# chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake

No sooner had I finished toasting my Irish roots than the scramble to switch gears to all things Easter brunch washed over me. And I’m feeling even more behind because I’m still hanging on to this incredible recipe from our belated Valentine’s celebration. It’s a full-blown holiday crisis over here.

But holiday-planning stress is really just “what are we eating?” stress, which to me isn’t even stress at all.

Capisce?

Let’s talk cheesecake.

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Joe and I have found ourselves more apart than together this spring thanks to a lot of work trips . But we did have one weekend in late February where the stars aligned and we were home!, together!, for at least a few days. Cue Valentine’s meal.

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I try to make something new and exciting each year. 2015 brought us ridiculous gnocchi and cake, but Joe and I agreed cheesecake sounded perfect. (Truth be told, it’s been so long since I made one that I couldn’t remember if Joe even liked them! When I asked he reminded me that cheesecake is one of his favorite things…and then proceeded to ask “Do you like peanut butter?” “Do you like dogs?” repeatedly for like three days. #punk #neverforgetagain)

We made these babies for our Oscar watch party and cookie dough has been our poison of choice ever since. This recipe starts with a lot of dough bites. Try not to pop them all in your mouth while you’re doing this. (Hint: Chew gum while baking to avoid such catastrophes.)

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Once you have them all rolled, pop them into the freezer to set.

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The crust can be whatever you like most….graham crackers, Oreos. You really can’t go wrong. I used a box of chocolate teddy grahams–it’s like the best of both worlds. I threw in two extra graham crackers I had on hand to beef it up. You basically want around 2 1/2 c. of crumbs to make the crust. And when that’s ready…

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…bring out the dough bites and distribute half around the crust, nestled in a thin bed of batter. This ensures that each bite will have a piece of the treasure. Fold the rest of the balls into the remaining batter. They become its wild cards.

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The batter is basic in the best ways: cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs. The usual suspects. And by letting it sit in the oven with the door cracked open as it slowly cools after baking, you guarantee no ugly cracks across the top. Luckily, I didn’t have to adjust anything for being at high altitude.

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It’s a hard job to let a cheesecake chill overnight, but somehow we survived. Every bite was well worth the wait.

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This tastes incredible and perfectly fits the “I-love-you-so-much-thank-you-for-marrying-me” vibe I was going for. Try it for someone you love!

(And then share it with all your friends. It fits the “omg-we-made-too-much-cheesecake-please-help-us” vibe, too.)

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Source: Adapted slightly from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Cookie Dough:

½ c. butter, softened
½ c. sugar
½ c. light brown sugar
2 Tbs. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. mini chocolate chips (set aside rest of bag for batter)

Crust:

4 Tbs. butter, melted
2 ½ c. crumbs (graham cracker, Oreos, etc)

Filling:

4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 c. sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 325-degrees.

For the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Add the milk, vanilla and blend. Mix in the flour, salt and the chocolate chips. The dough will be wet. Gently roll the dough into small teaspoons size balls and place them on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Place them in the freezer to harden while making the rest of the cheesecake.

For the crust: Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the crumbs. Press onto the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the prepared pan.

For the cheesecake: Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Be careful not to overmix.

Pour one third of the batter into the prepared crust and evenly distribute half of the cookie dough balls. Gently stir in the rest of the cookie dough balls and the additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips into the remaining batter. Pour into the pan, spreading the batter to the sides of the pan and evening it out across the top.

Bake the cheesecake at 325-degrees for one hour. Turn off the oven and prop the door open several inches and lt the cake sit in the oven for an additional 30-45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until chilled. I recommend chilling overnight.

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# rowan davis

A very happy Aunt NoNo and Mikey Joe are soooo excited to celebrate the birthday (literally the birth day) of our newest nephew! Please welcome the youngest man to have a piece of my heart:

Rowan Davis

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Born early today, March 16, 2016 at 12:31am
19 inches, 6 lbs. 6 oz.

It’s amazing how quickly the time has flown since this day in August when they told me they were pregnant. I literally was babbling away about NOTHING on Skype and then finally asked what they were up to and they just held up that picture and we all cracked up. Luckily I had my camera right there after documenting Lily’s back-to-school post. Such a happy moment!

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Here’s last week…

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And here’s today!

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I love Bryan’s game face.

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He’s got his dad’s button nose and, I’m hoping, his mom’s pretty red hair.

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Welcome, little man! You are so, so loved! Can’t wait to kiss your face.

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