Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

Another favorite here...if you've been reading here awhile or browsed my recipes, you've probably figured out that one of the most-loved combinations around my house is peanut butter and chocolate.  Add cheesecake into the mix, and you can't go wrong.
Even my non-cheesecake-loving parents enjoyed this one....and that's saying something!
I got to use my homemade graham crackers (chocolate ones!) for the crust and was excited that it turned out great!  I've been wanting a good substitute for store-bought graham crackers for crusts for a long time.

Recipe: (adapted from The Sweet's Life)

7 whole graham crackers, crushed (I used 1 c. homemade chocolate graham crackers)
6 T. unsalted butter, melted (I used about 4 T. for my crust -if it seems too dry, just add a little more)
3 T. brown sugar (omit if using chocolate graham crackers)
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla extract
25-30 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped

1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 T. milk
10-15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 325°.
Line an 8 or 9" square pan with foil, leaving a 3-4" overhang on each side.  Grease foil.
Make crust by adding crackers to blender and crushing until fine.  Add butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt.  Mix well.  Press into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake crust for 10 minutes.  Let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract until fully combined.  Don't overbeat at this point!
After chopping peanut butter cups, set aside approximately 1/2 cup for later.  Stir the remaining chopped candies into the cream cheese batter.
Pour batter into baking pan, spreading evenly over crust.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges are set and the middle still jiggles slightly.

Cool cheesecake for 2 hours.  Prepare topping by melting chocolate chips with the milk and stirring well until smooth.  Pour or drizzle over the cheesecake.  Top with reserved chopped candy. Cover and refrigerate 3-24 hours.

Remove from fridge and using the foil overhang, remove bars from pan. Cut into small squares.

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