Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake

For this Easter Banquet, I wanted to try something really unique for my guests. Something I learned a long time ago was make something you have tested first before making your loved ones suffer one of your wild imagination menus!! Well, I broke my number one rule feeling ever so confident that this recipe I found on would be an absolute winner.
Life is funny…….it was quite the project as cheesecake is relatively an easy simple dessert recipe, right ? So, I had to up the ante and try this. My best friends husband is the King of cheesecake baking, so I wanted to make him something lavish since he spoils us all the time.

Peanut Butter-Fudge Cheesecake

Serves 12-16 (depending on how generous you are with portions)
For the Crust:

32 Oreo cookies, finely crushed or ground in a food processor

5½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt

For the Fudge:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

20 miniature peanut butter cup candies, unwrapped and roughly chopped
For the Cheesecake:

24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs
For the Ganache Topping:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (300 degrees F if you are using a dark or non-stick pan). Butter a 9″ springform pan and set aside.
2. To make the crust, stir the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl with a fork until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. (I like to use the bottom a measuring cup to press the crumbs around the pan. I’ve found that they get evenly distributed that way and end up looking neater around the sides.) Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let cool.
4. To make the fudge, put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately pour the simmering cream over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1-2 minutes, then add the vanilla extract and stir with a whisk or rubber spatula until smooth and combined. Pour the fudge into the cooled crust and spread evenly over the bottom. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and sprinkle surface with the chopped peanut butter cups. Return to freezer for 10 more minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Scrape the bowl and mix on low for another 20 seconds.
6. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling over the fudge and peanut butter cups. Bake until the sides of the cheesecake are set and the middle just slightly jiggles, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature (at least 1 hour). Refrigerate the cheesecake at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled. To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to loosen the crust from the sides. Carefully remove the sides from the springform pan.
Before serving, prepare the ganache topping. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately pour the simmering cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes and then stir with a whisk or rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the ganache on the top of the cheese and, using an offset spatula, spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Return to the refrigerator to set the ganache, about 20 minutes.

I highly recommend this being made before your event as this Definitely ages ever so gracefully. I would make again, but a day ahead.  And I would also not have bittersweet chocolate as the peanut butter was not a normal sweet cheese cake but rather mild, and combined with the bitter sweet chocolate was a little on the bitter side. The Oreo cookie crust helped, but was not enough. This was sure worth the effort.
Mmmm Mmmm great!! What a lovely Easter we had!
Bon Appetit!
And don’t forget to wear your Poupon Apron, ever so cheery and perfect for an Easter gathering.