Category Archives: Cheesecake

Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake

I was at work when I got a text message from my mom.

“Do you have a Hershey’s lookbook?”

Lookbook? Oh, cookbook. I texted her back no, then received another message informing me that she was looking at one in a bookstore right that moment and everything in it looked delicious and awesome and that she was going to get it for me. Hey, who am I to turn down a free recipe book?

And she was right. Oh god, was she ever right. I want to eat everything in this book, even the stuff I don’t think I would actually enjoy, like the black forest cake (or anything with cherries in it, really). If only there was a way to make stuff in books appear in the real world. I’d probably gain a hundred pounds.

But, such devices do not exist, and so I must make the baked goods myself. I decided on the Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake for a couple of reasons. 1) It looked amazingly tasty, 2) Because I’ve never made cheesecake before and it was about time I made one, and 3) Did I mention it looked really, really good?

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The recipe wanted me to use vanilla wafers for the crust, but I eschewed that in favor of graham crackers because I don’t play by the rules, man. As I was crushing the graham crackers with my rolling pin (instead of a hammer), I grew more and more worried. Given my track record recently, it seemed inevitable that I fuck this up in one way or another. The cheesecake would probably crack. Oh God, it was definitely going to crack. It was going to look awful. What if it tasted awful, too? What if it was just a lumpy and disgusting mess and a waste of cream cheese? WHAT IF THE WORLD ENDED BECAUSE OF THIS CHEESECAKE???

While the crust was cooking I hurriedly researched on the internet about how to prevent cheesecakes from cracking and the best ways to bake them. I grew more and more freaked out as I looked at the long lists of instructions and warnings. Cheesecakes are temperamental little buggers, apparently! Just the slightest thing could make them fall apart entirely, according to the things I read. I started losing more and more confidence, but I had already started making it, so I couldn’t stop now.

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And wouldn’t you know, one of the things I feared would happen came true — the cream cheese would not get soft and was still cold, therefore causing lumps in the batter. I actually started mixing it together a bit with my hands in an effort to warm the cold cream cheese and cause it to meld into the batter. It worked a little, but not really. Baking things in winter is impossible. Or maybe my microwave is doing it wrong.

Anyway, I kept going, melting the peanut butter chips and the chocolate.

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In hindsight, I probably should’ve used more peanut butter. The taste of peanut butter wasn’t as strong as I would’ve liked. I seperated the batter, and poured the melted chocolate chips into one, peanut butter chips into the other. Chocolate layer first, peanut butter layer second. The batter was still lumpy and didn’t spread across the pan quite correctly. The videos all had silky smooth batter that didn’t require spreading with a spatula. But, oh well.

Using a few of the tips I’d gotten from the Intertubes, I wrapped my springform pan with foil, filled a baking pan with water, placed the springform pan into that (it’s called a water bath, for those of you not ~in the know~), and put it in the oven, crossing my fingers. Not literally, but metaphorically.

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So sure was I that the top would be cracked once it was finished that, when I finally took it out of the oven some time later, I was astonished to find…

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NO CRACKS. NONE. ZERO. I was amazed and proud and confused. I kept feeling like, because it didn’t crack, I did something wrong. But nope! It was delicious! Everyone loved it and sang my praises over it! Parades were held in my honor! I was given a large, expensive medal!

Though, as you can see, I…uh… forgot to spray the pan. Again. Because I’m an idiot. I really need to remember to do that.

In any case, I’m really pleased that my first attempt at cheesecake went so well. It didn’t go off without a hitch, but you know, that’s to be expected. I have to remember I can’t be perfect at everything. Or anything, really, because most people aren’t, no matter how much it appears that they are.

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I’ll add the recipe here later, but I need to go to work soon.

