Sunday, January 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownie Cheesecake

Peanut butter and chocolate. Is there any better combination?
Umm...yes, in fact there is. Peanut butter, chocolate and cheesecake.
I have yet to master baking a real cheesecake, the kind with 4 packages of cream cheese in a spring form pan. Something just never turns out for me. But shortcut cheesecakes tend to work out well for me. Granted, they do NOT taste the same, the creaminess just isn't there. But adding a brownie crust, some peanut butter, chocolate and peanut butter cups, and I forget that it is shortcut cheesecake altogether!!
I found a recipe while surfing Pinterest. I did do a few modifications, but the end result was fabulous. I made it for our NewYear's Eve gatherings (Happy 2012!) and it was a success!

Peanut Butter Brownie Cheesecake
1 package brownie mix (and ingredients listed on package for preparation)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy, I love crunchy)
12 oz milk chocolate chips
2 Tbsp whipping cream
20 Reese's peanut butter cups (regular sized)

Preheat oven to 350°
Spray 9X13 baking pan with cooking spray

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.
Pour and spread evenly into bottom of baking pan; set aside.
Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter.
Continue beating until well combined.
Spoon over brownie batter evenly.
Bake for 40 minutes. The cheesecake will puff up, and edges should be slightly browned.
Cool on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator for another 30 minutes.

Coarsely chop the peanut butter cups and set aside.
Microwave the milk chocolate chips and whipping cream at 30 second intervals, stirring until chocolate is melted and well blended.
Pour and spread over the cheesecake, and top with the peanut butter cups.
Let chocolate set, cut and enjoy!

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