2 years ago I made Darth Vader cookies to celebrate my 2 year work anniversary! This act was actually bucking tradition. Tradition at my work place is for each year you work at the company, you bring in 1 lb. of M&Ms on your anniversary.
So for my anniversary I brought in 4 lbs. of M&Ms. But they didn’t all arrive there in bags.
Some came in a cheesecake bar.
Standard M&Ms aren’t my favourite candy.
I don’t mean that I don’t like them, at the end of the day they’re convenient chocolate. What’s not to like?
I just generally prefer to put my calorie intake towards MORE chocolate as opposed to candy shells. Also I’ve never been the biggest fan of the milk variety of chocolate.
I think that’s also why I’m not a huge fan of replacing chocolate chips in cookies with M&Ms. That, and the “melt in your mouth, not in your hands” motto isn’t as exciting when applied to chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate melty goodness in my hands please. I need my cookies ooey gooey.
So when I figured that bringing in M&M baked goods instead of just plain old M&Ms was the plan of action, I was at a bit of a loss. M&M Cookies were the standard go to baked good, but I wasn’t really feeling that idea.
If you give me a box of M&M cookies, I will totally eat one. I will totally eat five of them. I just felt there was a better application of M&Ms out there. Something where the candy shell brought more to the table than rainbow beauty.
I initially didn’t want to trust it. I get it, I’ve been there, dieters need dessert too, dieters just aren’t commonly known for their… decadent indulgences. Which is what I am always seeking. When I’m not dieting. And also when I’m dieting.
But traversing the ingredient list, reserving a couple minor tweaks, it sounded fabulous despite its 5-point count (is that good or bad? I’ve never done Weight Watchers).
The M&M shells disintegrated slightly into the surrounding cheesecake batter, making them more brittle, and less of an interruption in the creamy cheesecake. In fact, the shells seems to mimic the crust while the chocolate mimicked the cheesecake.
It was a taste and texture sensation.
I only ate one of these bars because my co-workers ate the rest.
I think I’m in need of an anniversary celebration by myself.
In a dark corner.
With a fork and a pile of goodies that are terrible for me.
Or even only 5-point terrible.
M&M Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Weight Watchers Recipes
Note: These may not still be 5 WW points as I replaced margarine with butter and walnuts with pecans. And I don’t know how the point system works.
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup M&Ms
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar, granulated
- 1/3 cup sugar, brown packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the pecans and flour; mix well.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture; press the remaining crumb mixture into bottom of a 8″ square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
- Filling: Combine the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla; using an electric mixer, mix at medium speed until well blended. Add the egg; mix well.
- Layer 1/2 cup of the Smarties or M&M candies over the crust; top with the cream cheese mixture.
- Combine the remaining candy and reserved crumb mixture; mix well. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the cream cheese mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool completely and let set in the refrigerator for 2 hours before cutting.