Another birthday, another cheesecake. For my brother-in-law Jim’s birthday, I scoured countless recipes until I happened upon this recipe involving one of his favorite things – Reese’s peanut butter cups. I decided to ignore the nutrition information on the page, as bad as it may be. It’s for a special occasion, after all.
I followed the recipe with only a couple of exceptions. I have no idea how many crushed Oreos it takes to make 4 & 1/2 cups. So, I used an entire package minus the two that I ate. The crust for this cheesecake turned out beautifully.
I also changed the baking method to the way I’ve found to be foolproof, thanks to Mary Crownover’s book. I baked the cheesecake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, I decreased the temperature to 200 degrees and baked for 2 hours. Next, I ran a thin, narrow spatula around the sides of the cake and returned it to the oven, turning the oven off. After two more hours, it was time to refrigerate overnight.
The other change I made was the topping. I thought that a peanut butter cup cheesecake needed a chocolate topping. So, I whipped up one of the quickest, easiest chocolate toppings you could ever hope to make. In a saucepan over low heat, melt 5 ounces of milk chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of sour cream, stirring constantly. That’s it. Just spread it over the cheesecake and return it to the refrigerator to set up.
I wish that I’d had a bit more crust for the sides of the pan so that the cheesecake would have been entirely surrounded by chocolate, much like a peanut butter cup. However it looks, it is an incredible cheesecake. It has a wonderful, creamy texture. It was definitely a hit with everyone, including the birthday boy. And now, I have a bit of cheesecake baking reprieve. Well, until my sister’s birthday next month.
- 4 & 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
- 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 5 large eggs
- 1 & 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 regular-sized peanut butter cups, broken into small pieces
- 5 ounces milk chocolate
- 1/4 cup sour cream
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place cookies and peanuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add melted butter and pulse until combined.
Press the crust firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
To make the filling:
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add sugar, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Stir in peanut butter cups.
Pour filling into prepared crust.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Decrease oven temperature to 200 degrees. Bake for 2 hours.
Turn off oven. Remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake. Place cheesecake back in the oven for 2 hours.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To make the topping:
Place chocolate chips and sour cream in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.
Spread over the top of the cheesecake. Return cheesecake to refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the topping is set.
Recipe adapted from Food.com.