December 9, 2013

Peanut Butter Bonanza

My husband is a peanut butter fanatic; The more peanut-buttery, the better.
So, for his birthday I wanted to make him a peanut butter something...cake, pie, truffles, candy?!
I had great luck over Thanksgiving making a pumpkin cheesecake (Thank you Paula Deen!), so I thought maybe I could make a peanut butter cheesecake...

Unfortunately, who knew that finding a decent peanut butter cheesecake recipe would be so difficult!?
The reviews read too mild, too strong, too stiff, too soft...

I guess everybody likes their peanut butter in different capacities.

As a reminder, I am not very good at baking.
In fact, I usually fuck it up pretty bad.

So, the thought of recreating a recipe, or adapting a recipe usually scares me...knowing deep down that any type of tinkering usually ends up in a disaster.
But, due to the fact that I couldn't find my vision, I was forced to try and adapt.
So I dove.

What happened?!
Pure brilliance.

I am a kitchen ninja.

The secret is the chocolate graham cracker crust...oh, and the miniature chocolate chips peppered throughout...oh, and the melty peanut butter chocolate topping...
oh, and the......well, you get the idea.
You will think you have gone to chocolate peanut butter heaven.

Makes one badass cake
Preheat oven to 325. 
You will need a spring form pan, parchment paper and a large baking or roasting dish for a waterbath.

For Crust:
One 10 ounce box of chocolate Teddy Grahams (or ten ounces of chocolate graham crackers...but the Teddy Grahams are sadistically fun to crush...)
1 stick of salted butter
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar 

Directions: Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of your springform pan and place into the pan. Crush the graham crackers (I put them in a ziplock and hammer them with a mallot), put them into a bowl with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Melt the butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of your prepared springform pan, coming up the edges ever so slightly.

For Filling:
1 1/4 cup of peanut butter (don't use all natural)
2, 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of sour cream
3 eggs
2 tsp. of vanilla 
1/2 package of miniature chocolate chips (5 ounces)
1/2 a package of peanut butter chips (5 ounces)

Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the sour cream. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the chips. Dump into the crust.

Bake for an hour in 325 degree oven with a waterbath. Check doneness around 45 minutes. The top should look set.

Refrigerate for a minimum of four hours and up to two days.

Remove from pan and top with any or all of the following. 


For Topping:
- Whipped Cream: Heavy Cream + Conf. Sugar + Vanilla extract
- Melted chocolate and/or melted peanut butter chips
- Crushed peanuts
- Miniature chocolate chips

ps. This recipe was so quick and easy = perfect for your next holiday meal or gathering.
You might even impress your mother in law!


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