the dough comes together nearly in a ball. Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minute or until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Mix the cinnamon sugar in a small bowl. Use about half of the mixture to top the shortbread. The shortbread will not be cooled yet-- that is fine and even helpful because the cinnamon sugar layer will melt into it and adhere more easily. Set the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture aside.
- Now create the cheesecake layer: with an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth then add in the egg and vanilla. Make sure your egg is at room temperature before adding or else your mixture will break apart and appear to curdle. Pour the smooth cheesecake mixture into the pan. It may be easier to scoop out the mixture and to place small lumps of it over the pan then use a spatula to even out the layer. Top the bars with the remaining cinnamon sugar to completely cover the cheesecake layer.
- Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely then refrigerate before cutting and serving.
We’d love for you to join the #CreativeCookieExchange. The theme this month is Layered Bar Cookies–any kind of cookie or bar that shows off layers of goodness! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife @gmail.com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!
Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
- Caramel Swirled Cheesecake Bars from The Spiced Life
- Hawaiian Layer Bars from Food Lust People Love
- Praline Pecan Coconut Shortbread Bars from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars from Spiceroots
- Club Chocolate Peanut Butter Layered Bars from Our Good Life
- Nanaimo Bars from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Gooey Pumpkin Cookie Bars from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Magic Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Bars from Rhubarb and Honey
- Double chocolate caramel squares from Flours and Frostings
- Caramel Apple Bar Cookies from 2CookinMamas
- Churros Cheesecake Bars from A Baker’s House