Lets start this week off sweet! All last week we were talking budgets. So let’s take a break and spoil our sweet tooth a little bit! One of my all time favorite dessert combos is peanut butter and chocolate, add cheesecake into the mix and it can only get better!
I made these mini cheesecakes for Thanksgiving last month and they were a big hit! The only thing I wish I did different would be to cook them for a little less time. The ratio of chocolate to peanut butter wash perfect! Sweet but not too sweet, just the right amount of creaminess, and you wont have to break the bank to make these sweeties. Tip: I usually save my cheesecake baking for when I find cream cheese on sale because that is usually the most expensive ingredient.
Okay I won’t tease you anymore, here is how you can create them:
First start by making the crust. In a food processor (or using a good old rolling pin) crush the chocolate grahams until they are almost dust. You are looking to get them to be the same consistency as sand. Now mix in the melted butter and keep stirring until it is completely combined. Now it should look and feel similar to wet sand. Makes sense right?
After placing your cupcake liners in your cupcake tray, fill each cupcake tray with about half an inch of your crumb mixture. Now firmly press the crumbs down to form a solid base for your treat. Set aside for later.
Lets start mixing! In your bowl for your standing mixer, mix together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Mix this until it is super creamy and well combined.
Now you can add the flower. Mix until completely combined.
Eggs are up next. Add the eggs ONE at a time. When making cheesecake it is important to mix the eggs in one at a time. Making sure that before adding the next egg the first has been completely incorporated into your batter. You will know it is totally mixed in when the batter has lost the shininess from the egg. When you see this, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the next egg. It’s not as tricky as it sounds.
The batter is ready to be scooped into the cupcake tins. I filled mine a little over ¾ of the way full. Cheesecake doesn’t expand very much when baking so you don’t have to worry about that. Pop those babies in the oven preheated to 350 degrees for around 18 minutes. To decide if they are done what you’re looking for is the cake to be “set”. So if you shake the pan the cake might move a little but shouldn’t be jiggly.
While those are in the oven you can get your ganache ready. Place your chocolate chips and cream in a microwavable bowl and cook in microwave at 30 second intervals. Stirring after every session. I only cooked mine for a total of 1 minute. Just make sure to stir really well. When it gets completely melted, its done!
Once the cheesecake is finished cooking and has cooled off a little you can top them with the chocolate! I don’t like a huge amount of chocolate topping, so I did a small spoonful of chocolate and topped that with a few chopped nuts. I feel like when there is a lot of chocolate topping that the chocolate taste over powers the peaunut butter. So my opinion is less is more in this case.
By the way, I found a “mix nut” packet at the grocery store for just $1. So I didn’t have to buy a big expensive bag of peanuts. Plus, the mixture of salted and honey roasted nuts was a nice layer of flavor.
Now your ready to taste! Side note, before you put these beauties on display, they look better if you remove the paper liner. Now you can see the tasty layers of chocolate and peanut butter. Enjoy!
- 1 ½ cups ground chocolate graham crackers
- 3 tbs melted butter
- 16 oz (2 packages) cream cheese
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbs flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 2 tbs heavy cream or milk
- ¼ chopped peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake tins.
- Combine ground graham crackers and melted butter and fill cupcake liners with about ½ inch. Press down crumb mixture firmly.
- Cream together cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until mixed completely and thoroughly.
- Add flour to mixture and combine.
- Add eggs one at a time. Make sure to completely combine before adding second egg.
- Scoop mixture into trays on top of graham crust, fill each a little over ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for about 18 minutes until cake is mostly set. Test by gently shaking tray. Look for little movement. Let cool before adding ganache topping.
- Combine chocolate chips and heavy cream in microwavable bowl. Heat in microwave for about 30 seconds. Take out and stir completely. Continue in 30 second intervals until smooth and chocolate is completely melted.
- Top cakes with small spoonful of chocolate mixture and chopped nuts.
- Let chill in fridge for at least 3 hours. Enjoy!