Monday, March 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Alright everyone, here you go! This is the cheesecake recipe that I made for my husband's birthday that a few of you have requested. It is a combination of three different recipes also with an added touch of my own...Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties. I'm giving you two crust options in case you don't have or want to find Girl Scout peanut butter patties. The peanut butter patty crust is awesome if you can get your hands on some. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Crust (option 1):
9 Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
12 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp sugar

Crust (option 2):
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or chocolate cookie crumbs)
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tbsp sugar

Crust topping:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

4 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate (I used dark)
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 or full bag mini Reese's peanut butter cups, cut into fourths

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Assemble a 9-inch spring form pan with the raised side of the bottom facing down. Spray lightly and evenly with baker's cooking spray or other cooking spray. Wrap a sheet of foil tightly around the bottom of the pan. I did 3 layers of foil. This is for the water bath later on. It will keep the water from leaking into the cheesecake.

If using cookies, pulse them in a food processor or crush in a plastic bag until finely ground. Add them to the graham crackers crumbs. Stir in melted butter and sugar until completely combined. Transfer to prepared pan, and press crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the side of the pan. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet (about 1-2 inch deep pan); bake 10 minutes and set aside.

Place peanut butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Pour evenly over the crust.

In a mixer, add cream cheese, sugar, and salt. Blend until smooth. With mixer running on low speed, add eggs, then sour cream, and finally chocolate; blend filling until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Don't over mix. Pour filling onto crust. Pour hot water into the rimmed baking sheet that the cheesecake is sitting on. The water should be about an inch or two up the side of the spring form pan. I also placed an additional 9x13 pan of hot water on the rack just under the cheesecake to make sure the cheesecake didn't crack. Bake cheesecake just until almost set, 1 hour. The 2-3 inches in diameter in the center of the cheesecake should still be jiggly. Turn oven off, and let cheesecake sit 1 hour in oven, without opening (this helps prevent cracking).

Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan (this helps prevent cracking, too); leave in pan, and cool completely on wire rack. Cover loosely and refrigerate, at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

For the ganache topping (don't make until right before you are going to use it), cut the butter into small squares and let cool to room temperature. If using a chocolate bar, chop into small pieces. If using chips, you can leave as is. Place chocolate in a medium size bowl. Heat cream over medium-high heat. Once it comes to gentle boil, pour cream over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until chocolate and cream are completely incorporated and smooth. Whisk in the soft butter.

Once the cheesecake has been refrigerated for at least 6 hours, spoon the chocolate ganache onto the cheesecake. Spread 1/2 to 3/4ths of the ganache into an even layer covering the top of the cheesecake and leaving about 1/2 inch all the way around. Top with Reese's peanut butter cups. Take remaining ganache and place into a ziploc bag. Cut a VERY SMALL hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle the ganache over the top of the peanut butter cups.


LeBret Photography said...

YAY! Thank you for this little piece of heaven!

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