These Monster Cookie Cheesecake Bars have a cookie crust of peanut butter, chocolate chips, oats, and M&Ms with a layer of cheesecake in the middle. Cut these into squares for the perfect potluck dessert.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick baking spray.
For the cookie crust: Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until creamy.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.
Stir together the salt, baking soda, flour, and oats in a bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated.
Stir in the chocolate chips and 3/4 cups of M&M candies by hand.
Press half of the cookie dough in the bottom of the prepared pan. Reserve the remaining dough. Bake the bottom crust for 5 minutes then remove from the oven.
For the Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the melted chocolate and beat until creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated but do not overbeat the batter.
Spread the cheesecake batter over the cookie dough in the pan. Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the cheesecake batter.
Bake the cheesecake for 30-35 minutes or until dough is golden brown and the cheesecake is set.
Remove pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Carefully place the remaining 1/4 cup of M&Ms on top and press down slightly (see note). Let the cheesecake cool for one hour and then refrigerate it for 4 hours or until completely chilled. Cut into 24 bars before serving.
M&M's will crack if they heat up too much so adding them to the top after they've baked is the secret to keeping them looking pretty.
I chose to go with a regular cheesecake layer here but the chocolate cheesecake layer is very good too.