December 21, 2005

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

This cheesecake is absolutely wonderful. Joyce that I work with got this recipe from a magazine and made it this week for everyone in the office to try. It's very rich, so be sure to cut into thin pieces.

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

1 ¼ C. graham cracker crumbs
¼ C. Crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
¼ C. Sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
¾ C. Creamy peanut butter

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese softened
1 C. Sugar
1 C. (8 ounces) sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 C. hot fudge ice cream topping, divided
6 peanut butter cups, cut into small wedges

In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, cookie crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat peanut butter on high for 30 seconds or until softened. Spread over crust to within 1 inch of edges.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour 1 cup into a bowl; set aside. Pour remaining filling over peanut butter layer.

In a bowl microwave ¼ cup fudge topping on high for 30 seconds or until thin; fold into reserved cream cheese mixture. Carefully spoon over filling cut through filling with a knife to swirl.

Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.

Microwave remaining fudge topping for 30 seconds or until warned; spread over cheesecake. Garnish with peanut butter cups. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.

*Note: Reduced-fat or generic brands of peanut butter are not recommended for this recipe.

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