Peanut butter lovers, this one's for you! This is my most requested cheesecake ever! I took this to work once, was asked the recipe, then later requested to bring it to a meeting, which I did. The last time I made it I had to tag that friend for a copy of my recipe with notes because I couldn't find mine. By putting it on my blog, I should not have that problem ever again....of course, unless I forget that I posted it! But we won't talk about how good our memory cells are or aren't right?
Today we had our monthly potluck at work and I decided to make this one rather than the chocolate one I posted recently. This cheesecake continues to get rave reviews. I didn't bring home a single crumb, which was significant because there were a lot of folks taking off today for their 4th of July holiday. Others were working from home. Given the number of folks in the office, I was fully expecting to be bringing half, if not more, of the cheesecake home with me. I'm thrilled that my prediction didn't come true.
This cheesecake is a little extra work but worth every ounce of effort. Your family, guests, friends or co-workers will love love love it! I know a few of my followers who will almost lick the screen when they see these photos and read the recipe.
I can only say it is a very rich, but amazingly yummy cheesecake. Try it, you'll like it!
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
1 package of Nutter Butter cookies
32 Nilla Wafer cookies
3/4 cup roasted salted peanuts
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar
5 T. Butter
4 8-oz, packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
5 large eggs, room temperature
24 Peanut Butter Cup candies, cut into 3/4" pieces
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 bag Reese's Mini's
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 inch (2 3/4" deep) springform pan.
Finely crush the cookies and peanuts, using your food processor. I used a package minus 2. Give me a break, I had to have a couple of cookies because I love Nutter Butters!
Melt the butter and add it to the crumbs and mix well.
Pour the crumbs into the springform pan and press the crumbs evenly up the sides and on the bottom. I used a measuring cup to help do the work of pressing the crumbs on the sides and bottom of the pan.
Bake until the crust is set, about 8-10 minutes. Cool while you mix up the filling.
Unwrap all the peanut butter cups. I don't know about you, but when I was doing this, I noticed that these peanut butter cups have been downsized. They aren't as big as they used to be!
Place the unwrapped candies into the food processor bowl and give it a few pulses to chop them into 3/4" pieces.
If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, I'd recommend you use it. Otherwise, use a very sturdy hand mixer for the following steps.
Place the room temperature cream cheese into the bowl of the KitchenAid along with the brown sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat again until well blended.
Next add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. You will have a big ol' bowl of smooth and creamy peanut butter heaven!
Stir in the peanut butter cup pieces and stir until evenly distributed within the batter. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Yes, you have my permission to lick the spatula and spoon!
Bake until the sides are the cake are set but the center still moves slightly, about 55-60 minutes. Remove the cake form the oven and cool on a rack.
Chop the semi-sweet chocolate and place in a heavy saucepan and melt over very low heat, stirring constantly until it is smooth and no chunks remain. (Use the double boiler method if you're not comfortable using direct heat.) Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add all but 1 T. of the cream. Stir until smooth and then pour over the cooled cheesecake (cake should still be in the springform pan). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the peanut butter and 1 T. of heavy cream in a bow and microwave until it is a runny consistency. Place the peanut butter mixture in a sandwich bag and cut off the corner to pipe the mixture onto the top of the cheesecake and swirl. (make sure you cut off enough that you aren't squeezing the bag to hard to get the peanut butter mixture out. I did and had a blow out and it wasn't pretty; a mess all over the counter and kitchen floor.)
While the topping sets, use a sharp knife and cut the mini's in half.
Hint: Put the larger side of the candy on the board and cut from the small side, you'll have cleaner cuts that way.
Once the mini's are cut, surround the outer edge of the cheesecake with the mini peanut butter cup halves. Be creative. I used two rows for my cake.
Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.
Beware this is a very rich cheesecake, so keep the slices on the smaller side when you slice it for serving.
....and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!