I have had a serious cheesecake making obsession lately. I think it started when I tried to make cheesecake for the first time in my new oven, the day before 30 family members came over for Christmas Eve. The cake tasted alright, but the appearance was an utter disaster. I ended up scraping the darken/burnt edges off the top of my cheesecakes and adding a whipping cream border around the top outer edge to hide the hideousness. Still the top (of a new york cheesecake) was a shade of medium brown, with more than one crack in the center and a slightly sunken appearance. Truthfully, it was an embarrassment… I’m sure my family could attest to that. I suppose it serves me right for trying something that requires a somewhat delicate process in a new oven for the first time when expecting guests! Alas. At least it was for family and they are obligated to love me despite my food related flops.
At any rate, I went through a short period of “I’m never making cheesecake again,” to a more recent desire to figure out what went wrong and to perfect my cheesecake making technique. I’ve made about half a dozen cheesecakes since Christmas, and done quite a bit of reading on the subject. I’ve learned a lot, and each cheesecake has come out better than the one before it. Hooray for that! The last three (New York, Blueberry Swirl, and now Peanut Butter Cup) have neared perfection… Cheesecake Nirvana!
This particular cheesecake was made for a family dinner last night to bid farewell to my sister and her husband as they are moving out of state. I think it was a hit… Did I redeem my self dear family?
-6 oreo cookies
-20 graham cracker squares
-1/8 c. dry roasted peanuts
-2 Tbsp of coca powder
-1 Tbsp granulated sugar
-8 Tbsp. butter, melted
-1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
In a food processor combine cookies, crackers, peanuts, cocoa powder, and sugar. Process until fine.
Add melted butter and stir with a fork until well combined.
Press into the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
Remove crust from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Warm the peanut butter in the microwave until very spreadable (about 30 sec).
Spread softened peanut butter over the crust, within 1″ of the edges.
*All ingredients should be at room temperature *
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
-20 oz. (2 1/2 packages) cream cheese
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup sugar
-3/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, depending on preference)
-1 egg yolk
-1/3 cup half and half.
-1 tsp. vanilla
Double wrap the bottom and sides spring form pan tightly in aluminum foil and prepare a water bath.
Using a pastry brush, coat the sides of your pan with melted butter. (This will help prevent cracking as the cheese cake settles)
Combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and peanut butter until creamy.
Add remaining ingredients just until combined, scrape sides of the bowl as needed, and do not over beat.
Set aside 3/4 cup of the filling, and pour the remaining over the prepared crust.
-6 coarsely chopped reses peanut butter cups
-1/2 cup hot fudge (ice cream topping)
Sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with the chopped peanut butter cups.
In a small bowl warm hot fudge in the microwave until easily stirred (about 3o sec). Add reserved cheesecake filling. Stir.
Layer the fudge filling over the peanut butter cups.
With a knife, carefully marble the fudge layer into the cheesecake just a bit.
Bake cheesecake in the water bath at 350 for 15 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 250 and bake an additional hour.
Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in for one more hour.
Resist the temptation to open the oven door. Keep it closed.
Remove from oven and from water bath and place on a cooling rack.
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sour cream
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and stir constantly until chocolate is melted.
Pour over the prepared cheesecake.
Refrigerate until set and ready to serve.
Garnish with additional chopped peanut butter cups if desired.