Snickers Cheesecake Bars
Make your cheesecake handheld and portable, with these chocolate and peanut-filled Snickers Cheesecake Bars! Chopped Snickers, a crunchy chocolate and peanut topping, and a drizzle of melted chocolate and caramel pair perfectly with creamy cheesecake and a chocolate cookie crust!
I’ve had a Snickers cheesecake on my brain for a really long time. I’m not entirely sure why, since long-time readers know that I don’t like cheesecake.
But my husband loves cheesecake and requests one every year for his birthday. I always think about doing a Snickers cheesecake, except we never have Snickers on hand.
Except for, apparently, now. Said husband may have gone just a smidge overboard buying Halloween candy at BJ’s a few weekends ago. Which means we had a giant bag of mini-sized Snickers.
So while this isn’t intended to be a Halloween candy-related post, the timing is actually just right, if you, too, happen to have an awful lot of Snickers at the moment!
(Or you know, if you want to stop at the grocery store the day after Halloween and stock up!)
While I’ve been picturing a regular old cheesecake, I actually wound up making Snickers cheesecake bars.
I figured this was the perfect dessert to share with neighbors for our annual Trick or Treat celebration. We all sit out on our front steps together, order pizza, and hand out candy while enjoying each other’s company. But a slice of cheesecake means forks and plates and isn’t super “sitting on the steps” friendly.
Snickers cheesecake bars, however — it’s basically hand-held cheesecake. No fork, no plate, no nothing. Just you and a glorious bar of cheesecake in your hands.
So grab those Snickers, friends, and let’s make some Snickers cheesecake bars.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chocolate Wafer Cookies: Oreos or similar cookies are perfect here – but you can also use graham crackers, chocolate chip cookies, or any other crunchy-ish cookie. To make a gluten-free version of these Snickers Cheesecake Bars, use gluten-free Oreo cookies or graham crackers.
- Butter: Unsalted butter, melted.
- Cream Cheese: This recipe uses two standard-size “bricks” of cream cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature; cold cream cheese will be too hard to mix!
- Sugar: Granulated sugar provides both sweetness and helps hold the structure of the cheesecake.
- Eggs: Make sure the eggs are also at room temperature.
- Sour Cream: We’ll use a little sour cream (full fat!) to provide extra moisture and creaminess. If you don’t have sour cream, full-fat Greek yogurt can also be used, but the texture of the cheesecake is better with sour cream.
- Vanilla Extract: A little vanilla extract adds a lot of flavor.
- Snickers: Mini, fun-size, or full-size Snickers all work since we’re going to chop them up.
- Miniature Chocolate Chips: Miniature chocolate chips work better to sprinkle on top since they’re smaller, but you can loosely chop full-sized chocolate chips or a chocolate bar for the same effect.
- Peanuts: I like to use roasted, salted peanuts because I love the salty-sweet combination and the salty peanuts help offset the sweet cheesecake. If you’re all-in on just sweet, use roasted, unsalted peanuts.
- Caramel Sauce and Melted Chocolate: While optional, I love the look (and taste!) of drizzling the finished cheesecake with some caramel sauce and melted chocolate. You can, of course, use store-bought caramel sauce, but why not try making your own with this easy homemade salted caramel?
Easy Cheesecake Bars
There are three parts to making these cheesecake bars: the chocolate cookie crust, the cheesecake filling, and the chocolate and peanut topping.
First up, start with a 9×9-inch metal baking pan. I always use a square springform pan for these because it’s so easy to remove the sides. If you’re using a regular square pan, line the pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on the sides for easy removal.
Crush the cookies (with a food processor or by hand), mix with melted butter, press the crumbs into the pan, and bake until slightly puffed and starting to crisp.
Next, we’ll make the cheesecake. Since I already used the food processor to crush the cookies, I just make the cheesecake batter right in the food processor as well. (I mean, really. Why dirty another appliance when I can just reuse the same one and wash it once at the end?) If you don’t use a food processor to make the crust, you can also use an electric mixer to make the cheesecake batter.
