Besides that crazy chocolate cake, I haven’t been baking much. If you live in the Northeast, particularly the NYC tri-state area, you understand why. How many more 90-degree-plus days can we take? But I still have cravings for sweets. Cool desserts were on my mind, and Cooking on the Side came to my rescue. Within moments after reading about these no-bake bars from the Baker’s chocolate package, I had to try them.
Silly me, I goofed somewhere along the way and made the recipe differently, so instead of two cream cheese layers, I had a layer of chocolate cream cheese topped with fresh whipped cream instead (since I didn’t have any Cool Whip anyway). I also adapted things for an 8 x 8-inch pan. It turned out pretty awesome though — here’s how it went.
Chocolate-Layered No-Bake Cheecake Bars
adapted from Cooking on the Side
Makes: there’s no way I got more than 9 servings out of this, because it’s too good
1 package of graham crackers (you know, they come three packs to a box, so use just one)
2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted
5 tablespoons sugar
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (okay, I used Callebaut, but just because that’s all I had)
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint heavy cream
Confectioners sugar, to taste
The original recipe says to line the pan with foil extending over the sides, but parchment worked pretty well for me. I used an 8-inch square pan. Smash up the graham crackers while they’re still in that pack, and then toss them into a food processor or blender (like I did) to grind them up the rest of the way. Then mix with the butter and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Spread it into the bottom of the pan. This is a kind of thick layer, but I like it that way.
Next melt 4 ounces of the chocolate and let it cool a bit. Beat the cream cheese with the remaining 4 tablespoons regular sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla really well. Then mix in the melted chocolate. Carefully spread this mixture over the graham crust.
Lastly, beat the cream until it’s just starting to firm up. (It helps if you chilled the beater and/or bowl first.) Mix in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla along the way, and then some confectioners sugar. I say “to taste” because it’s really a personal preference. I probably added 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar, but that’s just a guess, and then beat until the desired thickness is reached, being careful not to overmix. Spread the whipped cream over the chocolate layer and then promptly eat whatever is leftover in the mixing bowl. Finally, melt that last ounce of chocolate and drizzle it over the top. I used a little plastic baggie with the tip cut off. Definitely chill this well before eating it, because it’s way too soft now. Then try not to devour it all at once.