Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sweet Treats for My Sweets

The boys in my house (my husband and son) love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  A lot.  It's their first candy choice when it comes to candy.  And they love cheesecake, too.  My daughter likes cheesecake, but she enjoys the fancier side of desserts, like creme brulee or fondant cakes or pulled sugar.

Now, I've said this before.   I don't eat sweets, like ever (except, like I said, maybe creme brulee once a year).  But I enjoy making them for people who do.  And what better way to satisfy the boys' sweet tooths (weird way to say that) than a collision of both worlds, kind of like the collision between the chocolate and the peanut butter in the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  Remember those commercials, "hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter; no, you got peanut butter in my chocolate"?  Well, now they can argue whether they got Reese's in their cheesecake or cheesecake in their Reese's.  Either way, it's good.  (Yes, I tasted it.)  And what better way to further that combination than a peanut butter cookie crust and fudge sauce drizzled over it!  And, of course, an extra peanut butter cookie on top.  Perfect.

It's time for dessert.  Eat it before dinner.  You know you want to.

1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 C flour
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 C sugar
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 C sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
One 11-ounce bag of Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, cut in half

Hot fudge topping
One 11-ounce bag Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
Extra peanut butter cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter, peanut butter and sugar with a mixer.  Add in the remaining ingredients and combine.  Spread and press this into the bottom of a greased springform pan.  Bake at 5-minute increments until the top seems a little set and the edges start looking done.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a mixer until it's smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and beat, scraping down the sides, until it is smooth.  Pour half of the filling onto the crust and spread to the sides.   Sprinkle the cut peanut butter cups over the filling.  Spread the remaining filling over the top of the peanut butter cups.

If you want a white cheesecake, make a foil tent over the top of the cheesecake, careful to leave enough room for the cheesecake to expand. (This is only for appearances).  Bake for at least 1 hour.  Check it at one hour.  If it's still jiggly in the middle, cook in 10-minute increments until it's set in the middle.  Remove it from the oven and chill.

*If you want to garnish with additional peanut butter cookies, double the crust batch.  Using a cookie scoop or a spoon (slightly larger than a tablespoon), drop them on a cookie sheet.  Using a fork, imprint the top of each cookie.  Then turn the fork and imprint the other way making a grid pattern (see picture above).  Bake 9-13 minutes or until done and slightly browned.

To serve, top each slice of cheesecake with a cookie, more Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (we slightly melted ours) and drizzle with warmed hot fudge sauce.