Saturday, February 4, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Squares

As with most people, I'm pretty much addicted to Pinterest right now.  If I'm not scanning the categories on my computer, then you can usually find me scanning them on my cell phone.  I'll be the first to admit that I may have a problem.  If you personally have not had the chance to explore the site yet, I definitely recommend checking it out.  My two favorite categories to explore are of course, food and fitness.  That's actually where I discovered this particular recipe, and the minute I did, I knew I needed to sample it!

I didn't really have a particular reason to make the dessert though, other than I wanted too, so after I made sure to share one of the cheesecake squares with my husband, I ended up taking the rest to work with me.  Once there I generously shared it with friends/co-workers and before I knew it, it was gone.  The cheesecake was definitely a big hit, and some people even told me that it was the best dessert I've made.   

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Squares
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Makes about 16 squares
8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. creamy peanut butter
1/8 tsp salt

2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 Reese’s peanut butter cups (0.75 oz each), divided, cut into 6 pieces each

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave 2-3 inches draped over the sides.

For the Crust:
Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until the crackers form fine crumbs. 

Add in the butter, brown sugar, flour, peanut butter, and salt.  Pulse together until all the ingredients are well combined.  As needed, make sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor.  Once ready, add the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan and using your hands, or the bottom of a measuring cup, press evenly into the bottom of the pan to help pack it down.

Bake the crust bake for 12-15 minutes, or until it begins to brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, set on a medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth, this will take about 3-5 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently.  With the mixer on a low-medium speed, slowly beat in the granulated sugar until it’s well incorporated.  This will take 1-2 minutes.  Next, beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat the mixture well after each addition.  Add in the sour cream and vanilla and beat until everything is well combined.  This should take about 1 minute.

Cut 9 Reese’s peanut butter cups into 6 pieces.  (It helps if you put them in the refrigerator to harden a little before trying to cut) 

Once cut, place the pieces in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  This will keep them from melting a lot while they’re baking.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the frozen Reese’s peanut butter cup pieces into the cheesecake mixture.  Scrape the cheesecake mixture over the crust and spread around until even.

Place the prepared cheesecake into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are set but the middle still appears to jiggle.

Place on a wire rack to cool for about 2 hours.  Once cool, cover with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Using the overhanging foil, remove the cheesecake from the pan and pull off the tin foil.  Now, cut the cheesecake into 16 squares and place the squares on a wire rack that's set up over tin foil.

Place the bittersweet chocolate into a small bowl and place in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Stir around and then place back in the microwave to continue cooking in 15 second intervals, making sure to stop and stir around until the chocolate reaches the proper consistency.  Drizzle the chocolate over the bars and top each bar with a small piece of a Reese’s peanut butter cup. 

Serve and enjoy!!!  If you plan to save these bars for later though, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Source: Adapted from Cookin' Canuck


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