If you think the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is quite possibly the best combo known to man, this is for you. I'll allow you a moment to make your own Simon and Garfunkel, ebony and ivory, peas and carrots, etc, jokes. Go ahead. I'll wait.
This recipe was inspired by Jennifer Perillo, and her wish that bloggers make a pie for Mikey. You can read her story at the links provided.
I was moved by her story, and by the overwhelming response of the food blogging community, and decided to join in and bake a pie. I, of the under-stocked pantry, did not have all the ingredients to make Jennifer's recipe. I had to wing it, and decided on a cheesecake. We are cheesecake-lovin' fools in this house.
The Pie for Mikey event was several weeks ago, and I am, as usual, late blogging about it. I extend my hand to you for a virtual knuckle-rapping with a ruler.
I figured today, the official start of a long holiday weekend, would be a good time to post this recipe. This cheesecake would be a perfect ending to any Labor Day cookout menu. Cool, creamy, peanut-buttery, and not overly sweet, in a graham cracker crust, with a hidden layer of chocolate. (Insert drool here.)
No foolin' here, people. Get your butt to the stove and make this.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons sweet (unsalted) butter, melted
1 cup dark chocolate chips
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a 9 inch pie plate until blended, then press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crust. Set aside.
Place the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add the eggs, one a time, beat until well blended. Add the vanilla. Beat another minute or two on medium-high speed. Go ahead. Beat the tar out of it.
Pour batter into prepared crust. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the edges of the cheesecake are set but the very center is still wobbly. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Note: I don't add any extra sugar to my graham cracker crusts, I think the crackers are sweet enough. If you like a sweeter crust, add a few tablespoons of sugar.