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brownie bottomed peanut butter cup cheesecake

Let me just begin this sugar-laden post by saying I’m taking a 2-week break from sugar.  Why, you might be wondering?  Well, after week after week of vacation, birthday celebrations, and basically just livin’ it up, I wanted to give my body a respite from the deliciousness that is sugar and do things a bit more “naturally.”  So no sugar-filled yogurt and cereal for breakfast.  No candy after lunch.  No going back for my eighth handful of Trader Joe’s Mini Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies.
So whyyyyy would I make this cheesecake if I couldn’t eat it?  Well, at work we bake each other birthday treats and whoever’s birthday was the most recent gets to make for the next person.  Today we celebrated my wonderful co-worker Lori’s birthday and since mine was just last week, it was my turn to make.  Talk about torture.  I couldn’t even lick the spoon!  Don’t worry though – I saved a (big!) piece and stuck it in the freezer for when my 2 weeks are up.
Even though I can’t give my own thoughts on the cheesecake, my co-workers said it was awesome.  But what’s NOT awesome about brownies, peanut butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter cups?  Nothing, that’s what.  Oh and it’s a no-bake cheesecake so no worrying about water baths and cracked tops.  Awesome, I tell ya.

Brownie Bottomed Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

1 (19.5 oz) package brownie mix
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
4 peanut butter cups, chopped

Directions:

Prepare brownie mix according to package, using 9×13″ pan.  Cool completely.

Spray 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.  Once the brownies have cooled, cut them into bars and using 3/4 of the bars, press them into the bottom of prepared springform pan, forming an even crust.  Set aside.

Crumble the remaining brownies and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese and peanut butter until combined.  Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined.

In separate bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Add powdered sugar then beat until stiff peaks form.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the whipped cream mixture, then fold the remaining into the cream cheese/peanut butter mixture.

Spread one-half of the cream cheese/peanut butter mixture over the brownies in the pan.  Sprinkle with half of the remaining brownie crumbles.   Spread remaining cream cheese/peanut butter mixture over the brownies.

Top with reserved 1/2 cup of whipping cream, then sprinkle remaining brownie crumbles and chopped peanut butter cups.

Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.  Enjoy!

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