Two words make this girl’s heart happy:
Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
Ok. That was actually 6 words, but who’s counting anyway.
You won’t want to keep on counting stuff when it comes to these bars… or calories, for that mean. Oh no, when you take the first bite off these, you’ll suddenly forget all about healthy eating, moderation and basically every New Year resolution that has ever crossed your mind. All that you’ll want is have these babies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll wish you’d sleep on a bed made of them. You’ll want your friends to become brownie bars so you can devour them. The whole pan won’t do for you… you’ll likely need 27 pans more.
Again: don’t look at me like that. I’m being serious, these bars are good.
And yes, by “good” I mean “super duper outrageously fantastic delicious wonderful awesome amazing scrumptious yummylicious”.
Although that’s probably a understandement, truth to be told.
Good thing these are actually healthy… which makes the whole “wanting to eat 27 pans full of bars” bussiness totally acceptable. Or at least it is, in my book.
Do these bars look any whole grain, super high protein and low-fat to you?
No? Glad to hear it! Nothing makes me happier than coming up with recipes for healthier treats which taste every bit as decadent as the unhealthy boys.
*Pats self in the back so hard it hurts. Grabs another bar to make up for the pain*
These bars are a huge crowd-pleaser. They’re bound to be adored by all brownie, cheesecake and cookie dough lovers. And what about peanut butter + chocolate fans? *ahem me ahem*… they’ll be nuts about these.
First we have a layer of fudgy, rich brownie. The super chocolate kind, oh yes. Which happens to be low in fat as well. I don’t really like super chocolaty stuff as I find it too heavy and sometimes it makes me sick, but this time, it is balanced out by the cheesecake and cookie dough, so it’s all ok.
Because, oh yes, there’s a cheesecake layer too. In other words: these bars include a layer of happiness. A portion of heaven. A bit of deliciousness. Whatever you name it, it’s fabulous. This isn’t your average cheesecake. Oh no, it is miles better than that thanks to my new favorite healthy ingredient: cottage cheese. That stuff is super creamy when pureed, and naturally sweeter than cream cheese (oh, and it’s not processed as well!), which allows me to use less sugar in the bars… Cottage cheese is a winner, and it has become a staple in my kitchen. Not only is it delicious, but it adds lots of protein too. Heck, I’m in love.
To finish off, we have a layer of cookie dough… or technically cookie, if you bake it… Who cares, it is awesome either way! Better yet: it is peanut butter cookie dough. Did I just hear you scream with happiness? Yes, me too! What a combo guys, what a combo!
As I was saying, these are the perfect dessert to make for big crowds. You can cut them into neat squares and arrange them to look pretty on a plate. Bonus points for pretty food. And extra points for the fact that they’re gluten-free as well. What’s not to love about it?
Oh well, I’ll tell you what’s not to:
The dishes. Lots of them. The cleaning up for this is a-w-f-u-l. But believe me when I say that it’s worth every second of the time you’ll have to spend being miserable doing the dishes… or cajoling your mum into doing them herself in exchange for one of the bars before the pictures are taken hehe.
Have I convinced you to try them? I hope so. Your days need these. They’re healthy enough to have as a post-workout treat (yeah, I’ve tried!) since they’re jam-packed with protein, calcium, fiber, sugar (hey, you need to restore the glycogen in your muscles) and healthy fats. Cheesecake after a run? Yeah, sounds good to me!
I wish I had had these to eat after last Sunday’s race. Oh man, it went terrible… I hit the wall like I’d never did before; I couldn’t breath because the humidity was 100% different from the one I’m used to; it was too hot and I was feeling dizzy; I panicked out because of the biochem exam and felt like I was going to faint oh, and I my playlist wouldn’t work either. And that guys, was my run in a nutshell.
I didn’t give up though. I wanted to stop and crawl, cry like a baby and go home to sleep too. It was the first time in my life that I hated running. Every step felt like pain, and it wasn’t physical one. It felt like a terrible failure after so much training, my hopes were so high and they all ended up reduced to nothing. I wanted to improve my time for the 10km (which was 48 min before the race) but it took me a bit over 52 min to cross the finish line. I was super upset about it and it’s only know that I realise that that was probably my best workout until the day.
It taught me to be stronger in a way. Something runs don’t go as expected. It doesn’t matter how much you train or how badly you want to win… bad runs happen, and you gotta learn to get over it the best way you can. It is hard, it takes pain and suffering… but bad runs are just that, bad runs. The world doesn’t end, life keeps going and awesome ecstatic runs will come.
Hard times come and hard times go, and those hard times are which make you stronger.
Sorry I got so philosophical… I guess most of you are here for the brownies hehe ;–)
Make them, these are really good!
- 1/2 cup oat flour (measured after grinding!)
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2/3 cup 2% greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 16 oz. fat free low sodium cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon oat flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 100 grams natural peanut butter
- 2 + 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 5-6 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance spread
- 100 grams brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- For the brownie batter, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pour into a pan lined with baking paper.
- Clean the food processor.
- Blend cottage cheese, and when it looks like puree, add the rest of the cheesecake ingredients and process until smooth.
- Pour on top of the brownie layer.
- Clean the food processor again.
- Grind oats. Add the rest of the ingredients of the cookie dough layer and process until a ball is form.
- Roll ball into a rectangle and place it on top of the cheesecake.
- If it breaks, just scrape the pieces and place them one by one on top of the cheesecake.
- Bake at 220ºC for 25 minutes. Cover with tinfoil or the top will burn. Bake for 25 minutes more or until cheesecake is no longer wobbly.
- Refrigerate before you cut them.
- These are much better served the next day.
- Here they are some substitutions I've tried, but the best combo is the one in the recipe card, you're warned!
- If you don't have cottage cheese, light cream cheese works as well.
- If you're allergic to nuts, butter or light buttery spread work instead of peanut butter.
- For the brownie layer, you can use all purpose flour. It works well too.
- If you use your own brownie recipe, make sure that the batter is super thick, or else the cheesecake layer will sink to the bottom!
- You can't taste the olive oil here, so there's no need to use vegetable oil.
- Butter can't be used in place of olive oil. The brownie comes out dry that way!
- You can use more sugar if you wish (although everybody says that bars are sweet enough this way!), and I think you could replace some of it with truvia/erythritol, but not stevia (it tastes weird!). Liquid sweeteners wouldn't work for me here. Try them at your own risk!
- Use 2 tablespoons of coffee instead of one for mocha flavor. If you use only one, it enhaces the chocolate flavor, but it doesn't make this taste like coffee. Decaf can be used.
Sorry I’m still not answering comments… I keep on studying for the biochem exam, which has been delayed. Anyway, I read every one of them and they make my whole day. Thank you for being so awesome guys! You deserve a big big pan of these bars ;–)