Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Bars And A Tribute To Joan
“There are some people in life who make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better.”
It’s with a heavy heart that I share this post today on National Chocolate Day. Last week, my precious friend and fellow blogger Joan Hayes of Chocolate Chocolate and more passed away suddenly and much too soon of a heart attack. To say that Joan was amazing sounds much too cliche but she really was amazing. Joan was more like a sister to me than a friend. She was the one person I knew I could talk to about anything without feeling judged or uncomfortable and she would not only be a voice of reason but she would provide encouragement or be a cheerleader when needed.
Joan was also a dedicated Mother to her 3 beloved children C.J., Cassie and Grace. She was a daughter, a sister and friend who was loyal, generous, loving and kind. Joan had a fearless spirit. She was an adventurer at heart and dreamed of traveling the world and visiting places most people only read about. She had a big smile with a heart to match. Joan was the very first blogger friend I met when we began our blogs years ago only weeks apart. We became instant friends and remained close until her passing. There are so many things I’ll miss about her in the days to come, far too many to list but, I’ll especially miss giggling with her and the many late night chats we shared together. Precious moments that I will treasure for a lifetime.
It wasn’t very long ago that she and I guest posted on each others blogs and I was honored that she shared this recipe with my readers before sharing it with her own. I am working along with her family and a group of other wonderful bloggers to keep her work going just as she desired. Joan believed everyday should include chocolate in some form. I couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute than to share Joan’s recipe for these luscious triple chocolate cheesecake bars from this her original guest post you can read here in Joan’s own words. Rest well my sweet friend you’ll never be forgotten. ~ Melissa
- Cheesecake bars:
- 2 cups crushed Oreo cookies (about 24 cookies)
- 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 24 ounces cream cheese (3 8 ounce bars) softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
- Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil, lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine crushed Oreo cookies with melted butter until all crumbs are moistened. Press crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.
- Place 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high in microwave for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Heat an additional 15 seconds if needed. Let cool.
- Cream cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar and vanilla, beat well.
- Add cooled chocolate and beat again until combined. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Make sure to scrap down sides of bowl.
- Spoon cheesecake mixture over prepared crust and smooth to edges.
- Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 40-45 minutes, until only center of cheesecake jiggles. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with door to oven cracked for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove cheesecake to rack to cool completely before refrigerating. Let cheesecake chill for 1 hour before adding decorative ganache.
- To make ganache: Place chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute. Let chocolate rest for 5 minutes before stirring. Stir until completely smooth. Let cool.
- Spoon ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a #3 tip or you can use a plastic freezer bag with a small hole cut out of one corner.
- Drizzle chocolate ganache over cheesecake in any design. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to completely chill before slicing.