Day two of the Twelve Days of Christmas Show Stopping Desserts. I pretty much could stop at the name, and assume if I wrote nothing else but the recipe, the best chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, I’d have you on board.
This is a show stopping dessert won’t last long on your table, I promise you that. I have been making this for years and it is always gone immediately and is one of my most requested cheesecakes.
Chocolate ganache draping a light and glorious, super peanut buttery cheesecake filling. BONUS – this is a no-bake cheesecake, so it is truly hard to screw it up, and doesn’t require my long process for baked cheesecake perfection.
ALSO BONUS – it is easy as shit to put together, and takes almost no time at all to put together. The biggest time consumer of this is chill time in the fridge.
I mean, honestly just look at that shiny perfectly smooth chocolate on top. Lightly sprinkled with some chopped reese’s candies, because let’s be honest, this is really a Reese’s peanut butter cheeescake. Plus every cheesecake needs some candy…it’s the holidays.
What you need for this chocolate peanut butter cheesecake recipe…
- Chocolate – I use dark, but you could use milk chocolate like a true Reese’s peanut butter cup if you wish.
- Cream – some for the ganache, some whipped up and beat into the peanut butter cheesecake mixture.
- Peanut butter – I use half chunky, half creamy, but you can most certainly use all of whichever one you like or have on hand.
- Cream cheese – duh.
- Powdered sugar – using this instead of granulated ensures it totally mixes in and isn’t grainy (because it is a lot of f;ing sugar)
- Vanilla wafers OR graham crackers – sometimes I use one, sometimes I use the other because it is all I have. You pick.
- Butter – to mix with the cookie/graham cracker for the crust.
- Little Reese’s cups – to chop up for that final touch.
A few pro tips…
Cause I just can’t leave you without them.
- Absolutely do not use natural peanut butter. Not even a little bit as a substitute or to fill in because you’re just short. It doesn’t mix with the other ingredients AT ALL. It is softer and oilier and separates – and it is gross. Even the littlest bit, so make sure you enough to make 2 cups of hydrogenated (whatta terrible word, right?) peanut butter.
- Do not add sugar to the crust. I think vanilla wafers and graham crackers are sweet enough all on their own. And when you see how much sugar is in the cheesecake, you’ll likely agree with me, no extra sugar is needed.
- Consider using dark chocolate for the ganache. I didn’t call this a Reese’s peanut butter cheesecake for a reason. It isn’t totally one, it is a dark chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. Dark chocolate is richer, less sweet and an excellent slightly bitter contrast to the sweet peanut butter filling. You don’t have to trust me, but consider it.
Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cup graham crackers or vanilla wafers crumbs make in your food processor or buy graham crumbs
- 5 tablespoons of butter melted
For the cheesecake
- 2 packages 1 pound of cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups of peanut butter I used half chunky and half smooth, use what you want but DO NOT use natural peanut butter
- 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of cold heavy cream
For the ganache
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 4 ounces of dark chocolate chopped or chocolate chips
- Reese's mini peanut butter cups chopped
To make the crust
Heat the oven to 350
Stir together the cookie/graham crumbs and the melted butter. Press down and up the sides of a 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Bake in oven about 8 minutes or until you can smell it a bit and a peek at it shows a light golden color. Take it out and cool completely (I put it outside in winter to super cool quick - if it is dry out).
To make the filling
In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl (to use a hand mixer), beat the heavy cream until it becomes whipped cream with stiff peaks. Use a spatula and move the whipped cream to another bowl and set aside. In the same mixing bowl of your stand mixer (or hand mixer), put in the cream cheese and peanut butter and mix until light and well blended. Add the confectioners sugar and on LOW, begin mixing it into the cream cheese and peanut butter. Gradually increase the speed (if you start off on medium or high you'll end up with a powdered sugar snowstorm in your kitchen, and you'll be pissed). Add vanilla and mix until totally incorporated. Add back in the whipped cream and mix until totally combined.
Pour the cheesecake into the prepared crust and put in fridge for at least three hours, but honestly I almost always do double that at a minimum.
To make the ganache
Put your chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a bowl (I have has separation by skipping this and just putting chocolate directly into the suacepan f hot cream). Put your cream in a saucepan and heat n stove until just barely simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let is sit fir a few minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir with a spatula to fully combine.
When cheesecake is properly cooled, and chocolate is still warm, pour over the cheesecake and spread smooth. Top with the chopped Reese's candies and chill until serving.