The Perfect Couple
Why do chocolate and peanut butter work so well together? Who cares as long as they continue to!
And do they ever! I love the dark chocolate peanut butter cups more than the milk chocolate ones, but when push comes to shove, I am more than happy to pop the original milk chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into my mouth as some pop tic-tacs in theirs. There are chocolate peanut butter cups everywhere and in all sorts of presentations. I received a package of Colts® Bolts (which I will chat more about another day) and let me tell you, these are amazing peanut butter cups!
Then there is the single serving size Häagen Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream. I love pillaging through the middle of the pint (although Häagen Dazs is one of the ice cream makers who have sized down their containers so much that they actually now look like single serving cartons) on the quest to find the biggest chunk of peanut butter. I have been known to eat all the peanut butter out and leave a little bit of chocolate ice cream for the next person. I think it is quite considerate on my part to share although sometimes the next person does not exactly agree with me on this point. Oh well, we can’t please our children all the time, now can we?
One thing I did discover that pleased my family is my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. It pretty much packs in as much peanut butter and chocolate as one cake can hold. The crust is a basic chocolate wafer crust, but then that gets topped with melted peanut butter. The chocolate cheesecake is then loaded up with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and the final product is topped with a chocolate drizzle. As my favorite crazy Uncle Danny would say, badda-boom-badda-bang, we end up with an incredibly creamy cheesecake that gets eaten much too quickly.
|Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake|| || |
- 1 package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Bottom layer:
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter, melted
- 3 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 12 ounces chocolate chips, melted
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 10 ounces Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 325º. Set aside a 10” round cake pan.
- For the crust: Combine the cookies and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until it is the consistency of powder. Add the melted butter and pulse on/off until well blended. Spray the cake pan with a cooking spray (i.e. PAM®). Transfer cookie mixture to the pan and pat into the bottom and up 1” of the side. Set aside.
- For the bottom layer: Pour the melted peanut butter onto the crust. Begin in the middle and pour towards the outside of the crust. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
- For the filling: Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate, then the vanilla and whipping cream. Remove from the mixer and fold in the chopped Reese’s cups. Pour the filling over the bottom layer and bake at 325º for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Cover a 12” round cakeboard with plastic wrap. Place the cheesecake in a larger pan. Fill halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan with very warm water. Let sit for 20 – 30 seconds. Take cheesecake out of the water and dry the cake pan. Cover with the 12” covered cakeboard and turn upside down. Bang the pan two or three times against a towel lined countertop to loosen the cake from the pan. Remove the cake pan. If cheesecake does not come out right away, place back in very warm water. Depending on how cold the cheesecake is, this process may have to be repeated several times. Place a serving plate over the bottom of the cheesecake and turn rightside up.
- For the topping: Melt 2 ounces chocolate chips with the whipping cream, either on the stove or in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Spoon into a small plastic freezer bag and make a small cut in one of the bottom corners. Squeeze the topping out over the cake.
- Betsy’s Tidbits: This cheesecake may also be prepared in a 10” springform pan. Butter the side of the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Once the cake is cool, remove the side of the pan and continue with the topping.
- Filling the bottom of a kitchen sink with very warm water is an alternative way to loosen the cheesecake from the pan. Hold the pan steadily in the warm water, making sure that the water does not splash into the pan. Dry the bottom of the pan and continue with the instructions as written above.