Manic Mania!

Do you all have those days where you become absolutely ob-sess-ed with something. You see it everywhere you go, you think about it and then dream about it as well?

Well, last post, I told you I was reading Anna Karenina.
It’s a novel about a love story. Sounds pretty average right? NO! It is so much more than a love story…

 

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich

Written by Leo Tolstoy, who is one of the most brilliant writers in history, it is the tragedy of one married woman who discovers the emptiness of her life after finding immediate lust and love. Leading to an adulterous affair, she continues to try and still be part of her autocratic and judgmental Russian society, while battling her internal demons, a poisonous mixture of jealousy and depression egged on by morphine.

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Interweave this story with another tale of a philosophically minded man whose discovery of love leads to confusion and questioning, you get a novel which so intricately explores the human condition. Personally, I also found Tolstoy’s descriptions to be a criticism on society’s animalistic tendency for ‘acting as a pack’. Anna is condemned for her actions by all of her class, which truly speaks out about how narrow-minded and opinionated a group can be.

Truly the novel is inspiring and as you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed it, thought and continue to think about it. It made me smile (Stiva), contemplate (Levin), get frustrated (Vronsky), become unreasonably angry (Karenin) and experience feelings of overwhelming sadness and despair (Anna Karenina). You want to dive into this novel and change things, help people and just twist the story but you can’t.

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You are a ghost, sitting at a bench at the train station in 19th century Russia, your voice and hands helpless to stop the story unfolding.

You are helpless in Anna Karenina while your emotions take you on a rollercoaster ride. You feel unstrapped, unsteady throughout the whole journey, blindfolded so you continually gasp with surprise at every twist, every dip. You do not see anything coming.

Have I convinced you yet to read it? I hope so!

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To continue the mania I have developed for it, I watched the 1997 Anna Karenina film featuring Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean. As fantastic as Sophie Marceau was, the perfect mix of vulnerability, determination and resignation, this movie did not truly seem to capture the complexity that is Tolstoy’s novel. Rather, it felt like each scene from the book taken, shortened considerably and placed woodenly next to each other. There was a lack of flow and an obvious rush to fit the novel.

Which has made me more excited than ever to see that a new Anna Karenina has been released featuring Keira Knightley, the queen of the Victorian Era :D – It looks so grand, so beautiful and so… Russian that I can’t wait to see it! Check out the trailer :D

I haven’t met my Vronsky yet and haven’t started my own story (minus the tragedy bit!) so while I wait for him to come into my life, I made a very delicious and perfectly decadent slice to accompany my day dreams.

It is a sandwich of a sort involving copious amounts of sugar, cream cheese, chocolate chips and a healthy dose of butter.
Cookie. Cheesecake. Cookie.

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Et voila, c’est un sandwich.

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich
Adapted From: Pass The Sushi

Ingredients:

Cookie:

  • 1 cup butter (256g)
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbs full cream milk
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 ½ cup mixed chocolate chips

Cheesecake:

  • 250g cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup + 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • Caramel chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Grease and line a baking tray (13×9 inch) with baking paper
  2. Melt butter and stir in the sugar and essence (it will initially stay separated but keep mixing till you get a smooth chestnut brown and no traces of floating butter). Let cool to lukewarm
  3. Beat in egg and milk
  4. Stir through the flour, salt, baking soda until just combined
  5. Fold through the chocolate chips
    IMG_4395
  6. Get half the batter and dollop into the pan. Spread and press the dough into the prepared pan into an even layer (I used a slightly floured wooden spoon for this)
  7. Refrigerate this layer and remaining dough while you make your cheesecake portion
  8. Cheesecake: Beat the sugar and cream cheese until pale and fluffy. Then beat in the egg and essence until the mixture is smooth
    IMG_4399
  9. Pour the mixture over the top of the pressed cookie in the tin. Sprinkle with a generous amount of caramel chips
  10. Using your hands, make flat disks of the remaining cookie dough and gently press on top of the cheesecake batter (not all batter must be covered but try for as much as possible)
    IMG_4403
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes (I did 27 minutes because the top was overbrowning and resulted in a slightly gooey cheesecake but just cover with a brown bag if that is the case) or until the edges start pulling away from the pan and it is golden brown
  12. Let cool completely to room temperature then refrigerate
  13. Cut into tiny squares as to not commit murder by sugar and then devour until you can take no more :D

Enjoy my dear friends with a good book :D – I promise it shall not disappoint :)

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140 Comments

  1. laurasmess says:

    Oh my gosh Uru!!! This looks absolutely amazing! Love the idea of sandwiching deliciousness between even more layers of deliciousness… definitely on my to-bake list for the next girl’s night :) Oh, and I’ve never seen or read Anna Karenina so you’ve taught me something! xx

  2. Katerina says:

    I’ve read Anna Karenina when I was in high school and I was so much touched by the strong feelings of that woman and her bitter end! Usually movies are inferior than the books. The combo of cookies and cheesecake is absolutely delicious!

