Introduction: Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Bars
As I have several other Red Velvet themed Instructables, you can only imagine I was at the grocery store the day after the release of Red Velvet Oreos. When I heard they were going to sell them, this recipe was the very first idea that came to mind. I made regular Oreo cheesecake bars for my birthday and everyone enjoyed them, with my love of all things red velvet, I knew this cheesecake would be a favorite.
I prefer making cheesecake bars because as much as I love cheesecake, a full-sized springform pan version is usually a bit much for me. And since we usually have leftovers, I prefer something I want to enjoy for a couple days instead of something so rich that one piece is enough.
For Valentine's Day, I'd make these in mini heart-shaped springform pans, and for tailgating, I'd probably make several batches. This dessert can work for either purpose, a romantic evening, or serving a crowd. In fact, had these been released sooner, I'd have definitely made them for when Ohio State's football team won the National Championship last month!
I love making a New York Style cheesecake with a sour cream topping, I find some tang offsets the cheesecake's sweetness for a great balance, Red Velvet Oreos are mighty sweet, so this topping fits perfectly.
These bars don't take long to make, and need to be made ahead so they have time to chill. They'll be perfect whether eaten by a warm fire for two, or surrounded by a big screen tv, or in a parking lot, with a few! Enjoy!
Makes 12 bars
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
One 7 x 11-inch pan, lined with a foil sling sprayed with nonstick spray (I use nonstick foil), or just grease the pan
For the crust:
25 Red Velvet Oreo cookies (You'll need 2 packages for this recipe, the Red Velvet Oreos come 22 to a pack. Regular Oreos can be substituted.)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature (I used one 8 oz. original package, one 8 oz. 1/3 less fat package, you can use both of one kind if you prefer. I've never used low fat cream cheese, so I can't be certain if that would work.)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 (or more, if you want) Red Velvet Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
For the sour cream topping:
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 2: Prepare Crust
Set oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Process 25 Red Velvet Oreo cookies in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Drizzle the crumbs with melted butter and pulse a few times until the butter is evenly distributed and all of the crumbs are moist. Pour the crumbs into the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer (I find it easiest to use the bottom of a glass, or measuring cup, to get an even flat crust).
Bake for 10-12 minutes until fragrant, remove from oven to cool (leave the oven on).
Step 3: Make Filling
You can chop the Red Velvet Oreos as coarse or fine as you want for the filling, I preferred larger chunks so they'd be visible and not just turn the filling red, I chopped each Oreo into roughly 6 pieces. I used 10 cookies, if you REALLY love Oreos, feel free to add a few more.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or with an electric mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and a pinch of salt and beat until incorporated.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and mix until completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sour cream and vanilla, beating until smooth.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, gently fold in the chopped Oreos giving the bowl a final scrape. Pour the filling over the prepared crust, smoothing it into an even layer, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
Step 4: Bake, Top, Cool, and Enjoy
Bake the cheesecake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly, 35 to 45 minutes.
While baking, prepare the sour cream topping. Mix the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and drop dollops of the sour cream mixture over the top, using a small offset spatula, spread the topping evenly over the cheesecake.
Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake another 8 to 10 minutes until the topping is set.
Remove the pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, cover the pan with foil and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours, before serving. (I refrigerated mine overnight, I find it really gives the Oreos a chance to soften.)
Remove the bars from the pan using the foil sling, cut into bars, and serve. If you prefer cheesecake a little closer to room temperature, let it sit out about half an hour before eating.
Return any leftovers to the baking pan, cover, and store up to three days in the refrigerator.