PEANUT BUTTER CUP CHEESECAKE
(recipe via Baking With Ramen)
2 pounds cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese at room temperature
5 eggs at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 T vanilla
1 bag peanut butter cups
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
20-ish peanut butter cups
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Place 20-ish peanut butter cups in the freezer. Grease spring-form pan.
2. Crush Oreos and press into the bottom of the spring-form pan. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Chop up 2 cups of peanut butter cups.
3. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time to cream cheese mixture. Beat well, then add sugar, peanut butter and cream until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the spring-form pan. Layer with chopped up peanut butter cups, then top off with the remaining cheesecake mixture.
4. Turn oven down to 160 degrees Celsius. Bake for 1-1/2 hours in oven. To tell if the cheesecake is finished, wiggle it a bit. The sides should be firm and the middle may have cracked a bit. The middle will be the last to finish. Feel free to stick a toothpick or fork in the middle to check. It will not come out clean, but it should not be runny.
5. Place cheesecake in the fridge for 4 hours.
6. Chop up 5 oz. blocks of chocolate. Begin melting the chocolate by microwaving it or double boiling. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add most of the heavy cream into the chocolate, leaving 1 T for peanut butter swirl. Take out cheesecake and, while still in the spring form pan, top with chocolate mixture. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
7. Place peanut butter and 1 T of whipping cream in microwave for 1-2 minutes, enough to create a runny consistency. Place in piping bag and swirl onto top of chocolate topping on cheesecake.
8. Melt remaining 1 oz. block of chocolate. Remove peanut butter cups from freezer, unwrap and chop in half. The freezing will help the chocolate not stick to the foil to provide a clean finish. Dip bottom of halved peanut butter cup into melted chocolate and place along the edge of the cheesecake all the way around.
9. After hours of waiting, enjoy!