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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Joyeux Kitchen: Cheesecake Peanut Butter Bites

Oh Paula Deen, you've done it again.  Be still my heart.  Reese's pb cups and cheesecake in the same dessert?  Yes please.  I made these for Lindsay's birthday the other night, in addition to a scrumptious Costco pumpkin pie... they were to die for.  She actually wanted Cookie Dough Cupcakes, but that project has been shelved for a later date.  Stay tuned.  Now back to the task at hand...

You'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted
  • 12 bite-size peanut butter cups
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs 
Preheat the oven to 350.  Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of a standard muffin pan.  (Paula's recipe says it should make 12, but it easily made 16 for me.  I used 4 additional cups in a 6 cup small muffin pan and filled the extra 2 cups halfway with water, to make sure everything baked evenly.)  

To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl with your fingers until crumbs are evenly moistened.  Press a giant, heaping tablespoon of the crumbs into the bottom of each muffin cup.  For an easy, even, mess-free way to do this, use your espresso packing tool (just learned this is actually called a tamper) -- see above picture.  Love new uses for old things! 

Place one peanut butter cup in the center of each crust.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy.  (Paula says: handheld mixer.  I used my Kitchenaid.)  Add sugar, flour, and vanilla, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Make sure to scrape the sides of your bowl well, as the cream cheese can stick over there and make for lumpy filling.  Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups and crumb crust.  Bake, just until set, about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before serving.  (I popped them in the fridge after cooling and served them cold.)

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. --Julia Child

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