September 10, 2010

Friday's Drawers - Clean and not so much

Celebration time again at the office! Today marks my 1 year anniversary at my awesome job. Whoohoo!  And with it comes a co-worker's birthday and a birthday bash in my lil' group.  So far this year we've had pumpkin whoopie pies, creme brûlée, blueberry coffee cake with greek yogurt, more whoopie pies, carrot cake and finally today....the creme de la creme...

 Food porn alert.  Chocolate Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake. O.M.G!
You won't gain weight by looking.  
Heh. Forgot to move the stapler. Such a bad food photographer.
Now this is not all outer aisle stuff (though everything was made from scratch) but it does look good, eh?  Credit goes to Denise on the WeWa boards for torturing us sharing with us a link to this unbelievable recipe. (yeah, I know the irony here....hey, this is what flex points are for!)

Here is where I got the recipe and it is C&P'd below. Now, this was WAY too much cheesecake batter for me since I couldn't find my spring form pan.

I used 2 round pans and a cupcake pan and they were all over flowing. So really, you could halve this recipe and do just fine. Or just make a lot of cheesecake.  I also didn't use as many reese's pieces in the layer and it was still PLENTY rich!

I would highly suggest that you enjoy this with a glass of organic milk!  And somewhere during the week, work in an extra 5 mile run to burn off the 500 calories in one of these bad boys!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
Brownie Crust
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla)
2 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp 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 Tbsp 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 cups
(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°.

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.

OK, and just because I don't want to leave you with just this, I do have our farm share photo from this week. See...I still have SOME veggies in our lives.

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