Okay, this was an experiment. My friend's daughter is turning 13 today and she LOVES Reese's peanut butter cups, even more than me and I didn't think that was possible.
She really likes my Oreo Cheesecake, which I make for her mom's birthday every year, so I decided to use that as a base but change it to a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake. First I had to decide what to use for the crust. I could have used oreos but I wanted something more "peanut buttery" so I got a package of Nutter Butters (yum) - Put 18 of them in a ziploc bag and roll over them to crush them into crumbs
They will look like this when you are done
Now melt 1/2 cup of butter (I always use REAL butter, not margarine when baking. I love that Land of Lakes sells butter already portioned into 1/2 cup sizes. This is the only butter I will buy now.
Mix it well and then pat it into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. The pan should be pre-prepared, wrapped well with aluminum foil (this will make sense later)
Bake the crust in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes until brown (be careful, you don't want it to burn)
Gather your ingredients for the Cheesecake filling
Blend the cream cheese until smooth, add the peanut butter, blend until smooth, add sugar, again blend well (scrapping sides as needed with a spatula, add eggs and vanilla and blend well)
Let me say that I was a little surprised when I unwrapped the snack size Reese's cup - I haven't bought theses in a LONG time and couldn't believe how they have shrunk - they are a lot smaller than they use to be. Here is the snack size and the mini side by side. I wish I had a regular Reeses to compare it to.
Cut up the snack size Reese's peanut butter cups - I just cut them into quarters.
Then add fold them into the cheesecake filling - use a spatula or spoon, you want to keep the pieces pretty whole.
Place the pre-baked crust in a large pan, and pour the Cheesecake filling over the top, now this is why you wanted the pan wrapped with aluminum foil. . . pour water into the pan around around the cheesecake - this is a water bath. I always bake my cheesecake in a water bath, it makes the cheesecake nice and smooth and keeps it from cracking on the top. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
When done, remove from oven and let cool for a bit - then top with mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (may have to press in a little bit). Melt a little peanut butter in the microwave and drizzle over the top.
Now I would love to cut a slice and show you what it looks like inside (I would also like to sample it since I've never made it before) but...I don't want to give it to the birthday girl with a big piece missing out of it.
Refrigerate when done - it is best to make cheesecakes 24 hours ahead of time and allow proper time to chill in the fridge. I hope she likes it !!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake(serves 12)
For the crust:
4 tablespoons butter (not margarine), melted
2 cups Nutter Butter cookies, crushed fine (about 18 cookies)
For the filling:
3 pounds cream cheese
1/2 cup smooth Peanut Butter
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
24 Snack Size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (cut into quarters)
For the garnish (optional):
5 oz. Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
1/4 cup melted Smooth Peanut Butter
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Wrap the outside of a 10-by-3-inch springform pan tightly with foil (to prevent water from leaking in). Line the bottom with a parchment circle. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and Nutter Butter crumbs. Place in pan and press down firmly and evenly. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
To make the filling: Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until soft (6 to 8 minutes). Use a rubber spatula to scrape bowl often to ensure even distribution.
Add peanut butter and blend. Add sugar and blend well, scraping bowl just until mixture is smooth (no lumps). Reduce mixing speed to low, then slowly add eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Remove bowl from mixer. With a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups into batter. Pour batter into pan prepared with crumb crust; place cheesecake pan into large roasting or cake pan. Fill roasting pan with water, leaving 1 inch of space from the top of the cheesecake pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (usually 2 hrs and 45 minutes is perfect), until top of cheesecake is slightly golden.
To make the garnish: top with mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (pressing into top a little) and drizzle with melted Peanut Butter.
Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving.