Guest Post: Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes by Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

I am very excited to have Tracey from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures guest posting today. She is definitely one of my go-to food bloggers and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t also follow her if you are not already. I remember the first tip Tracey gave me. I was attempting whoopie pies for the first time and couldn’t decide if I should buy the special pan for making them. But she suggested using a medium cookie scoop – and they came out perfect! I fell in love with my cookie scoop that day.

Tracey has also mastered my visual-taste buds on more than one occasion. From Garlic-Rubbed Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes, to Cinnamon Toast Cloudcakes, and even a tutorial on How To: Homemade Gnocchi. Of course for my favorite meal of the day (dessert!) check out her Peanut Butter S’mores Brownies, Thousand-Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies, and this Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart. Yum!

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Hi everyone! I’m Tracey from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, and I am so excited to be guest posting for Erin today as she spends some time working and playing in Europe! Erin is one of the most generous bloggers I know, so it was a very easy to decision to say yes when she emailed to ask if I could help her out.

If you’ve been a reader of The Spiffy Cookie for a while, then you probably know there is no bigger fan of peanut butter than Erin. I can’t even begin to tell you how many of her peanut butter desserts I’ve bookmarked – Funfetti-peanut butter layer pie or peanut butter fudge brownie bricks, anyone? In my mind, it wasn’t even an option not to share a recipe that incorporated peanut butter in some way today!

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheescakes
These cheesecakes are the best of both words – they marry my obsession with mini desserts and Erin’s love of peanut butter in one decadent treat. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t see any peanut butter, do you? But that’s sort of the best part – it’s a hidden surprise, one you don’t discover until you dig in. In the center of each of these little mini cheesecakes is a miniature peanut butter cup!

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheescakes
For the most part, you make these cheesecakes like you would any other. They start with a graham cracker crust and include a pretty standard cheesecake filling. The only difference is that before you pour the filling onto the crust, you pop a mini peanut butter cup in the center. The cheesecake batter completely envelopes the peanut butter cup, protecting it in the oven so it retains its shape and doesn’t melt everywhere. Garnished with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and more peanut butter cups, these cheesecakes are pretty much the best way to end any meal. And since they’re mini, you can have two. I won’t tell :)

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes
adapted from Paula Deen (via FoodNetwork.com)

Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 whole graham crackers)
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling
12 miniature peanut butter cups
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

To make the crust: Using a fork, stir the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter together in a medium bowl until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in each well, and press into the bottom to form the crust (you can use a shot glass or similar small glass to help if necessary). Place 1 miniature peanut butter cup on the top of each crust (I put the wider end down, but I don’t think it matters).

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (I used a hand mixer, but you could do this in a stand mixer too). Add the sugar, flour and vanilla and beat until well combined and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is completely incorporated. Divide the cheesecake batter evenly among the wells of the muffin pan (about 1/4 cup each). You can fill the wells all the way to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are just barely set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cheesecakes to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve garnished with chopped peanut butter cups, whipped cream and chocolate sauce, if desired :)

Makes 12 mini cheesecakes

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