Chocolate chip cheesecake bars

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Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 6:00 am

I’ve been obsessed with cheesecake since I was 10 years old. Nancy Berg, a former Hillsboro resident and the mom of two of my closest high school friends, invited my mom, sister and me for a small birthday celebration for one of her daughters.

I had no idea what kind of dessert was sitting on Nancy’s counter when we arrived, but having enjoyed many a meal at Nancy’s in the past, I dove in when she served up a piece of creamy, chocolate chip-studded pie.

“What is this?” I asked, likely with my mouth full.

“Chocolate chip cheesecake,” Nancy replied, adding that it was her oldest daughter’s favorite.

Part of me wanted to spit out the pie because I’d purposefully avoided cheesecake up to that point in my life. The only cheese I was really familiar with was Velveeta and I certainly didn’t want to eat a cake filled with it. (The same held true for coffeecake. Why would anyone put coffee in a cake? Not cool, people.)

The rest of me – namely my taste buds and tummy – wanted to go on eating that cheesecake forever, because it was love at first bite.

I ate plenty of Nancy’s cheesecakes throughout high school, and one night my friend Mandy and I even attempted our own. And although we discovered that it’s tough to make a cheesecake from scratch without a blender or mixer, and that it’s probably not the best idea to start the process at 9 p.m. on a weeknight, we greatly enjoyed our marble swirl cheesecake for breakfast the next morning.

I was craving one of those cheesecakes recently, although it was getting late in the day and I didn’t feel like hauling out the heavy appliances and starting a cheesecake from scratch. So I tried these bars, instead, which are thick chocolate chips bars with a ribbon of cheesecake filling in the middle. They’re simple and done in a fraction of the time.

“Whatcha makin’?” asked my kiddo as he wandered into the kitchen while the bars were cooling.

“Chocolate chip cheesecake bars,” I said. “Want one?”

“Cheese what?” he asked, staring at the pan doubtfully.

“They’re chocolate chip bars with a creamy filling,” I clarified.

“Oh, I thought you said cheese,” my kiddo said. “But if not, I’ll have one.”

We’ll just ease him into this whole cheesecake thing.

For the recipe, see the Banner's online or print edition.

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