Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Original Recipe HERE

These were really easy and really tasty.

I will give this recipe an extra shout-out for durability.  It was brought to a BBQ held on a day when the heat index was well over 100 degrees.  I was in a pool up to my neck and my head was still pouring sweat.  These were put out on a picnic table in direct sunlight, and my heart sank, knowing they'd be a melty mess within minutes.  Surprisingly, they held up really well.  Some condensation-type beads appeared on the top, but they stayed firm until I was able to move them into the air-conditioned kitchen.  I had ice-filled ziploc bags underneat the pan, so I'm sure that helped them stay cool...but the lesson is to not let the idea of cream cheese scare you from making these for a summer event.

2 cups finely crushed Oreo-type cookies
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened [I used low fat]
1 14-oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz of chocolate, melted [I used semi-sweet chocolate chips]

(1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil or wax paper.
(2) In bowl, combine crumbs and butter and press firmly into bottom of pan.
(3) In another bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix. Pour half of the batter evenly over cookie crumbs.
(4) Stir melted chocolate into remaining batter; mix well. Spoon over plain batter.  Use a knife to swirl batter to make a marble-like design.
(5) Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Cool, then chill for a couple hours or overnight.  Yield: 24 bars.

Kid Participation:
* Crush cookies
* Stir chocolate into batter
* Marbelize batter

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