These Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oreo Cheesecake Bars take minimal effort to bake, but pack maximum amounts of flavor! Go for an easy, yet tasty dessert with these creamy cheesecake bars.
Raise your hand if you’d like to go back to Spring Break!!!
Well, I would be raising my hand, but quite frankly I am too weak and exhausted and tired to even move. Do you know how much energy it takes to explore the Big Island of Hawaii in 5 days??? Answer is: A LOT!
This is by no means complaining. I enjoyed every minute of traveling around the Big Island. We wasted no time and left no stone uncovered. I think we saw every inch of that island in the past few days.
Some of our major highlights were:
- Snorkeling at Captain Cook Monument. I’ve never seen such beautiful fish. From the moment we left the harbor to travel down the coast, we saw a pod of dolphins jumping up out of the water next to our boat. They usually swim around the cove where we were snorkeling, but we weren’t lucky enough that day. Still, it was an amazing adventure.
- Stargazing at Mauna Kea. The sky was so clear, and with no light pollution, you felt as if you were staring at the stars from inside a planetarium. It was literally that crystal clear and the stars looked close enough to reach out and grab.
- Horseback riding in Waimea. This country side was beautiful. It’s hard to imagine that these green rolling hills are part of a tropical island.
- Helicopter flying around the Big Island. My parents gifted us the opportunity to ride a helicopter around the entire island where we saw active volcano flows, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking waterfalls.
- Biking to the lava flow. Riding bikes to view the glowing lava flow at sunset was picturesque. It was completely majestic to watch the fiery red flow of lava gushing out of the side of the island into the ocean. The only part that wasn’t so great was riding tandem with Braelyn. She maybe pedaled 20 times during the 9 mile round trip bike ride. That girl!
But alas, the adventure is now over and our vacation has come to a screeching halt. We literally walked off the plane to enter real life again. As soon as we stepped foot in our home, it was straight to unpacking, putting the girls to bed, and making lunches for Ben and Braelyn to take to work and school the next morning.
Real life??? Who needs it?!
Despite the carefree lifestyle of vacationing, there is one thing that I miss while I am away from home: baking. I LOVE baking, and after a while, I begin to miss creating in my kitchen.
I miss throwing ingredients together, hoping and praying that I guessed the ratios right and an edible dessert will magically pop out of the oven.
I miss opening my fridge at 5 o’clock at night wondering what dinner I can create out of the ingredients staring at me from inside. It’s my own little game of Chopped that I play everyday.
I miss my eager, and sometimes annoying, sues chefs that come running into the kitchen at the sound of a drawer opening, wondering what they can do to help.
I MISS IT ALL!!!
Right before we left for our Big Island vacation, I ventured away from my usual cookies and cupcakes, and tried my hand at a cheesecake dessert. Cheesecake just sounded so good. And who doesn’t love a chocolate chip and Oreo cheesecake???
Well, probably all of you because Oreos are loaded with gluten. But, there are plenty of gluten free knock off brands that you can use to make these killer Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oreo Cheesecake Bars. They are legit!
These cheesecake bars are ridiculously easy to make. Because they don’t need to be as fancy looking as an actual cheesecake, you can just throw the ingredients into an 8X8 dish and bake. Once they’ve chilled, cut them and drizzle the bars with melted chocolate. Dessert is served!
You know what is absolutely fantastic??? These bars taste even better the next day. I love make ahead meals and desserts! It’s one less thing you have to worry about the day of entertaining. So yes, these bars can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer.
I also love the fact that it’s less dessert than a regular cheesecake. It takes our family forever to go through an entire cheesecake. We usually end up freezing half of it and sharing the rest with friends. These bars make the perfect amount for a small dinner party or a few nights worth of dessert for your own family…if you have self control. Otherwise they may be gone in just a day. No judgement.
The texture of these cheesecake bars is spot on; soft and smooth without being too creamy. I like my cheesecakes a bit more firm and these are perfect. The cornstarch helps the cheesecake layer set, which is a newfound trick of mine.
Besides the chocolaty crust from the gluten free Oreo cookies, there is plenty more chocolate flavor with the addition of mini chocolate chips. I scattered them throughout the batter as well as sprinkled a handful on top before baking.
The more chocolate the better; which is probably why I deemed it necessary to drizzle melted chocolate on top of the bars once they were chilled. Yep, that was definitely a good decision. I seem to always make good choices. Hehe!
I can almost guarantee you that these chocolate chip cheesecake bars will make it into your regular baking rotation. They’re sure to become a family favorite in no time. You just may need to pace yourself. Last time I checked eating cheesecake every night wasn’t the healthiest of habits. Haha!
Are you sentimental about your kitchen/cooking?
- For the crust:
- 16 gluten free chocolate vanilla creme sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- For the cheesecake:
- 2 packages cream cheese, room temperature (16 oz. total)
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup buttermilk (or 2 teaspoons lemon juice plus enough milk to make ⅓ cup)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips, divided
- For the chocolate drizzle:
- ½ cup chocolate chips, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8X8 glass baking pan and set aside.
- Make crust by crushing cookies in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Pour into a small mixing bowl. Melt butter and pour over crumbs. Stir until evenly coated in butter. Press into bottom of baking pan and bake at 350 for 10 mins. Remove and let cool slightly.
- While crust is baking, place cream cheese in a medium sized mixing bowl or stand mixer. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds in between each addition, scraping down sides as needed. Add buttermilk and cornstarch and mix on low until smooth.
- Fold in ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips. Pour mixture over slightly cooled crust. Sprinkle remaining mini chocolate chips on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 32-35 mins or until bars are just set and barely jiggle when moved. Remove bars from oven and allow to completely cool. Cover and chill in fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, cut into squares, place on serving dish, and drizzle with melted chocolate.
- To melt chocolate, place ½ cup chocolate chips in a microwave safe container. Heat for 45 seconds. Remove and stir until chocolate is completely melted. If chocolate is not melted after 1 minute of stirring, return to microwave and heat in additional 15 second increments, stirring in between.
- Spoon melted chocolate into a small Ziploc bag. Cut a tiny hole in one bottom corner of the bag. Squeeze chocolate through hole and drizzle on top on bars.
- Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in fridge for up to a week or in freezer for up to 3 months.