Handsome and I are headed out for a weekend of adventure in North Carolina. I’ll be meeting his sister, niece, and nephews for the first time. It’s a much needed ‘family’ vacation and I, for one, am really excited. Handsome and I actually do really well in a car together for several hours – and I figure that’s a pretty big accomplishment for any couple. Nothing is going to plan, and we are both over due for a few days off so this is going to be a blast! Follow my Instagram for random photos and probably at least one Waffle House visit (no really, we could probably turn this into a drinking game).
This weekend North Carolina! Next: Niagara Falls! (someday).
As far as cheesecakes go, something hit me the other day for peanut butter cheesecake. Maybe it’s just my rebellious side again not wanting to bust open the pumpkin yet, but I wanted a simple smooth kind of cheesecake. And this really (really) fit the bill. If you don’t have Reese’s peanut butter chips in the pantry, I feel that a creamy peanut butter would go just as far in creating a perfect cheesecake.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
For the Crust:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/4 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
For the Filling:
- 24 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 2/3 cups Peanut Butter Chips
- 4 eggs
- 2 teas vanilla
- pinch of salt
For the ganache:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Combine the sugar, cocoa powder and butter in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the graham cracker crumbs and toss. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and about a 1/4 to 1/2″ up the sides of a 9″ spring-form pan. Place in freezer to set.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium high speed in the bowl of your stand mixer for 5 to 6 minutes, until creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed. Reduce the speed and slowly drizzle in the sweetened condensed milk.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the peanut butter chips. These are temperamental just like white chocolate, so be patient. Let cool.
Drizzle the melted peanut butter chips into the cream cheese mixture.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Finally, add the vanilla and the pinch of salt. Mix 30 seconds longer to combine.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and gently tap sides to release any air bubbles.
Bake for 1 hour to 70 minutes until center has just set. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges to loose cake and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the ganache. Bring the cream to barely a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and pour in the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let stand until thickened. With an offset spatula, coat the top of the cheesecake. Drizzle down the sides if you like. You will probably have some extra ganache leftover.
Cover and let cool 4 to 6 hours before serving in fridge.
Remove from fridge 10 minutes before slicing.