    • Some women find that Anna Karenina is anti-feminist, considering her end and dependency in some ways on her men, but I personally think she is one of the strongest female characters I have read about. Emotionally, it takes her such strength to overcome the obstacles in her relations. The movie was inferior though no doubt!
      Thank you :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  3. Love your romantic side as well as your sweet side. ;) I love stories like that and the trailer was riveting.
    Lovely squares, but have to say your new blog looks outstanding! All the best for 2014 – Happy New Year!!

  4. Jennie says:

    Uru, you just made my dreams come true in the form of a cookie cheesecake sandwich. This is making my mouth water. Yum! And, you convinced me to read this book. I’m downloading it from the library asap!

  5. Uru, you have the magic touch! This cheesecake cookie sandwich is calling out my name. I need to start throwing my money at someone smart enough to create a computer where I can reach into my screen and grab what’s there (or would it be easier, cheaper and quicker for me just to bake these – lol).

  6. Sophie33 says:

    I am dyeting right now & lost 5 kg so I musn’s & can’t indulge on these glorious cookies & cream cheesecake bars! They look insanely rich & yummy too! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! :) xxx

  7. Kim Bultman says:

    Looks like you’ve created a rich and complex treat to go with a rich and complex novel, Uru! Sigh… the human condition is much better contemplated with a sandwich cookie in hand. :)

  8. This looks absolutely to die for CCU! It is definitely going on my “must make” list…in fact, I have thought about this dessert often the past few days since I saw your photo of it on Facebook. I am currently reading Anna Karenina too! I hope that when you do find your Vronsky, he is grounded with some of Levin’s positive down-to-earth qualities. I love the way the book explores, in such great detail, both the positive and negative qualities that lie within each of us. For example, while Vronsky is charming and attractive, he shows tendencies of selfishness and cowardism. While Karenin seems boring in so many regards, I was impressed with how he forgives Anna, and grows to love the child that is not his, after her near death experience. Talk about complexity! Can you tell I really want to talk to someone about this book?!

  9. Cakelaw says:

    Oooh, I will happily have this cheesecake sandwich! The new Anna Karenina movie looks terrific – though I have never read the book. Jude Law looks very old in it.

  10. Medeja says:

    Don’t know about reading the book, but I am thinking to watch a movie :D

    And this cookie sandwich is again just really sinful and tempting way to gain another kilo.. :D :P

  11. cakewhiz says:

    lordy lord! i think am gaining weight as i am looking at all this “delciousness”….lol
    i hope you find you find your prince charming soon and then you can share all of your lovely treats with him…heheh

  12. It’s been far too long since I’ve stopped in.. and you’ve written an outstanding book review. I’ll admit, that was the one classic I just couldn’t read.. but I’ve seen the old movie and would love to see the new one. As always, you’ve wowed me with your baking:D xx

  13. Juliana says:

    I never had a chance to read Anna Karenina, now after reading your post, I feel that I must read it…
    Your cheesecake with different chocolate chips looks decadent.
    Have a great week!

  14. Lilly Sue says:

    I absolutely love your description of the book :) My sister-in-law was also telling me to read it. I think I need to! The movie looks good though I am not a huge fan of Keira Knightley. This treat you have chosen looks divine :)

  15. Lovely Pantry says:

    This looks DELICIOUS!!! I’m a sucker for cheesecake and chocolate. You got me!!! That movie looks very interesting! I’m glad you showed us the trailer!!

  16. This has gotta be one of the most sinful sandwich. but I will be glad to eat it.

    I am ashamed that I have not read Anna Karenina…Your post does make me wanna start on it before I catch the movie anyway.

  17. Great recipe, great review and preview! I haven’t read the book, but I just put it in my reading list. It may take a while though, right now I’m reading Les Misérables…our new mania at home (movie, soundtrack and book. Next, Broadway’s )
    Have a nice day! :)

  18. DJ says:

    Sounds like an interesting book! I’m reading a book called Heat. It’s about a journalist who goes to work in the kitchen (with no experience of course) of a famous New York City restaurant, it’s hilarious!! Anyways, these cookie sandwiches look amazing!!! :)

  19. mjskit says:

    What a great summary and assessment of Anna Karenina! I haven’t read it since college so reading your post really brought the book back for me. Thanks! And thanks for this awesome treat! OMG! Talk about total goodness and huge sugar rush! I’ll take it!

  20. Gina says:

    These sure are sinfully good. Look at all the goodies in them. How can you think about anything else but these, lol. Hope you have a great week.
    -Gina-

  21. Balvinder says:

    Oh my Goodness, Where should I look? Your chocolate chip cheese sandwich or the kiwi tart. You know I love fruit based desserts as much as I love chocolate. Both your creation look really yummy!

  22. Kailey says:

    I really want to read Anna Karenina before I watch the movie because I heard the book is amazing! Now about those cheesecake cookie sandwiches…well they look ridiculously good!

