Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars are just as dreamy and decadent as they sound – the perfect dessert for Nutella-lovers!
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Anyone who knows us, knows we tend to plan vacation activities around food. Or sometimes, I would go so far as to say we find things to do on vacation in between meals. (Don’t judge – I’m positive at least 38.7% of you do the same thing.) Of course, it depends on the type of vacation. For instance, Ross is quite the skier, and on a typical trip to the slopes, food lags slightly behind skiing in importance.
However, our recent vacation (babymoon!) to Jackson Hole was entirely traditional for us, in that food reigned supreme, and even Ross’s ski runs had a foodie link. Fun fact: there is a cabin serving WAFFLES at the top of the Tetons! In my preggo condition, I passed on the skiing (I’m not very good anyway), but you can bet I hopped on the tram and met Ross at the summit for a taste of those waffles. Of course they were fantastic.
Even better than those waffles, however, was an astonishingly decadent dessert we shared at an Italian restaurant (Il Villaggio Osteria) after a snowy day of sight-seeing: a Nutella cheesecake. It had an incredibly rich flavor, silky texture, and the perfect amount of sweetness to balance it all out. We foolishly ordered just one slice and almost came to blows over the last bite. We knew we had to recreate it immediately upon returning home. And with some tinkering and tasting, these Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars were born.
Why bars instead of a full-blown cheesecake? Well, even for our respective sweet tooths (sweet teeth?), eating an entire cheesecake between the two of us is probably not the best idea. No, sharing is caring, especially when it comes to baked goods. We even had an excuse to make a shareable dessert, with a party at a friend’s house on the calendar. Since bars are a bit more manageable than slices of cake, we decided to tweak the dessert and make it more party-friendly. Hence, Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars were born.
We started with the Oreo crust. Now, my one criticism of the Nutella cheesecake we ate in Jackson would be that its crust was a little hard to eat. It was thick and fairly tough, difficult to cut with a fork. In bar form, it may have cracked unpredictably once bitten. Structural integrity is key to bars. So, we were set on building a crust that was easy to bite into, but held its shape without crumbling. Not only did we need the right ratio of Oreos and butter (drool), but also, the right Oreo consistency. For this recipe, I really recommend crushing the Oreos by hand with a rolling pin or mallet. Sending them for a spin in the food processor will give you a crumb that’s too fine, and when it sets, it’s too dense to easily eat. A slightly larger crumb is much easier to bite into. But on the other hand, don’t be shy when you pound them into submission. No matter how much you crush them by hand, the bits won’t ever get as small as they do in a food processor. So go to town, release some aggression, and tell your curious roommates you’re “just bakinggggggg!” and not at all angry that they NEVER TAKE OUT THE TRASH OR CHANGE THE TOILET PAPER or whatever happens to be getting your goat. Ah, good, much better.
When the crust is ready, you’re going to press it into an 8×8 baking dish and bake for just a few minutes before moving on to the real star of the show: the Nutella cheesecake filling. Y’all, this stuff is serious. There is a LOT of Nutella in there. The flavor is not subtle – and that’s a good thing. Have you ever eaten a Nutella dessert and been like, man, I wish there was less Nutella in here?
Me either. Because I’m not insane.
The rest of the batter is standard cheesecake material – eggs, cream cheese, etc. – with the extra addition of some heavy cream. Before this recipe, I had never made a cheesecake with heavy cream, and oh my lawd. Can you say silky smooth? I guess it’s no surprise that cream makes things, well, creamy, but the texture really blew me away.
Of course, I couldn’t stop there.
After baking the cheesecake and letting it cool, I added a thin layer of semisweet chocolate ganache. And on top of that? Why, more crushed Oreos, of course. At this point, I’d gone well beyond our Nutella cheesecake inspiration. Because I’m no quitter. And I had absolutely no regrets. These Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars, while not exactly the same as the original in Jackson Hole, have claimed a spot as one of my favorite desserts. If you’re looking for a truly luscious slice of chocolate heaven, well, let’s just say you could do much worse.
As it turned out, my opinion was confirmed by a number of others at the party where we shared the bars. In fact, I can say, hand on heart, I have never had so many immediate requests for a recipe. Always a nice feeling when others enjoy a dessert just as much as I do! And you know with me, that is quite a high standard.
- 20 Oreos (regular, not double-stuff)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1⅓ cups Nutella
- 3 large eggs
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
- 10 Oreos, crushed into large crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the Oreos in a sealed plastic bag, and put that bag on a stable surface like a cutting board. Using a rolling pin or mallet, smash the Oreos until the crumbs are quite small.
- Combine the Oreo crumbs in a bowl with the melted butter. Then press the Oreo butter mixture firmly into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Bake crust for about 10 minutes, then set aside while you make the filling. In the meantime, reduce oven temperature to 325.
- Place all filling ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Pour filling on top of the crust. Depending on how deep your baking dish is, you might have a little extra filling. Don't fill the dish more than two-thirds full. You can use the extra filling to bake a few mini cheesecakes.
- Bake the cheesecake bars until the center is just set, about 45-60 minutes depending on your oven. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. On the stovetop or in the microwave, heat the heavy cream until it's just simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for about 60 seconds. Use a spatula to gently stir the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is all melted. If the chocolate won't completely melt, you can microwave it for 5-10 seconds at a time until smooth. Add the butter and stir gently to combine. Set the ganache aside to cool slightly. It should be spreadable but not runny.
- Spread ganache over the cheesecake bars. Top immediately with Oreo crumbs.
- Cover and chill bars until nice and cold. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
If you like Nutella Cheesecake Oreo Bars, you’ll probably be a fan of our Drunk in the Kitchen Brownies…just sayin’.