For those of you who like brownies, this is very similar, and it has won me over. This is a chocolate shortbread cookie with a creamy cheese filling. Yummy. I can’t resist anything with a cheesecake like filling and especially with homemade ricotta, or farmer’s cheese. I wanted these bars to be tender and delicate, but sturdy enough to hold up a generous amount of filling. Luscious and smooth, the filling is a perfect complement to the chocolate cookie crust and topping. I purposely created this recipe to not be overwhelmingly sweet and heavy, instead going for a lighter feel, so you can enjoy more, without feeling heavy and getting a sugar rush.
Yields: about 36 bars (13×9 inch baking pan)
3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups) softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Tablespoon chocolate liquer, optional
4-8 oz chocolate, semisweet, melted
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 pound farmer’s cheese or ricotta (творог)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz melted semi sweet chocolate, melted, to drizzle on top of the bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy by mixing it on medium speed with the paddle attachment in a standing mixer or using a hand mixer. Add the melted chocolate (you can melt it in the microwave or on low heat on the stove), depending on how chocolaty you want it to be,the chocolate liqueur and vanilla. Mix to combine. Add the flour and salt, mix just until it’s incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Set aside 2 cups of the dough and refrigerate. Spread the rest of the dough into prepared baking sheet. Sometimes, I like to use a measuring cup to press the dough into an even layer. Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust. Take out the reserved dough from the refrigerator and use a box grater to grate the dough over the filling. it should be easy to do, since it will firm up in the refrigerator. If it’s too soft, you may want to put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if you like.