  23. Dara says:

    This cookie sandwich looks sinfully delicious. I love your discussion of Anna K. One of my all time favorites. I am jealous you just experienced it for the first time.

  24. i remember when i first read anna karenina – it is most definitely a novel that stays with you. and now i wanna curl up with that book and eat these treats. sounds like the perfect night!

  25. I saw a stage version a few years ago. Yawn! You tell it much better. I’m going to download the book to my kindle and give it a shot. I think I will need a stash of these cheesecake cookies – chee-kies ;) – to help me through the downward twists in the plot!

  26. Monet says:

    I adore that book and these beautiful bars! Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you have a great start to your week. Stay healthy, happy, and warm!

  27. navane64 says:

    Intriguing story line from the review. Temptations in life is so dangerous and unless we are willing to take the risk, its a big no for me. Btw, the dessert is gorgeous as usua.

  28. Veronica says:

    Wonderful review of the book, I actually own it and have never read it! For shame. I shall. And as for these sandwiches, oh me oh my, talk about an adulterous affair, I think I shall have one with them right now! ;)

  29. Beth says:

    I read Anna Karenina a few years ago, and I loved it so much I decided to read War and Peace. It took me forever, but I finished it. Good book, but Anna Karenina is the best.

  30. Hannah says:

    I remember falling in love with Anna Karenina that first time I read it as a young teen. I even convinced my first year university English lecturer to allow me to shape my specialised research degree’s first project on Tolstoy, because of AK, and it led to a semester of reading his diaries, letters, and lesser-know works. A brilliant man,

  31. Zoe says:

    I love your “healthy” dose of butter and sugar and wish to eat them everyday… LOL! In order not to miss out, I will most probably eat a tiny tiny slice of this ultimate treat – Ironic me!

  32. What a great story and recipe!!! Such a good idea, cheesecake and cookies. yum!
    I get into books exactly the same way as you do, I feel so emotional, and when I finish a good book I am devasted, I don’t want to leave my new friends (characters)

  33. The Life of Clare says:

    That slice sounds divine! I made a peanut butter chocolate brownie with a cheesecake center not too long ago and this will defitely be my next slice attempt!

  34. Susan says:

    I would love to see the movie but I highly doubt I will get my husband to the theater to see it :( Perhaps I can get a girl friend to go with me to see a matinee.

    Love your dessert! So decadent and delicious.

  35. Baker Becky says:

    The dessert is absolutely tempting…if it were in my kitchen, it would be gone! You will have to give us an update on the new movie and let us know if it does the book justice or not! :)

  36. Anna Karenina is such a wonderful book! I devoured it when I was about your age (along with War and Peace and much of Dostoyevsky — you still have a lot of great reading ahead of you!). Probably ought to reread it — Tolstoy is brilliant. And maybe make this neat treat to snack on while I read. Great looking stuff — thanks so mluch.

  37. If you continue to make such delectable treats, you will have your own long line of Vronskies.
    I have always wanted to read Anna Karenina and can’t wait to see the movie, it’s already out here but no one to go with :(
    Cookies and cheesecake there’s nothing better.

    Nazneen

  38. You are good at this Uru! Really good! Not only enticing one to read, but that with well chosen words and a dessert to match. Sinfully good is that dessert with everything a dessert lover wants all in one bite. I have been wanting to watch the movie but have missed remembering.
    I haven’t been on here for a while, hope you had a great holiday season.

  39. viveka says:

    ”Anna Karenina” one of my oldies favorite with one of the most beautiful women in the world through time ä Great Garbo, and of course she were Swedish. She was stunning and I think it will be hard for any new version to bet the old.
    The book is one of the few books I read more than once. Just adore it.
    This cake or whatever its really tickle me – and I don’t care about the calories. A brilliant post and really enjoyed my stop here today

  40. You my friend are trouble maker. You have managed to take two of my favorite desserts (Chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake) and put them into a sinfully good dessert. Yes, I would definitely be in a manic mania if I had these sitting in front of me. :)

  41. I know I have noticed this before–but you are such an excellent writer and have convinced me totally to read the book–and the cookie–the cookie– omgosh–to die for–you are such a talented girl–I know you are going to go far (and I am so impressed when you take time off to study and travel–so well-rounded)

  42. jama says:

    You’re teasing us with this decadent dessert! Mmmmm, cheesecake + chocolate!

    Haven’t read AK in years — I’ve heard mixed reviews about the new movie, but enjoyed reading your reactions to the novel. :)

  43. daisyandthefox says:

    this looks soooo good Uru!! :)
    cookie and cheesecake – golden combo!
    and now after your review – I’m so keen to read that book! :D

  44. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Fantastic! I wish ALL book reviews were interspersed with photos of food. Especially food this good. Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich! Holy moly. How can so many amazing ingredients be featured in the ONE dish?
    PS. I’ve never read Anna Karenina, but it’s on my list…

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