Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

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Yeah – definitely not something you would want to make more than once a year! The crust starts out with 24 Oreo cookies and a half stick of butter  – not to mention the roasted peanuts!  There are also 16 Reese’s cups in and on this cake, 2 pounds of cream cheese, 1 cup of peanut butter…Thankfully, there will be at least 10 people who might be willing to try this. I don’t know many people who would turn down a Reese’s 😉

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Verdict: It’s a little too sweet for my taste, but no one else complained 😉 We have half a cake left, but I have several people in mind to share this with 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ruggles Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake – adapted from Food.com **Plan ahead–cheesecake needs to chill for at least 4 hours**

For the Crust:

  • 4 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 2 lbs cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter ( not natural-style)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, broken into small pieces

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Reese’s Cups, chopped

Directions –  

To Make The Crust: Combine crushed Oreo cookies and peanuts that have been ground in a food processor with the melted butter. Pat the crust mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

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To Make The Filling: Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla, then fold in peanut butter cup pieces with a rubber spatula.

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Pour filling into prepared crust. Place springform pan into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.

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Bake at 275°F 1-1/2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour. You may run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan somewhat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

For the Topping: Pour the cream into a microwave safe cup for about 45 seconds. Pour the hot cream over the peanut butter and chocolate chips and don’t stir for about three minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate. Add more hot cream to thin out the ganache if needed. Add chopped Reese’s to the cheesecake and then drizzle the ganache over all.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Last week I complained that I never get the opportunity to make desserts like this because my husband is not a fan of pumpkin anything. My home group crew saved the day when they selflessly volunteered to eat what ever pumpkin dessert I wanted to make. With all the great recipes to choose from, I decided on one I have never eaten or made. It’s been a couple of years since my last cheesecake (also a really great Fall dessert), so I hoped that this one would be worth making. Cheesecake is one of the more time-consuming desserts to make, not to mention the overnight stay in the refrigerator; but all that waiting paid off because this was a hit with everyone who tried it. It tasted better than I could have hoped! The cheesecake is so creamy and light and there was just a hint of cream cheese flavor, but the predominant flavor was pumpkin pie. This is apparently the type of cheesecake that appeals to people who don’t like cheesecake or don’t like pumpkin  pie. Everyone that tried it really enjoyed it and one even said it was better than Cheesecake Factory – what a great compliment 🙂 I made some minor tweaks to the recipe and combined some of My Baking Addiction’s recipe to Once Upon A Chef’s. My Baking Addiction shared a video with great tips to make the perfect cheesecake, like how to ensure that no water seeps into your cheesecake while it bakes in the water bath. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake – adapted from Once Upon A Chef with some tips from My Baking Addiction

For the Crust

  • 2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 14 graham cracker sheets)
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

For the Filling

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground all-spice (*optional*)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1-1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature

For Caramel Sauce – adapted from Kelsey’s Essentials

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel, or kosher salt

For the Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Wrap a 9-inch springform pan twice with aluminum foil (preferably heavy-duty). Take care to pull the foil all the way up the sides so that water cannot seep in from the water bath. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of the pan. Pulse the crackers (or crumbs), sugar and spices in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse a few times to combine. Dump the moistened crumbs into the prepared pan and, using a measuring cup or glass, press into an even layer. Bake until fragrant and set, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

For the Filling

  1. Bring about 4 quarts of water to a simmer in a tea kettle (this will be used for the water bath). In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, all-spice and salt. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a sputter, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, until thick, bronzed and shiny. Scrape the mixture into a large food processor fitted with the metal blade and process for 1 minute with the feed tube open.
  2. With the motor running, add the cold cream. Add the cream cheese (cut into chunks) and process for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides if necessary, or until smoothly incorporated. Add the eggs and process for about 5 seconds or just until incorporated (do not overmix!).
  3. Set the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour the batter into the cooled crust, and then pour enough boiling water into the large roasting pan to come about halfway up side of the cake pan. Bake until the cake is just set, about 1-1/2 hours. If it jiggles, it’s not done. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set on a wire rack. Use a paring knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Cool until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath, discard the foil and set on a wire rack. Continue to cool at room temperature until barely warm, about 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

For Caramel Sauce –

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Is this cheesecake ever good! I made it for the first time last year while visiting family in California. My dad requested this cheesecake specifically and I was apprehensive at first because at that time I had only made a cheesecake once. I am usually nervous about cooking for other people, but I wanted to impress him and everyone else who tried it. To my delight, my dad said it was the best cheesecake he ever had and even my Grandma said it was good…huge compliment in my book! Anyway, this cheesecake isn’t exactly a quick dessert and it is really important that you let it sit in the refrigerator overnight for the best flavor…your patience will be rewarded! Note to self – more apples next time. I ended up only using three of the four apples pictured because I thought three looked like enough when they were all cut up. M is requesting some type of chocolate infused cheesecake for Thanksgiving, so if that ends up happening I will be sure to post that one for you all. Also, if any of you out there has a tested cheesecake recipe recommendation, please leave me a comment! It’s always hard to choose new recipes – especially a chocolate cheesecake…there are so many to look through! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake Ingredients – adapted from Dorie Greenspan via Culinary Concoctions

(Everything minus the graham crackers)

For the Crust

  • 30 gingersnaps (* I used one sleeve of graham crackers)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

For the Apples

  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • 2 tbsp (packed) light brown sugar

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp apple cider
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

* Caramel Sauce for Drizzling

Directions –

To Make the Crust: Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs; you should have a scant 2 cups.  (If you are using graham cracker crumbs, just put them in the food processor.)  Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon, if you’re using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.  Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using your fingertips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they’ll  go.  Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.  (The crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides.  Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned.  Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and the filling.  Leave the oven at 350 degrees F.

To Make the Apples: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When the foam subsides, toss in half of the apple slices and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle the apples with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and cook them, turning, just until coated, another minute or so.  Scrape the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining apples.  Let the apples cool while you make the filling.

Getting Ready to Bake:  Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand.  Put a kettle of water on to boil.

To Make the Filling: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth.  Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes.  Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in.  Finally, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.

Pour about one-third of the batter into the baked crust. Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan.  Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top.  Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes, covering the cake loosely with a foil tent at the 45-minute mark.  The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except, possibly, in the very center if the center shimmies, that’s just fine.  Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours; overnight would be better.

Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the crust, open the pan’s latch and release and remove the sides.

Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin Company, November 2006