THE Cheesecake for Chocolate Peanut Butter Lovers.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake. Those three little words are enough for me to start drooling. Add a chocolate cookie crust, a towering layer of chocolate peanut butter crunch topping and a drizzle of peanut butter sauce and I am in heaven.
Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my absolute favorite flavor combinations. It’s one of those combinations I have a hard time not overdoing. Wherever there’s chocolate, it seems like peanuts should follow. And vice versa.
Most of the time, I simply don’t have enough restraint to leave chocolate out when peanut butter is involved. For example, these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies started out as simply peanut butter oatmeal cookies and ended up including chocolate chips. I don’t know if I’m capable of eating vanilla ice cream without a sprinkle of salty peanuts and a drizzle of hot fudge. Well… I’m sure I’m capable of it. But, why would I want to?
I come by my chocolate peanut butter obsession honestly.
If anyone loves the chocolate and peanut butter combination more than me, it’s my mother. For years, her favorite Dairy Queen treat was the Peanut Buster Parfait. That is, until they introduced the Snickers Blizzard, which took it’s place. Also, growing up, my mom made the most amazing Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. As an adult, I found myself making them so often that I had to create a healthier version of the recipe.
So, this is the point in which I feel I should say that, if you are looking for a healthy way to eat chocolate and peanut butter, you should go make the healthy version of the afore mentioned Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. If you are looking for pure indulgence and over-the-top decadence, this Peanut Butter Cheesecake gets the job done. And then some.
I’m blaming my parents for the fact that there is currently a peanut butter cheesecake in our refrigerator.
This past Christmas, I made several different ice cream toppings and packaged them up with these gorgeous ice cream dishes as gifts for our parents. Seriously. Who wouldn’t want to eat ice cream out of a Swarovski Crystal Dish?
Included with the ice cream dishes were jars of hot fudge with a dash of peppermint extract, butterscotch sauce, malted hot fudge sauce, caramel rum sauce and peanut butter sauce. Of course, I made enough of each for the people living in my house to have some too. But, I got a bit carried away with the peanut butter sauce.
So, weeks after Christmas, we still have a big jar of peanut butter sauce in the refrigerator. Well, we had a big jar of peanut butter sauce in the refrigerator.
Now, we have a peanut butter cheesecake in there.
Because, one day, as I was rummaging around for something for lunch, I thought, “Mmmm… I bet that peanut butter sauce would be delicious swirled into a cheesecake. A cheesecake with a chocolate crust. Piled with chocolate covered peanuts.” At which point I forgot about lunch and got to work making peanut butter cheesecake. Yes, I know. I have no self-control. (But, we’ve already established that it’s all my parents’ fault.)
As with most good things in life, this peanut butter cheesecake requires a bit of planning ahead.
As desperate as you might be for a slice of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake right this second, it’s not happening. Sorry. This cheesecake recipe requires a bit of planning. But, it’s totally worth it! Here’s what you want to do…
Make the peanut butter sauce at least 2 days ahead of time. Also, make enough peanut butter sauce that you have some left over. It will last in your refrigerator for weeks and is absolutely amazing over vanilla ice cream.
Also, it’s important that you allow this peanut butter cheesecake at least 12 hours to chill in the refrigerator before serving. So, make it the day before you want to serve it and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The chocolate crunch topping only takes an hour or so to firm up in the refrigerator, so you can make it the same day you bake the cheesecake, or make it an hour or two before you plan to serve the cheesecake. Your choice.
This recipe makes a LOT of cheesecake.
Also, this is the kind of cheesecake where a very small slice feels like a lot. It’s rich and decadent and a few bites go a long way. I think you could get 24 slices out of this bad boy easily. Maybe more. If you want to make a smaller peanut butter cheesecake, you could certainly cut the recipe in half and bake it in a 6-inch springform pan. (Instead of 5 whole eggs, use 3.)
Used in this cheesecake recipe:
If you love cheesecake, than you’ll also love this Marble Chocolate Cheesecake.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Topping
- 9 ounces chocolate graham crackers (about 2½ cups)
- ¾ cup butter, melted (6oz)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 5 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp unbleached, all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups cups Peanut Butter Sauce, at room temperature (recipe above)
- 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1¾ cups)
- 1½ cups Rice Krispy cereal
- 1½ cups roasted, salted peanuts
- Fit the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper cut to fit.
- Finely crush the chocolate graham crackers in a food processor. Alternatively, you can put the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Pour the crumbs into a medium size bowl, and add the melted butter and salt. Mix with your hands until all the crumbs are moistened.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and about half-way up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks and beat on low speed until well combined, about 2 minutes more. Add the whipping cream and vanilla and mix on low just until combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared cookie crust. Drizzle 1¾ cups of the peanut butter sauce over the top of the batter and gently swirl it into the batter with a knife.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 90 - 120 minutes. To know if the cheesecake is done, gently shake the pan. The center of the cake should move a bit, but seem more solid than Jello.The outside of the cake should not move at all.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make a double boiler by filling a saucepan ¾ full of water and bringing it to a boil. Fit a heat proof bowl over the boiling water - the bowl should fit snuggly over the saucepan so just the bottom of the bowl is touching the water.
- Dump the chocolate chips into the bowl and let them sit without stirring until they are about ⅔ melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir in the Rice Krispies and peanuts and spread out into a thin layer on the parchment covered baking sheet. Let cool in the refrigerator until the chocolate is hard.
- Remove the side of the springform pan from the cheesecake. Use a spatula to lift the cheesecake off the bottom of the springform pan onto a serving platter.
- Break the chocolate crunch topping into pieces and pile on top of the cheesecake.
- Warm the remaining ¼ peanut butter sauce slightly - about 20 seconds in the microwave - and drizzle the sauce all over the top of the chocolate crunch topping. Serve. The cheesecake will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 4 T butter (half a stick)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup salted, roasted peanuts
- Add the the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt to a heavy bottomed medium size saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar is melted and the mixture begins to boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and stir in the peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter is complete incorporated into the sauce.
- Pour in the cream and stir constantly until the cream is completely incorporated into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peanuts.
- Pour the sauce into jars, or another covered container, and store in the refrigerator.