Classic cheesecake made on an Oreo cookie crust and filled with clumps of monster cookie dough, these Monster Cheesecake Squares are a fun, new way to enjoy cheesecake and cookies together.
Oreo cookies. Butterscotch Pudding. Cheesecake. M&Ms. Chocolate Chips. Cookie Dough.
Because these cheesecake squares are pure, unadulterated fun.
It might not be evident from their messy, careless cookie-cheesecake pattern, but I exercised a great deal of restraint when making these cheesecake squares. They are fun, but they were carefully crafted fun in order to create the ultimate dessert with the perfect balance of flavors and the best arrangement of textures.
Initially, I wanted to just mix everything together, drop it in a pan and go; a hodge-podge dessert made with abandon (what an easy recipe that would be to write, too).
But there is order and balance here, a protocol for maximum flavor and texture (you can have fun, even with protocols, right?). The Oreos work best when restricted just to the crust: a perfectly crisp snap of resistance. The cheesecake (which I initially wanted to actually mix with the Oreos and the cookie dough) stands alone in flavor and texture–you’re not mindlessly wading through a jumble of flavors, instead you realize it when you bite into one of the soft clods of cookie dough (which are in turn punctuated with hard pieces of chocolate) and then the creamy cheesecake. and then the crunchy Oreo cookie crust. You can enjoy all the flavors independently while at the same time relishing the way that they pair with one another (a reckless hodgepodge would have made a confusing mouthful, one taste indiscernible from the next).
Between the pudding mix, cornstarch, and additional egg yolk added to the cookie dough recipe, you end up with soft bites of cookie that aren’t difficult to bite through, even when kept cold.
While the butterscotch pudding adds a nice flavor to the cookies (I use pudding in my kitchen sink cookies and it works just as well here), if you’re vehemently not a butterscotch fan you can substitute a different flavor (I’d recommend vanilla in this instance). However, I actually don’t consider myself to be a huge butterscotch fan, but I do like the subtle flavor it lends to these squares and won’t ever make them any other way.
While checking on these as they baked through the glass of the oven door, I felt like a little kid in a candy shop–eyes glazed over with sugar-lust, jaw slack, nostrils flared as my breath fogged twin ovals on the glass (I’ll take that one and that one and, oh, definitely that one).
And then I felt like a little kid while I was eating them, and, like a little kid, I maybe sort of almost wanted to cry once they were gone.
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Monster Cheesecake Squares
- 25 Oreos
- 4 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 stick butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 3.4 oz packet instant butterscotch pudding mix
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp corn starch
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- ¾ cup mini baking M&Ms
- 4 8 oz packages cream cheese softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 13x9 pan with foil (enough so that foil hangs over 9" sides--this will make it easier to lift out of the pan and cut once the squares are finished)
- In food processor, pulse Oreos and melted butter until combined.
- Press Oreo/butter mixture evenly into the bottom of prepared pan with the back of a spoon.
- In KitchenAid (or with hand mixer) cream butter and sugars.
- Add egg and egg yolk until well-combined.
- Stir in vanilla.
- In separate, medium-sized bowl combine flour, pudding mix, baking powder, corn starch and salt.
- Gradually, with mixer on low-medium speed, stir flour mixture into butter mixture.
- Stir in chocolate chips and M&Ms. Transfer to another bowl and set aside, clean your KitchenAid bowl and paddle to make the cheesecake batter.
- Take approximately ½ of the cookie dough and scatter approximately ½"-1 ½" pieces over the crust in the prepared pan. Set aside.
- In KitchenAid (or with hand mixer), cream cream cheese. Add sugar and beat on medium-speed until well-combined.
- Add in sour cream, stirring until just combined.
- Stir in vanilla.
- With mixer on low speed, add in eggs one at a time, stirring until just combined.
- Pour cheesecake batter into prepared pan over cookie dough.
- Scatter the remaining cookie dough (you will probably have to break off pieces of the dough to the desired size) over the top of the cheesecake batter, pressing slightly into the batter.
- Transfer to oven and bake for 45-50 minutes (edges should be set, center may jiggle slightly but should spring back if lightly touched and should not be liquid).
- Allow to cool on stovetop for at least one hour before transferring to refrigerator and allowing to chill for at least 6 hours before cutting and serving.