 

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars Recipe

In case anyone is interested, I’ve written my version of the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars I made back when I first started this baking venture. The original recipe had cookie dough, but I omitted that, and added a few more instructions.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

adapted from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook

Crust

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Filling

10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup of sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Drizzle

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Make the Crust

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat oven at 325 degrees. Butter (or spray Pam on) a 9×9 square baking pan, and line the pan with a piece of parchment paper that is long enough to cover all sides. Butter or spray the paper as well.

To make graham cracker crumbs, you can either buy the crumbs already made, or put regular graham crackers in a large, closed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or some other heavy object until the crumbs are small and fine. You can melt the butter in a microwave.

Then, in a medium bowl, stir the crumbs and melted butter together until the crumbs are moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips, then press the crumb mixture over the bottom and one inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack or other non-heated surface, but leave the oven on.

Make the Filling

In a large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla, beating just to blend them in. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the cheesecake batter onto the crust, then stick into the oven. Bake until the top feels firm, or shake the pan to check that it doesn’t wobble – about thirty minutes. Transfer to wire rack or other non-heated surface.

Make the Chocolate Drizzle

In a heatproof bowl (like a Pyrex measuring cup), put the chocolate chips in the microwave for thirty seconds at a time, stirring in between until no longer lumpy. You want the chocolate to be thin, so check to see if it is by dipping a spoon in and pulling it up. If the chocolate streams down thinly, it’s good. If it falls off in clumps, you can put in a little vegetable shortening to thin it out.

Once it’s been melted, pour it into a large Ziploc bag (it’s going to be hot, so be careful). Seal the top, then make a tiny cut off of one of the corners, and make criss-cross patterns across the cheesecake. Or, if you don’t want to do that, you can dip a fork into the chocolate and drizzle it that way.

Let the cheesecake sit until the chocolate has set, then grab the parchment paper by the ends and gently take the cheesecake bars out of the pan. Cut them into 16 pieces with a large knife.

Cheesecake bars can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Original post can be found here.

I wanted to make a Bar Of Something this week, so I thumbed through my Chocolate Chip recipe book and came across these chocolate chip cheesecake bars with cookie dough on top, drizzled with melted chocolate. I’m not a huge fan of cheesecake, but this sounded positively delicious, so I had to try it.

The recipe called for a graham cracker crust. I could either buy graham cracker crumbs already made (which I couldn’t find), or buy regular graham crackers and crush them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. We didn’t have a rolling pin, so I had to improvise.

After I did that, and added the melted butter… it wasn’t enough for the pan. Later I realized that the recipe actually called for a 9×9, but it only said 9-inch, so I assumed a 13×9 would be fine. Well, it wasn’t, so I had to make more crust, but finally I managed to make enough. I threw the chocolate chips in there and got ready to make the “cookie dough”.

Okay, so the recipe in the book was totally wrong. I followed it exactly, and it did not make dough, it made brown powder. It didn’t say put in an egg in the recipe, but I did it anyway, and it sort of worked except one large egg was too much, and I didn’t have enough ingredients for another batch, so I had to throw it away. So it would wind up being a crust with only cheesecake filling on it, but that wasn’t so bad a deal.

I made the cheesecake filling, butttt I’d forgotten about my pan being too big, so there wasn’t enough for to cover the entire crust. So I just kinda plopped it all in the middle, stuck it in the oven, and hoped it wouldn’t look like crap.

When it came out… okay, I’m still not entirely sure if it baked all the way. I didn’t know how to tell if cheesecake is done. But it didn’t wobble when I shook it so I figured it was all right. I melted some chocolate chips, put it in a pastry bag, and decorated.

I was kinda worried because it didn’t look awesome like in the book, but my brownie sundaes didn’t look ANYTHING like in that recipe’s picture and it tasted delicious. I let it sit for an hour, stuck in the fridge for five minutes for no reason, then cut them up.

They looked pretty good! I was worried for nothing. I tried one but, again, I’m not a huge fan of cheesecake so I didn’t finish it, but yeah. I think the cheesecake might be too liquid-y, but it was supposed to be filling so I guess that’s okay. I hope everyone else winds up liking it.