Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

Here is my official entry into this month’s “Hay, Hay, it’s Donna Day” #10 -Cheesecake contest.
Update: Peabody’s round-up of all the entries. Voting runs through March 24.
There was no way I was not going to enter this one.
I went back and forth and all around trying to figure out just which cheesecake I was going to make. Vanilla Blueberry? Raspberry Chocolate? English Toffee? And then my lovely coworker suggested Peanut Butter Cup and that sounded just too yummy not to try.
I hunted around for peanut butter chocolate cheesecake recipes and finally narrowed it down to two. I liked the brownie crust on one but the peanut butter cheesecake filling of the other.
I decided to pick the best parts of each recipe and combine them. And modify things a bit. Like change the milk chocolate chips to semi-sweet. And not use shortening in the decorative drizzle because, um, that sounded gross.
And then I found that the brownie bottom (makes my husband giggle every time) took up more space than planned in the pan, so I ended up with extra batter and another smaller cheesecake. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Just something to keep in mind.
Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
Brownie Crust:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla)
2 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cheesecake Filling:
2 lbs cream cheese, softened
5 eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural-style)
1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 peanut butter cups, cut into quarters
(this made too much batter for me. Not sure how to cut down the portions. I was able to make an extra very slim 7″ cheesecake with the leftover batter. So less than half was left over…)
6 peanut butter cups, cut carefully in half
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
(this makes a lot more than you’ll need for decorative purposes. I plan on using the extra to serve with the individual slices)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch springform pan with butter.
2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with spoon or wire whisk. Add eggs; stir until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; blend well. Spread in prepared pan.
3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from side of pan. Meanwhile make cheesecake layer (see below).
4. Immediately after removing brownie from oven, sprinkle milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and peanut butter cups over brownie surface. Spoon cheesecake mixture over chips. Turn down oven 325°.
This is just the crust section
Cheesecake Filling:
5. Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth.
6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
7. Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth.
8. Stir in vanilla.
9. Pour filling into prepared crust.
[I had extra batter that I put in a smaller springform pan at this point]
10. Double-wrap springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent water seeping in.
11. Place springform pan into a larger baking pan.
12. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
13. Bake at 325 degrees 1-1/2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned.
14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour.
15. Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan somewhat.
16. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before decorating. I tend to make cheesecakes a day ahead to let things set.
Cheesecake tip: to get the cake off the bottom of the springform pan, because most crusts have butter in them, you just need to heat up the bottom of the pan a bit and the cake should come off easily. I remove the sides, then hold the pan over a burner on my stove – set to LOW – for about 15 or so seconds. Whatever you can handle. Then run a long cake spatula under the cake and it should slip easily off the pan. Just be careful – the bottom of the cake is now very slippery.
17. Remove cake from pan and put on a pretty plate.
18. Bring whipping cream to boil in a small saucepan.
19. Remove from heat and add semi-sweet and peanut butter chips. Stir, stir, stir until melted and smooth.
20. Drizzle over cake and then add peanut butter cup halves around the edge of the cake.
Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
Recipe credits:
Ruggles Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
Brownie Bottomed Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

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9 Responses to Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

  1. mia says:

    is it possible to die of cheesecake jealousy? Yes, I think I just proved that it is.

  2. Oh my god. That looks AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. [N] says:

    good farking GOD woman!!!

  4. iheartnewyork says:

    oh. my. god.
    (Also, Matt wants you to save him a piece.)

  5. Erin says:

    That’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen! You win LIFE for making that cheesecake, let alone the contest!

  6. Drewski says:

    That is OFF THE HOOK!!!!!

  7. jen says:


  8. barbara says:

    INcredible. My children would fight over this. Thanks for entering HHDD.