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I usually reserve this column for recipes submitted by readers, but I discovered a fantastic recipe a couple of months ago and just had to share it with you.
I make birthday cakes for my newsroom co-workers, and when Katie Bentley’s birthday rolled around in March, she said she wanted a cheesecake. The few cheesecakes that I’ve made that I really like have been pretty intricate, like the Macadamia Nut Cheesecake, so I looked through a bunch of cookbooks and came up with a recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, which looked really simple.
I prepared the cake for Katie’s birthday, and everyone liked it a lot. Since then I’ve changed the recipe a little and have been making miniature cheesecakes, which are great for receptions, parties or any time you want to simply serve a lot of folks. I personally love making it with a graham cracker crumb crust instead of the chocolate wafer crust, but I think I’m probably in the minority on that. But if you’re like me and love the taste of peanut butter and graham crackers, just substitute graham cracker crumbs for the chocolate wafer crumbs.
I’m printing both recipes here – the one for the miniature cheesecakes and the one for the whole cheesecake.
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1½ pounds cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
10 to 15 miniature peanut butter cups, frozen and quartered
Combine chocolate wafer crumbs (I use a box that contains six packets of 100-calorie Oreo Thin Chocolate Wafers), sugar and melted butter. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill.
Beat cream cheese and one cup of sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add peanut butter, beating well. Fold in quartered peanut butter cups. Spoon mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350 degrees for up to an hour or until center is set. Turn off oven and let cake cool in oven for about 30 minutes with door partially open. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Top pie with shaved chocolate or more chocolate wafer crumbs if desired.
Serves eight to 10.
Note: The first time I made this cheesecake, for Katie’s birthday, the cheesecake developed a huge crack in the center. I did a sour cream topping to cover it up (a recipe borrowed from another cheesecake recipe). After that I asked the food experts at the Williams-Sonoma store in Louisville, and they suggested baking the cheesecake in a water bath, which I’ve done successfully since then. If you opt to do that, cover the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil to make sure water won’t seep into the cheesecake, then set the pan in a larger pan of water (about an inch deep or less) to bake.
Miniature Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes
½ cup chocolate wafer crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
6 miniature peanut butter cups, quartered
Combine chocolate wafer crumbs with 1 tablespoon sugar and the melted butter; mix well. Line 1 ¾-inch muffin pans with miniature paper liners. Spoon 1 teaspoon crumb mixture into each liner. Gently press into bottom.
Beat cream cheese at high speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and mix well. Add egg and peanut butter, beating well. Spoon mixture into liners. Press a quarter of a miniature peanut butter cup in the center of each cheesecake. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Chill thoroughly. Yield: 2 dozen.
Mary Alice Holt can be reached at (270) 505-1751 or email@example.com.
WE WANT YOUR RECIPES
Send your recipe to: Best Recipe, The News-Enterprise, 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701; or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org; or fax it to Mary Alice Holt at 769-6965. Include your name, address and phone number and tell something about the history of the recipe. If possible, include a photo of yourself.