“Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.” We get to light the pink candle on our Advent wreath today! Christmas is literally just around the corner and if your household is anything like ours, there’s almost always a waft of baked sweets drifting throughout our little home.
For our first Christmas as the Mr. & Mrs., Brendon and I decided to home-make most of our gifts this year while we still have the opportunity (rumor has it that once babies join the family we won’t really have the leisure), and well, frankly, because we’re newly-weds and rather broke. 😉 More importantly however, we believe there’s a greater sentimental value in the gifts we’ve been crafting in our study and kitchen, the trials and errors, the sewing and resewing, and through it all, pouring our love and attention into these simple gifts. Here’s something we watched that encouraged us in our efforts when after the fifth time of taking the seam-ripper to an uneven hem, we were soooo tempted to just buy gifts and call it done!
Now that you’re inspired, here’s a recipe for a killer-sweet tooth dessert for a Christmas party, homemade gift, or a reward for yourself. One that’s simple to make and oh-so-rich!
Above is a picture of the original Butterfinger Nutter Butter Cheesecake Bars recipe that made me weak in the knees. I slightly adapted the recipe and Canadian-ize it since our local grocery stores don’t carry Nutter Butters nor Butterfingers. So for all you Canadians out there, do not fear, there’s a remedy for your grumbling bellies! I call it the Crispy Crunch Pirate Cheesecake Bars. Original, eh?
FOR THE CRUST:
- 16 whole Pirate Cookies
- ¼ cup Butter, Melted
FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
- 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 whole Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
- 3 Crispy Crunch Candy Bars
FOR THE TOPPING
- ¾ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Crispy Crunch Candy Bar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×9 square dish with foil or parchment (make sure the ends of the foil hang over the sides of the dish – you’ll use this as a handle to lift the bars out of the pan later) and set aside. (If you are lining your pan with foil, lightly grease the foil with non stick cooking spray.)
Grind Pirate cookies in a food processor until you have the consistency of graham cracker crumbs. Pour in melted butter and pulse a few times to mix. Press the mixture into the prepared dish and set aside.
In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Stir in egg, vanilla and flour. Finely chop 3 of the Crispy Crunch bars and fold into the cheesecake mixture. Finely chop 1 Crispy Crunch bar and set aside for topping. Pour cheesecake mixture over top of the Pirate cookie crust and bake for 18-22 minutes or until cheesecake has set. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.
Pour chocolate chips and butter into a small bowl and microwave using the ‘melt chocolate’ function, stirring every 20-30 seconds. If your chocolate is almost melted, don’t put it back into the microwave! Just keep stirring it – the residual heat will continue to melt the chocolate completely. (If your microwave doesn’t have this function, zap your chocolate at 50% power at 20 second intervals, stirring in between.) You can also use a double boiler. The idea is to avoid burning the chocolate. Since we’re poor and improvise often, I put the chocolate chips in a large glass measuring cup and placed it inside a small saucepan with hot water. Ta-dah! Our own makeshift double-boiler!
Spread melted chocolate over the top of the bars then sprinkle the reserved finely chopped Crispy Crunch bar on top of the chocolate, and place back into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to harden the chocolate. Remove from refrigerator and using the foil or parchment, remove the entire block of bars from the pan. Cut into bars and serve.
*FYI: If you leave the bars in the refrigerator longer than 10 minutes after you’ve topped it with chocolate, cutting this into bars might be more difficult and the chocolate is more likely to crack.
“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.-I Thessalonians 5:16-18