You read it right. It’s an Oreo crusted, espresso flavoured cheesecake with a layer of fudge followed with a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough. And then more fudge on top just because I can. It’s worth noting that my sister absolutely loved the chocolate chips in the cookie dough. She loves texture in dessert (ahem, mint chocolate chip ice cream from Baskin Robbins anyone?) but it’s usually hard to incorporate into baked goods since everything melts! But with the raw (safe!) cookie dough with chocolate chips mixed in, you get this fun surprise!
I am very proud of this cheesecake – it took me all day and required a lot of TLC. I have had this recipe from Willow Bird Baking in my bookmarks folder for some time but never could commit. So while this cheesecake is out of this world delicious, you should be warned that it will require some time, and a lot of dirty dishes. It also wouldn’t hurt to wear sweatpants with a generous elastic waistband.
What You Need
32 chocolate sandwich cookies (e.g. oreos), finely processed into crumbs (use whole cookies with filling)
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
1½ cups heavy cream
20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (okay, so I always have trouble chopping blocks of chocolate and decided to test it out and leave them as whole chunks. And guess what?! For this recipe it worked fine! See instructions below and you’ll see why).
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons instant espresso powder (original recipe called for instant coffee but I had instant espresso! It turned out great this way so I imagine you’re fine with either choice!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons molasses
3 large eggs
1½ cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cookie Dough Layer Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 to 6 tablespoons water
What You Need to Do
To make the crust, butter a 9-inch springform pan. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides).
Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes (see this is why you don’t need to chop the chocolate blocks… the cream is hot enough and it will melt! Woohoo for one less step!). Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour 1.5-2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. In a small bowl, combine the espresso granules, vanilla and molasses, stirring until the espresso dissolves. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Enclose the bottom of the springform pan in tightly wrapped foil and place it in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water about halfway up the cheesecake pan, careful not to let the moisture touch the cheesecake. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing the topping (maintaining the oven temperature.)
To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake, spreading to cover the filling completely. Bake until the topping is set, about 10-15 minutes. Return to the cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.
To make cookie dough layer, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, salt, vanilla and chips. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have reached a cookie dough consistency. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Spoon the cookie dough into the pan and flatten to an even layer. Freeze the cookie dough layer until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).
To finish, wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides. Carefully remove the springform. Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Turn cookie dough out of cake pan and place layer on top of cheesecake, pressing it gently into place. Place the reserved ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and use to garnish the top of the cake as desired. Chill until the ganache is completely firm, at least 6 hours.