|If you LOVE Peanut Butter Cups you have to make this cheesecake!!|
One thing that I love to do is make some one's birthday a little more special by baking them something that is really fabulous. Usually I end up choosing something complicated, I am not sure why.... I guess it is my chance to try out some really amazing recipes that I have been hoarding and not have to eat the whole thing by myself! Sometimes, after spending 4-6 hours on one of these recipe endeavours, the finished product is truly a labor of love. So why do I do it? Because in my family, my Mom always made sure that we had a beautiful, homemade cake of our choice; one that would set the theme of our birthday. My sister and I would wait and watch her construct a cake in different shapes or characters, excited about every piped rose or scalloped edge of icing that was lovingly put on our cake. Then, at our party, dressed in our new birthday outfit, we would proudly sit behind our Alf or Pink Palace Cake and get that important birthday cake picture. Some of those pictures are the best of my childhood; with a huge smile and light in my eyes. I was always so proud of my cake but I was always more proud of my mom! Although she had her Master's in Education, she decided to give it all up for a little while to raise my sister and I. Early on in that process, she was gifted a cake decorating kit from my Grandma C. Whether out of boredom or her love for all things artistic, she began to practice her "cake art skills." Soon with the encouragement of others, she had a pretty popular cake business. Since she is artistic, friends and family could bring her a napkin with E.T. on it or a picture of their favorite 57 Chevy and she would draw the design freehand, transfer it to the cake and with piping bags and icing, make it come to life. Due to the time and love she put into each cake, her cakes were in high demand and her customers really appreciated the chance to have a custom cake.
|Me with my 4th birthday cake|
Until I left my parent's house, my mom made every birthday cake that I ever had. She also took on the large task of making my sister and my wedding cakes. Every one of the cakes that were made for me are still special to me. The memory of cakes being prepared and decorated in my house is something that I associate with my childhood (it is one of those "kitchen memories" that I spoke about in my "About" section.) My Mom's cakes were ever present in our house, as were the happy people who would come to pick up her masterpieces. In our little community, my Mom helped many families celebrate their birthdays, weddings, retirements and all of life's big milestones. She became part of their personal stories; part of their history.
I guess in some way, I hope to do the same thing. I bake for others to show my love, to see them smile, to let them know I appreciate them and to become part of their personal history...
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Peanut Butter CheesecakeThis is a totally amazing cake that I recently made for some one specials birthday. If you take the time to make this cake, I guarantee you will not be upset.
|Baking up some Love!|
For The Crust4 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup butter, melted
For The Filling2 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 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 Reese's Peanut Butter cups, cut into 8 pieces
For The Topping3 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tsp cocoa powder
8 Reece's Peanut butter cups, cut into 8 pieces
4 oz chocolate chips, melted in the microwave
|You might want to buy extra PB cups for munching!|
To Make The Crust: Combine crushed Oreo cookies and peanuts that have been ground in a food processor with the melted butter.
|Crushed Oreos and Peanuts|
Pat the crust mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil. Multiple layers may be necessary to prevent the water from the water bath from leaking into the cheesecake.
|Press the crust on the bottom of the pan|
To Make The Filling: Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour 1/3 of filling into prepared crust. Sprinkle 1/2 of the peanut butter cups over filling.
Pour 1/3 of filling on top of peanut butter cups repeating process and ending with filling on top. Place springform pan into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake at 275°F 1-1/2- 2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned.
|Layer cheesecake and PB cups so you don't break up the PB cups|
|In the oven for a looooong time!|
For The Topping: Combine the sour cream, cocoa powder and sugar and spread on the cheesecake. Return the cake to the oven for 8 minutes. After the cheesecake is finished open the oven door and allow to cool in the oven for 1 hour. This will help prevent cracking. After 1 hour, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least one hour or until the cake is room temperature. You may run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan somewhat. When cool, remove the springform pan and top with cut up peanut butter cups and drizzle with melted chocolate chips.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.