Friday, July 29, 2011

OH-SO-WORTH-IT CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE

1 1/2 chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine the graham crackers, butter, and sugar and press into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

2 bars (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, divided
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chopped peanuts for garnish, optional

In a mixing bowl beat 1 package of the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter and sugar until combined. Fold in 1 of the eggs that has been slightly beaten. Set bowl aside.

In a saucepan, over low heat, stir the chocolate chips until melted. Remove from heat and stir to smooth. Cute the remaining block of cream cheese into small pieces and add to the chocolate; stir to combine. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Slightly beat the two remaining eggs and add to the chocolate mixture. Spread half of the mixture into the pan. Carefully spread the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate layer. Evenly spread the remaining chocolate over the peanut butter layer.

Bake the cake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or until the top is set when lightly shaken. The outer edges of the top will be slightly puffed up and dry looking while the center will look darker and wet.

Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for around 15 minutes. Run a thin sharp knife around sides to loosen cake and allow to cool another half hour. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cake completely on the wire rack. Cover cake and refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Remove from the refrigeator and let set at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 16 servings

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