These seriously could not be any easier. Dump the cheesecake ingredients in, give your food processor or mixer a whirl, and you’re done. Fold in a bunch of chopped Snickers (any size works!).
Top with the mini chocolate chips and chopped peanuts. Just make sure your ingredients are at room temperature and you don’t overmix – just until combined! Bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles.
Once the cheesecake cools, drizzle with a little caramel sauce and melted chocolate – optional, but pretty (and delicious!)
Properly Cooling Cheesecake
Whether you’re making a full-sized cheesecake or these cheesecake bars, one thing you definitely want to do is properly cool the cheesecake!
When the cheesecake is done baking, let it sit at room temperature until it’s fully cooled, then transfer it to the refrigerator.
I know, I know. Sometimes you really need to move things along and are short on time. But don’t put a still-warm cheesecake in the fridge! Why is this such a problem? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
If you move your cheesecake from the oven into the refrigerator, the rapid cooling causes condensation to form inside the cheesecake. Condensation results from the warm surface of the cheesecake cooling too quickly, which forms droplets along any nearby surface – including your cheesecake.
Additionally problematic, placing the hot cheesecake in the fridge will warm the internal temperature of the refrigerator faster than it can cool down. This is bad both for your refrigerator and for any of the surrounding foods, which will absorb some of the extra heat!
Recommended Tools to Make Snickers Cheesecake Bars
- 9-inch Square Springform Pan: A springform pan is always the best way to make a cheesecake since the sides come right off!
- Parchment Paper: Line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper for easy removal, or the bottom and sides of a regular square metal baking dish.
- Food Processor: A large food processor will both chop the cookies for the crust and mix the cheesecake batter – no need to wash out the bowl in between!
- Mixing Bowls: This set of mixing bowls is microwave-safe and has the right sizes to melt the butter and melt any chocolate to drizzle on top.
- Instant Read Thermometer: Take all the guesswork out of determining when your cheesecake bars are done baking and use an instant-read thermometer to determine if they’re done!
Tips and Tricks for the Best Snickers Cheesecake Bars
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature! Cold cream cheese and eggs are harder to mix, which can lead to overmixing or lumps in the cheesecake.
- Press the crust firmly into the pan with the bottom of a glass and par-bake for 10 minutes. Don’t skip the baking part – the crispy crust is the perfect texture contrast to the smooth and creamy cheesecake!
- For a perfectly baked cheesecake, use an instant-read thermometer and pull the cheesecake out of the oven when the internal temperature of the cheesecake bars is 180 °F.
- Don’t forget to chop the Snickers bars! Smaller, bite-sized pieces distribute better throughout the bars.
- Give your Snickers Cheesecake Bars ample time to chill in the refrigerator (a few hours is good, overnight is even better). This helps the flavors meld and sets the structure of the cheesecake for the creamiest texture.
- Store any leftover Snickers Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a ziptop freezer bag, for up to 3 months.
More Dessert Bars
- 30 (340 grams) chocolate wafer cookies (oreos, etc)
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, melted
- 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (306 grams) chopped snickers (about 33 mini bars, 18 fun sized bars, or 6 full sized bars)
- 1/2 cup (89 grams) miniature chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (85 grams) chopped peanuts
- optional toppings: melted chocolate, caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Crush cookies in a food processor (or bag with a mallet). Mix with melted butter and stir until well combined. Pour crumbs into the prepared pan and press down to form an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Decrease oven temperature to 325 °F. Add cream cheese and sugar to the food processor and process until well combined (or beat using an electric mixer). Add in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract, and process (or beat) using pulses, until all ingredients are just combined. Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl frequently to ensure all cream cheese is well-mixed. Fold in the chopped Snickers.
- Pour the cheesecake batter onto the cookie crust. Top with the miniature chocolate chips and chopped peanuts. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the filling registers 180 °F. (Edges will be set, but the center will still be quite jiggly.)
- Allow the cheesecake bars to sit at room temperature until cool, then transfer to the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, before slicing into 16 bars and serving.
Store any leftover Snickers Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a ziptop freezer bag, for up to 3 months.
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