Not to toot my own horn, but cheesecakes are my specialty. This is one of my favourites, and lucky for you, it’s incredibly simple. It’s an adaptation from a Philly recipe – so easy, perfect if you’ve never made a cheesecake before.
- 1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate squares, chopped
- 1 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (for garnish)
Have at ‘er
Graham Cracker Crust:
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a greased pie plate. Make sure the crust is a uniform thickness! Bake the crust at 350 F for 7 – 9 minutes. Cool before filling.
If you didn’t cop out and use a prepared graham cracker crust, then your oven should already be at 350 F. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter. Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into pie crust. Bake for about 30 minutes. With cheesecake it is especially important not to open the oven too often – that will cause unsightly cracks or a lumpy surface. Keep it pretty.
Melt chocolate squares and milk over hot water or in microwave on for 1 – 2 minutes. Stir until completely smooth. Pour chocolate over cheesecake. Spread it evenly and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. If you’d prefer the more aesthetically pleasing effect of drizzled chocolate, simply add more milk or cream to the chocolate mixture and drizzle away.
A tasty variation: before baking the cake, spread the chocolate mixture over batter. Drag the tip of a knife through the surface in a circular motion to create swirls. Swirl thoroughly, but not too much, you don’t want to blend. This increases the baking time by about 3 – 5 minutes. Sprinkle cheesecake with peanuts immediately upon removing it from the oven.