My boyfriend just celebrated his birthday this past week. Like many men, getting an answer out of him in terms of what he wanted for a birthday cake and what he wanted to do to celebrate his birthday was like pulling teeth. Through a painful text message conversation, I narrowed down that he’s not a big cake person, is anti fruit flavored cakes, not a big ice cream fan, likes cheesecake, and said that anything that combines chocolate with peanut butter is good.
So I narrowed it down to a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. I brainstormed some ideas – peanut butter flavored cheesecake with fudge, peanut butter cheesecake with peanut butter and chocolate swirl, cheesecake with peanut butter cups, etc. The only thing I was certain was that it would have an Oreo crust, as opposed to graham cracker or another type of cookie.
In recent months, I have become a fan of the mini peanut butter cups, the ones that are a bit larger in size than an M&M. It came to me that it would be fun to fold those into cheesecake, almost like chocolate chips, and in lieu of chopping up full sized peanut butter cups. So finally I had the cake narrowed down – vanilla flavored cheesecake with an Oreo crust, mini Reese’s mixed in, the top decorated with hot fudge and full sized peanut butter cups. Since, you know, nothing says love as much as making the most fattening cake imaginable.
And of course in doing so, everyone wanted the recipe, so here you go…
PEANUT BUTTER CUP CHEESECAKE
For the filling:
3 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 bag Reese’s Minis
For the crust:
20-24 Oreo cookies, crushed fine in a food processor
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot fudge, room temperature or warmed slightly
About 8 full sized Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, cut in half
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with a bit of cooking spray.
- Combine crushed Oreos, melted butter and sugar until well blended. Press mixture evenly into pan, both on bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake about 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Lower oven temp to 325 degrees.
- Meanwhile, using a hand mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar until well incorporated. Add eggs and mix in thoroughly. Then blend in sour cream and vanilla.
- Fold in mini peanut butter cups. Add filling to pan with cooled crust, and bake for about 50 minutes to one hour. Top of cheesecake will crack slightly. Cheesecake is done when you can dip a toothpick in the center and it comes out mostly clean (do not over bake – if top of cheesecake is golden brown, it is overdone).
- Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for one hour. At this time, you can evenly spread the fudge in the center to decorate. After the hour, place the cheesecake in the refrigerator and chill for a minimum of three hours, up to overnight.
- When the cheesecake is cooled, decorate with the full sized peanut butter cups. Carefully remove from spring form pan and transfer to a plate – enjoy!