Our youngest child has now graduated from high school. He will be off to college in the fall. At that point my husband and I will be true “empty-nesters” 😦 Wow, time sure flies. Thinking back to when they were all young and laughing, complaining, crying, throwing tantrums, spinning in circles for no reason, one needing to go here, another there, it was constant chaos and it seemed never-ending! My mother told me back then to appreciate it because time goes quicker than you think. It was hard to believe at the time but gosh….was she ever right! Anyway, enough of me wallowing in my own misery and okay basically accepting the fact that I’m old – I mean, how did that happen?? And when??– ugh….
Graduation is truly a special occasion and for that I wanted to make a really special dessert. For his birthday every year our son always requested cheesecake in lieu of a traditional birthday cake. Yes, my youngest is a die-hard lover of two things, cheesecake and peanut butter. Given those two facts, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out what to make. Problem was, over the years I’ve made many cheesecakes but I never actually made a peanut butter one before. This was a brand new endeavor for me. Of course I had waited until nearly the last minute to decide I was going to attempt to make a peanut butter cheesecake so I hurriedly googled around and found the below recipe on Delish.com. I followed the recipe nearly exact and I have to say it was well worth the effort! This cheesecake is magnificent! You clearly need to enjoy peanut butter however if you do you will not be disappointed! This cheesecake is so rich and creamy and absolutely delicious!
Congratulations to my baby boy on graduating! Hooray!! I’m so proud of you!!
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
15 chocolate graham crackers
3 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp butter, melted
4 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
Reese’s peanut butter cups for garnish (chopped)
6 oz semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 9″ springform pan wrapping bottom and sides of pan in aluminum foil.
In food processor or blender, grind chocolate graham crackers into fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt, mix to combine. Add melted butter and mix till all crumbs are moist. Transfer to springform pan. Press into bottom and partially up the sides. Freeze 10 minutes.
Place pan on baking sheet and bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Make the Cheesecake: In large bowl, using hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat cream cheese on medium, scraping sides of bowl as necessary until smooth. Add sugar and salt and beat, again scraping sides as necessary, until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla, beat till combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time beating after each addition until combined. Add peanut butter, heavy cream and sour cream. Beat on low until combined and smooth.
Pour cheesecake batter into cooled crust and smooth top. Place cheesecake in roasting pan on middle rack of oven. Pour water into pan till it comes to about half way on the springform pan. Bake cheesecake until top is just starting to brown and crack, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Remove foil and transfer cheesecake to refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
Make the Ganache: Melt semisweet chocolate with heavy cream and kosher salt over medium heat. Stir constantly till smooth. Pour ganache over cheesecake. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s over top of cheesecake. Refrigerate until set.
Once ganache is set remove sides of springform pan. Cut into wedges and serve.
Original recipe found on Delish: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a45122/chocolate-peanut-butter-cheesecake-recipe/