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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake


Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake is a decadent, rich dessert that begs to be shared with family and friends.  Creamy New York style cheesecake covers your favourite peanut butter cups and a chocolate cookie crumb crust holds everything together.  

Who knew that National Cheesecake Day and our wedding anniversary would coincide in 2017?!  Ha, ha.  I didn't know that when I started out making this cheesecake for our anniversary. We've been married 39 years today. We didn't have cheesecake at our wedding but we had it for our anniversary. Actually, I made a small 6-inch cake for Don's birthday last month and he liked it so much I told him I'd make another one for our anniversary.   
Don's birthday cheesecake.

I decided I'd make a large 9-inch cake to share with family and friends because a 6-inch cake has its limitations in the sharing department.  Ha.  After some planning and looking around I found a good recipe for the filling that was almost the same as the one I'd mixed up for Don's birthday.  I didn't have a recipe for that one and just threw it together by guess.  The filling for the 9-inch cake comes from Better Homes and Gardens. Why reinvent the wheel or the cheesecake?  I made a couple of modifications and the little cake was very successfully replicated.


Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (About 18 Oreo or FudgeeO cookies, etc.)
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup cream
3 eggs, slightly beaten
About 300 gram package miniature peanut butter cups (about 3 cups or enough to cover the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.)


Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
¼ cup cream
6 caramel candies (like Kraft individually wrapped)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
A few drops vanilla

Chocolate Ganache
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Garnish, Optional
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Extra peanut butter cups


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper.  This will help when removing the cake from the pan to a serving plate.

Crust: Crush the chocolate cookies until fine crumbs are achieved. Do not remove the frosting holding the cookies together.  Use a food processor or roll the crumbs fine using a rolling pin. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter.  Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared springform pan.  The crumbs should be at least 1½ inches up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust in the preheated oven 8 minutes.  Remove and let cool while making the filling.

Filling:  In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the cream until smooth. Add beaten eggs, mixing on low speed only until combined.

Scatter the miniature peanut butter cups over the bottom of the crust.  You should have enough cups to fill the bottom without any large gaps between the candy.  Pour the filling over the peanut butter cups and smooth the top.  Place in the 350 degree oven and immediately lower temperature to 300 degrees.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes until the edges are firm but the middle is still a little giggly.  Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest 30 minutes in oven.  Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes.  Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan.

Let rest another 30 minutes and then release the spring on the pan.  Remove the pan and let the cheesecake cool completely. You may now add the toppings to the cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours if you can't wait any longer but it is best to let the cheesecake rest overnight before serving.  

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce:  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels and peanut butter in the cream.  Stir until smooth.  Let cool but don't let it get cold.  Can also be made in a microwave.

Chocolate Ganache:  In a small saucepan bring the cream to a near simmer.  Turn off heat and add the chocolate.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Lay aside until cool but not cold.  

Spread the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce over the surface of the cake. Smooth the top.  Place the ganache in a small sandwich bag and snip the corner to make a small opening.  Pipe the chocolate over the top of the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce to make a pleasing pattern.  

Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Optional Garnish: Whip about ½ cup whipping cream with 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla if desired. Pipe or spoon whipped cream on top of cake and top with extra peanut butter cups.  

Makes 12-16 slices.


I used a 290 gram package of Dare Ultimate Fudge cookies.  There were 18 cookies in the pack.  Any chocolate sandwich cookie will be suitable for the crust.  


I used my new food processor to crush the cookies.  The 18 cookies made exactly 2 cups of crumbs. Add the melted butter and press into a 9-inch springform pan.


I used 2 packages of mini peanut butter cups which came to 314 grams or about 3 cups.  


The crust should come up the sides about 1½ inches.  Bake the crust 8 minutes and let cool.  Scatter the mini peanut butter cups over the cooled surface of the crust. If there are any cups left over, save them if you will be using them for garnish.  Don't eat them like I did!


While the crust is baking start preparing the cheesecake filling.  I stock up on cream cheese when it goes on sale. Cream the cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin.


Combine the sugar and flour together.  

Add the flour, sugar and vanilla to the creamed cheese.

Beat until well combined but don't over beat.  

Once the mixture is well combined add the cream.

Lightly beat the eggs.

Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture.  Blend in on low speed until just combined.  Do not over beat.  Air pockets will form if you beat the mixture too much. 


Pour the cheesecake filling over the peanut butter cakes and level off the top.  Bake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Turn off the oven and leave the cake in for 30 minutes.  Remove and cool.


Let cake cool 5 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides.  This will prevent the top from cracking near the edges.  After 30 minutes release the spring on the side of the pan and remove the sides of the pan.  Let sit until cool.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to decorate the top.  The cheesecake should not be served until it has chilled for a minimum of 4 hours but overnight is better.  


While the cheesecake is cooling and chilling prepare the toppings. For the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce melt caramels and peanut butter in cream over low heat.


Add a few drops of vanilla and stir until smooth. Cool.

 Pour the sauce over the top of the cold cheesecake.

Spread over and smooth the top.  It doesn't have to be perfect as you will be piping chocolate over the top of the sauce.


To make the ganache heat the cream to just below simmering. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. 


Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth. Cool.

Place the cooled chocolate in a small sandwich bag.  Snip the end and pipe chocolate over the top of the peanut sauce.


If you wish garnish with dollops or rosettes of sweetened whipped cream and extra peanut butter cups.  Because I ate some of the miniature cups I had to buy a couple of bars and cut them up for garnish.  LOL.  


The cheesecake serves 12-16.


Happy Anniversary, Don! 
Happy Cheesecake Day, everyone else!




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Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
Creamy, rich, vanilla cheesecake covers your favourite peanut butter cups, encased in a chocolate crumb crust.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (About 18 Oreo or FudgeeO cookies, etc.)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • About 300 gram package miniature peanut butter cups (About 3 cups or enough to cover the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.)
Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 6 caramel candies (like Kraft individually wrapped)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • A few drops vanilla
Chocolate Ganache
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Garnish, optional
  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Extra peanut butter cups
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper. This will help when removing the cake from the pan to a serving plate.

Crust: Crush the chocolate cookies until fine crumbs are achieved. Do not remove the frosting holding the cookies together. Use a food processor or roll the crumbs fine using a rolling pin. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter. Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared springform pan. The crumbs should be at least 1½ inches up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust in the preheated oven 8 minutes. Remove and let cool while making the filling.

Filling: In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the cream until smooth. Add beaten eggs, mixing on low speed only until combined.

Scatter the miniature peanut butter cups over the bottom of the crust. You should have enough cups to fill the bottom without any large gaps between the candy. Pour the filling over the peanut butter cups and smooth the top. Place in the 350 degree oven and immediately lower temperature to 300 degrees. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until the edges are firm but the middle is still a little giggly. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest 30 minutes in oven. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan.

Let rest another 30 minutes and then release the spring on the pan. Remove the pan and let the cheesecake cool completely. You may now add the toppings to the cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours if you can't wait any longer but it is best to let the cheesecake rest overnight before serving.

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels and peanut butter in the cream. Stir until smooth. Let cool but don't let it get cold. Can also be made in a microwave.

Chocolate Ganache: In a small saucepan bring the cream to a near simmer. Turn off heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Lay aside until cool but not cold.

Spread the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce over the surface of the cake. Smooth the top. Place the ganache in a small sandwich bag and snip the corner to make a small opening. Pipe the chocolate over the top of the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce to make a pleasing pattern.

Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Optional Garnish: Whip about ½ cup whipping cream with 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla if desired. Pipe or spoon whipped cream on top of cake and top with extra peanut butter cups.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12-16 slices

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