Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Cheesecakes

College Cooking Episode #2!  Reeses are by far my favorite candy in the world.  Chocolate and peanut butter, independently, are way up there on my favorite foods list and when combined... oh don't even get me started.

This was my first time making cheesecake so I am definitely a rookie and made a few minor mistakes but we have to make mistakes to learn, right? 

I would eat cheesecake every day if I could but my conscience won't let me.  I guess its for the best. 

This particular cheesecake has an Oreo crust, a peanut butter cheesecake, a chocolate ganache topping, and chopped up Reese's to put on top.  The recipe makes about 12 mini's or one whole cheesecake.  I had to use my cupcake pan because its all I had, but I would recommend using something made specifically for cheesecakes if you have it.  

Last week, when I somehow ended up doing the most baking I've done since I have been here, I had so much going on.  I had my chemistry and biology midterms as well as my boyfriend running the Portland marathon on Sunday.  He had a fabulous time of about 3 hours and 23 minutes, which is around a 7:45/mile pace.  I am so proud of him and just wanted to make sure I acknowledged it here. 

This recipe is inspired by the blog, Gimme Some Oven.


This recipe makes about 12 mini cheesecakes. 

For the oreo crust:
1 cup finely chopped Oreo's
2 tbsp. melted butter

For the peanut butter cheesecakes:
16 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the chocolate ganache:
1 cup chocolate chips
3 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. powdered sugar

*Also: chopped up Reese's candy for garnish.


For the oreo crust:
Finely chop up 1 cup of Oreo's. 

Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl and add in the chopped oreos. Mix well.  
Evenly distribute the crust among 12 pre-greased cupcake slots. 
Push down to the bottom and flatten with a spoon so it it just the base. 
Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. 

For the peanut butter cheesecake: 
1) Bake in a water bath.
2) Do not open the oven while they are baking.
3) The center should still be a little jiggly when they are done cooking. 
4) Do not over mix/beat the batter.

With an electric mixer combine peanut butter and softened cream cheese until thoroughly mixed. 

Add sugar and continue mixing until combined.  Then, add in eggs one at a time, followed by the cream and vanilla, mixing until it is just combined. 

Transfer the batter to the baking pan with a spoon or ice cream scoop, filling each container as much as possible.  Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes or until they are starting to turn brown and the majority of the surface has firmed up.  

When they are done baking, open the oven a crack and let cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and let them cool completely before attempting to separate them from the pan.  This is necessary as cheesecakes are very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. 

Refrigerate for several hours before topping with ganache and Reeses. 

For the chocolate ganache: 
Melt the chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl in 15 second intervals until it has reached the consistency you want.  

Add 1 or more tbsp. of powdered sugar to thicken.  Feel free to increase the recipe size by about 50% as I found that it would have been better if it was spilling off the sides.  

After the cheesecakes are done chilling, transfer the ganache to the top of the cheesecakes.  I did this by spooning it on and spreading with a knife but choose whatever method you prefer. 

Last but surely not least: top with Reeses!

I already miss these things- they were so yummy and I will definitely be making them again at some point with my lessons learned on what to do the next time around.  

My hall mates were not disappointed.  Cute look Jordan... 

As always feel free to contact me with any questions and I hope you give these a shot.  You honestly cannot go wrong with this combination of ingredients. 

Happy October and Happy baking!

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