Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

My girlfriend likes to woo me with cheesecake. After a discussion of the merits of different kinds, we found that Martha Stewart had just the ticket on her website. It was a little fussier than what either Michelle or I usually do, so she altered it a bit. First, by adding more peanut butter. Also, layers seemed like a better choice than swirling in order to make sure you get equal amounts of peanut butter and chocolate in every bite. I know we are not alone in never having good luck with a water bath, so Michelle used her patent pending method of cooking it low and slow.

Very complex and delicious flavor with the bittersweet glaze, peanut buttery and chocolatey layers and the chocolate crust. Just what Aunt Flo wanted!

I know that in some parts of the country it can be hard to find Famous Chocolate Wafers. Here is a recipe from King Arthur Flour for them. Just bake the rolled out dough if you’re making a crust instead of cookies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Chocolate crust:

1 box Famous Chocolate Wafers
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Filling:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Chocolate Glaze:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of a springform pan.

In a food processor, crush the cookies. Add sugar and pulse a couple of times. Pour in melted butter and pulse just until combines. Press mixture firmly into bottom of pan, and bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees F.

Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Let cool. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and beat in sugar in a slow, steady stream until combined. Beat in salt and vanilla until thoroughly combined and completely smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition (do not overmix).

Divide cream-cheese filling in half. Stir peanut butter into 1 half; stir melted chocolate into other half. Pour the chocolate layer over the crust and shake the pan lightly to settle it in. Pour in the peanut butter layer and tap the pan lightly on the corner to bring up in bubbles.

Bake for 3 hours in a low oven. Let cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the sides to release from the pan. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely before adding topping, at least three hours or overnight.

Unmold cheesecake and place on serving plate.

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in milk and corn syrup.

Pour glaze over top of cake, smoothing with an offset spatula and letting it drip down the sides.

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

I’ve been trying to find more recipes for my sister that are lower in sugar and friendly to diabetics. I’m still working on desserts she can enjoy but, in this recipe, the bananas (high in fiber) and peanut butter (low glycemic index) are a good start. I put them in small ramekins to help with portion control, too.

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups 2% milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium banana, one smushed the other sliced
1 1/2 cups ‘Nilla wafers

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and milk and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into eggs before pouring the eggs into the pan. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Stir in smushed and sliced bananas. Let cool slightly while you prepare the dessert dishes.

Crush all but 6 ‘Nilla wafers and sprinkle them into ramekins or pudding cups to cover the bottom. Pour in peanut butter and banana pudding. Place any additional crumbs and a single ‘Nilla wafer on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I woke up this morning craving chocolate chip cookies. When I went into the kitchen I saw the jar of peanut butter that I hadn’t but back in the cabinet after a snack of peanut butter and crackers last night and decided to alter my plans to include some peanut butter.

Just adding peanut butter to an existing chocolate chip cookie recipe would make cookies without enough chocolate for my craving. However, adding melted chocolate would give me the hit I wanted needed. I also switched the semi-sweet chocolate for bittersweet. Feel free to change it back when making the recipe for yourself, if you don’t want such darkly chocolate cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 ounce bar bittersweet chocolate, broken into bits
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounce package bittersweet morsels

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Melt the bittersweet chocolate bar in the microwave or on top of a double boiler.

Mix together in a medium bowl the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the peanut butter. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl and then slowly add the flour mixture. Pour in the melted chocolate. Scrape down the bowl and then stir in the bittersweet chocolate chips.

Make 2 tablespoon balls of the mixture in your hands (if necessary, chill the dough for about 10 minutes first) and then place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake for 23 minutes or until set but still soft. Cool on cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely.

Better Than Math Pie for Pi Day

This pie is a variation of the “Better Than Sex” pie (chocolate, peanut butter, more chocolate). In honor of Pi Day (3.14), I’m naming this one “Better Than Math.”

It is a multi-part recipe – make the dulce de leche first, followed by the ganache, then make the crust and the filling before assembling and cooling it down.

 

Better Than Math Pie

1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 pint heavy cream, divided
6 ounces Oreo cookies – about 25 cookies
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 – 10 ounce package bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Peel the label off the can of sweetened condensed milk. Place in a saucepan and put water in the pan to cover the can with 1 to 2 inches water. Bring water to a boil and then turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours (checking regularly to ensure that the water completely covers the can at all times). Turn the can over and simmer for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove can and let cool completely before opening. (You can also make this in a slow cooker – 8-10 hours on low).

Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter to settle the chocolate into the cream, then let it sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, slowly stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture has emulsified.  Place the ganache in the refrigerator until it has cooled and thicken (no more than 2 hours).

Scrape off the cream filling from the Oreo. Place Oreo cookies sans cream filling into a food processor and pulse until it make crumbs. Pour in butter and pulse to combine. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of a deep dish pie pan.

In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate chips. Add in the peanut butter and stir until combined. Add melted chocolate chips and peanut butter, cream cheese and 1 cup whipping cream together in a stand mixer. Beat until thick and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

Spread almost all of the ganache over the Oreo crust. Reserve 2 tablespoons for drizzling on the top of pie.

Spoon chocolate peanut butter mixture into the pie crust over the ganache layer.

Drizzle half the can of sweetened condensed milk dulce de leche over the chocolate mixture. Reserve remainder for another use. Drizzle extra ganache over top.

Refrigerate overnight or place pie in freezer for at least 1 hour before serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Honeycomb Crunch

Time for more quick, no-bake desserts. This one is a little messy but the darker chocolate compensates for the sweetness of the cereal.

The recipe calls for 8 cups of cereal but I just used the entire 12.5 ounce box and an entire bag of bittersweet chocolate chips.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Honeycomb Crunch

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 cups bittersweet chocolate morsels
8 cups Honeycomb cereal
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Place cereal in a large bowl. Melt chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler. Let cool slightly and then pour over the cereal. Stir gently until everything is well coated.  Pour onto a baking sheet and let the chocolate set for an hour.

In a large paper bag, place 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Dump in the chocolate covered cereal into the bag and shake out another 1/4 cup of powdered sugar on the top. Shake vigorously until sugar coats the pieces. Pour out onto a large baking sheet and let cool completely before putting in zip top plastic bags.

Peanutty Chocolate Cheerio Clusters

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”

Ovid

In honor of taking it easy on Labor Day, I’m making these no bake dessert clusters. I recommend using bar chocolate here as morsels have a stabilizer that means the finished candy will have a bit of a waxy texture. I used 3 oz unsweetened and 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate to come up with a cup of chopped but you can use any combination of chocolate (including milk and white) to come up with the level of chocolate intensity that you prefer.

Peanutty Chocolate Cheerios Clusters

1 cup chocolate, chopped
½ cup chunky peanut butter
3 cups Cheerios cereal
flake sea salt, optional

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Alternately, set out paper candy cups on a baking sheet for more contained servings.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the peanut butter, stirring regularly until melted together and smooth.

Place the Cheerios in a large mixing bowl and pour the melted chocolate and peanut butter over them. Stir gently with a spatula, until the cereal is well-coated in chocolate and no dry spots remain.

Drop small spoonfuls of the candy onto the prepared baking sheet. While the chocolate is still wet, lightly sprinkle with flake salt, if desired.

After all of the candies are formed, refrigerate until the chocolate is completely set. Store the candies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month but they aren’t going to last that long!

Peanutty Magic Bars

One of the first desserts I learned to make was the magic bars from the back of the can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (recipe here). I’ve tried over the years to add different things like peanuts or peanut butter chips but it was never nutty enough. Whilst browsing through the Skippy Peanut Butter website, however, I came across this recipe.

What a great idea to mix peanut butter with the sweetened condensed milk! As I prefer crunchy peanut butter, I’ve now added lots of peanut flavor as well as bits of peanut. Very yum and perfect to take to my volunteer shift today!

magic cookie bars

Below is my recipe.

Peanutty Magic Bars

1  1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup peanut butter – I like Skippy Super Chunk but brand and whether to use smooth or chunky is up to you
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
7 ounces sweetened, flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place in the oven a 9×13 pan with the stick of butter in it to melt. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk until well combined.

Once the butter has melted, remove pan from oven and add the graham cracker crumbs in an even layer. Pour over the graham crackers the peanut butter/sweetened condensed milk mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the entire surface. Layer the top with the flaked coconut and press down with your fingers.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the coconut is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting.