Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

I’ve never made a cheesecake before.  And, if I’m being honest here… I don’t really even like cheesecake.  I know.  I’m a CRAZY person for not liking cheesecake… but I just can’t get paste the cream cheese/sour flavor.  Yuck!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake by JavaCupcake.com-3

For our New Years Eve party with the neighbors, I wanted to make something special… but one of my neighbors doesn’t like cake (I call him CRAZY for not liking cake!) but he loves Reese’s!  So… how about a cheesecake!  And to make it even better, I’ll make it a peanut butter chocolate cheesecake! YESSSSS!!

Since I’ve never made one before, I needed to find a recipe.   Surprisingly enough, there weren’t many peanut butter chocolate cheesecake recipes to choose from on the web that looked 1)simple and 2)super delicious.  I finally decided to start with a recipe from Bake or Break and change it up a little to add a some JavaCupcake flair!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake by JavaCupcake.com-5

The original recipe called for peanuts in the cheesecake, but I decided I wanted a traditionally smooth cheesecake, no chunks… so I left those out.  It also called for a peanut butter crust, but since I wanted to add more chocolate to the cake, I used Peanut Butter Oreos in the crust instead of the Nutter Butters the recipe called for.  And finally, for a little added flair on top, instead of a little swirl of chocolate and peanut butter on top, I created a super thick layer of deliciousness that is peanut butter and chocolate! YUM!

Overall, this was a rich, creamy super full of flavor cheesecake where I just savored every bite!  I loved the crust and the layer of peanut butter and chocolate on top was perfect!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake by JavaCupcake.com-2

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 1 10in cheesecake
Ingredients
Cookie Crust
  • 20 Peanut Butter Oreos
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • parchment paper
Cheesecake Filling
  • 32oz cream cheese (4 8oz packages), room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 8oz (1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup cream peanut butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirl Topping
  • 6oz white chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Instructions
Cookie Crust
  1. Spray 10in springform pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. (I didn't do the parchment paper part, but wish I would have!)
  2. Place Oreo cookies and peanuts into a food processor. Process mixture until the texture is of a course meal.
  3. Add the melted butter and process until combined.
  4. Press mixture into bottom of the prepared pan.
Cheesecake Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, corn starch and sour cream. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
  4. Mix in the vanilla and peanut butter. Again, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and mix until smooth.
  6. Pour on top of cookie crust and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 200 F degrees and cook for 2 hours.
  8. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan.
  9. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in the oven for 2 more hours.
  10. Cover and refrigerate over night.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Swirl
  1. In a double boiler, melt the peanut butter and white chocolate together until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In another double boiler, melt the semi-sweet chocolate and butter until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Take the cheesecake out of the refrigerator and remove the ring of the springform pan.
  4. If you can, remove the cheesecake from the pan and place on the plate you're serving on. There is where the parchment paper comes in handy. I didn't use parchment, so I just left the cheesecake on the pan and put that on my serving platter.
  5. Spread an even layer of the peanut butter mixture over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.
  6. Drizzle the melted chocolate back and forth over the peanut butter. Using a toothpick, drawl circles/swirls to bring the peanut butter and chocolate mixture together in a swirly pattern. Don't overswirl! Simple is better!
  7. Chill several hours.
To serve:
  1. Place a long, thin knife in a tall cup of hot water. Wipe off the water.
  2. Cut into the cake and through the crust. Pull the knife straight out from the bottom of the cake, do not pull it up and out of the cake.
  3. Clean off the knife and dip it in the hot water again.
  4. Wipe off the excess water and repeat the cutting process again.
  5. You can cut each slice ahead of time and place it back on the platter if you're serving the cheesecake at a party or cut each slice and serve on a plate one at a time.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake by JavaCupcake.com-4

The Best of 2012

JC Best of 2012 header

WOW! I can’t believe it’s time to do another year in review post for my blog!  I love doing these posts too! It’s so much fun to go back and remember all the fun I had creating and baking this year!  This blog is like a baking diary of my life! Let’s start by taking a look back at 2010 and 2011…

Top 10 Cupcake Recipes of 2010
Top 10 Recipes of 2010 (non-cupcake)
Top 25 Cupcakes of 2011

And just cause I think it’s interesting, here are few stats from my blog:
Total #of posts in 2012: 125
Total New Recipes: 87
Cupcake Recipes: 23
Cookie Recipes: 22
Cake Recipes: 10

These numbers aren’t as high as 2011… but still impressive considering I had a baby and was pregnant twice! On to 2012!

Schloss Guteneck 2012-15

2012 was a big year for me personally.  I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy Matthew in March.  My dad came to visit for 5 weeks in June and we traveled to Switzerland, Southern Germany and Italy.  And then in November, I said goodbye to my daughter Cora who passed away before she was born due to Trisomy 18.  We traveled all over Europe and through the ups and downs… it’s really been a great year!

In the kitchen, I experimented a lot with cakes this year!  I’ve always been a self-proclaimed “I don’t make cakes” Baker… but this year, all that changed thanks to Amanda at i am baker for inspiring me with all her super simple and easy to follow tutorials! I’m no expert yet, but I’m getting better! I also baked a LOT of cookies… not intentionally, but I found myself baking more cookies, bars and cakes than cupcakes this year.  It was a lot of fun branching out to other desserts!

Now… the recipes!  Here are two roundups of the BEST of the BEST in 2012!

Enjoy!

Most Popular Recipes of 2012:  – these posts could have been written at any time, but in 2012, they were the most popular!

Most popular of 2012_edited-4

  1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (this recipe is the most viewed on my blog EVER!)
  2. Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes
  3. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
  4. Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
  5. Girl Scout Thin Mint Cupcakes
  6. Samoa Cupcakes
  7. Black Velvet Pumpkin Cupcakes Tutorial
  8. Mocha Mocha Cupcakes
  9. 4 Holiday Cupcakes Tutorial
  10. Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars
  11. Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
  12. Oreo Cupcakes

My Favorite Recipes of 2012: – These are my personal favorites from the year!  Not all cupcakes – but all delicious and memorable!

Favorite Recipes of 2012_edited-1

  1. Chocolate Raspberry Pink Ombre Petal Cake
  2. Frosted Peppermint Dark Chocolate Donuts
  3. Two Halloween Cakes
  4. Strawberry Lemonade Scones
  5. Easy Homemade Refried Beans
  6. Oktoberfest Beer Batter Onion Rings
  7. Blue Ombre Cake Tutorial
  8. Rainbow Pom Pom Cake
  9. Rose Vertical Layer Cake
  10. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes
  11. Lemoncino Raspberry Cupcakes
  12. Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Before Christmas, I made peanut butter blossoms.  This was a cookie that my Mom never made growing up and I was only introduced to it in middle school at my friends house.  Her mom made these and I remember sneaking into the dining room where she would have all the cookies stored and I’d unwrap a plate and eat all the pb blossoms off it. hehehehe I just couldn’t help myself!  I’m sure her Mom went a little crazy wondering where all these cookies went! Peanut Butter Blossoms by JavaCupcake.com

And now every Christmas, I make these cookies and at least half of what I make ends up in my belly instead of on the plates of goodies I’m sharing with my friends!   These cookies are super easy to make and are a classic cookie that’s loved by everyone.  This recipe comes directly from the Hershey’s website and I did nothing special to it… cause it’s perfect the way it is!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Blossoms by JavaCupcake.com-4

 

Peanut Butter Blossoms
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 48 Hershey's Kisses chocolate candies
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup Peanut Butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Additional granulated sugar for rolling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.
  3. Add ⅓ cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
  4. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.
  5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each
  9. cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

 

Easy Chocolate Fudge – Two Ways!

You can’t make a plate full of Christmas cookies without including fudge! So today, I set out on a mission to find a simple yet delicious recipe for chocolate fudge. I’m not good with a candy thermometer, so I needed a recipe that didn’t call for one. Martha Stewart provided just that recipe for me this year.

Easy Fudge Two Ways by JavaCupake.com

I know… Martha Stewart hasn’t typically given me good recipes. Most I’ve tried turn out bland and I wonder what the heck their recipe testers were thinking. BUT… I figured I’d give this fudge a try. I mean really, how hard is it to mess up cream and chocolate?

Easy Fudge Two Ways by JavaCupake.com-2

I made this fudge two ways.  The first I mixed in Peanut Butter M&Ms and the second I mixed in Heath toffee pieces and pretzel chunks.  Both of these flavor combinations are sure to be a huge hit with my friends!  PB & chocolate and salty & sweet.  Can’t go wrong with those flavor combos!

Easy Fudge Two Ways by JavaCupake.com-3

Really, you could mix just about anything into this fudge… nuts, other chips (white, dark, butterscotch), any other candies, cookies, pretzels.  They sky is the limit!

Easy Fudge Two Ways by JavaCupake.com-4

What are you going to mix into your fudge?

Easy Chocolate Fudge – Two Ways!
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 36 pieces of fudge per batch
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2½ cups pretzel pieces (chop them first, then measure)
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp Heath Bar toffee pieces
  • 2 cups Peanut Butter M&Ms
  • NOTE: If you're making both types of fudge, you'll need to have double the ingredients. This makes one batch.
Instructions
  1. Lightly spray 8x8 pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper so that it hangs over the edges of the pan.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate chips, condensed milk, vanilla extract and salt in a medium heat proof bowl. Set the bowl over a simmering water.
  3. Stir occasionally until chocolate just melts and mixture is combined and warm but not hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in 2 cups of pretzels and ½ cup toffee pieces.
  4. Spread the fudge evenly into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top.
  5. Press ½ cup pretzels and 2 Tbsp toffee into the top of the fudge.
  6. Refrigerate several hours until firm. Cut into 36 squares.
  7. Repeat process using the M&Ms instead of the pretzels/toffee.
  8. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

My Dad’s Christmas Applesauce Bread

Every Christmas for as long as I can remember, my Mom made the Christmas breakfast casserole, my Grandma made the Chex Mix and my Dad made the applesauce bread.  It was tradition.  We just couldn’t have Christmas without those three things.

Applesauce Bread by JavaCupcake

My Grandma handed out the Chex Mix in the beginning of December so we’d have it all month to munch on, my Dad started baking bread several weeks before Christmas and my Mom made the casserole on Christmas Eve so all she had to do was pop it in the oven while we were all opening presents Christmas morning.

Applesauce Bread by JavaCupcake-3

Christmas morning as we were opening our stockings, my Dad would have sliced on a plate for us a loaf of his applesauce bread. Normally eating food in the fancy living room where the tree was, was forbidden… but this one day of the year we were allowed this special treat! YUM!

After all the presents were open, we headed to the dining room where my Mom served us Christmas Casserole, sliced peaches,warm cinnamon rolls, orange juice and coffee.  After our bellies were full we’d retreat to the TV room and relax by the fireplace, play with all our new toys and nap.  By about 3pm our tummies started rumbling again and it was time to snack on more bread and Chex Mix!

And now, I’m in Germany with my own family making this bread for them and my friends.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it!

What meal time/baking traditions does your family have?

Enjoy!

Applesauce Bread by JavaCupcake-26

My Dad’s Christmas Applesauce Bread
 
Serves: 2 loaves of bread
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt cocoa and cinnamon.
  5. In three parts, add the flour. Between each addition, add half the applesauce. Mix only until no more flour is visible.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and the raisins.
  7. Separate batter into the prepared pans.
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  9. Cool in the pans 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until you're ready to eat it or store it in a ziploc bag or air tight container for up to a week.

Lemon Blackberry Shortbread Cookies

Every holiday season I’m always on the lookout for a great new cookie to add to my recipe box.  Last week, more than 500 cookie recipes were posted in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap including my recipe for Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms.

Lemon Blackberry Shortbread Cookies by JavaCupcake

While browsing through all the fantastic cookies, I came across these beautiful raspberry almond thumbprint cookies by Saving Room for Dessert.  Tricia’s recipe is so simple that I couldn’t resist trying them myself!

In my cabinet I have this beautiful jar of handmade Blackberry jam made by a local German couple.  I have tried 5-6 different flavors of their jams and they are THE BEST I’ve ever tasted.  I am definitely spoiled being able to have access to such quality, homemade foods here in Germany!  So, I decided to use this jam for these cookies and flavor the dough with lemon instead of almond.  Lemon and blackberry make an amazing combination, so I’m sure these cookies will be a hit!

PS…. If I were to make these again, I’d make them more like thumbprint cookies and make the hole for the jam bigger… more jam the merrier!

Enjoy!

 

Lemon Blackberry Shortbread Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • Blackberry jam
Lemon Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. I used a hand mixer, but you can use your stand mixer if that's easier for you.
  2. Add the lemon extract and mix until combined.
  3. With the mixer on low, blend in the flour. The dough will be clumpy.
  4. In the bowl, knead the dough 8-10 times or until it's come together to form a ball.
  5. Wrap dough ball in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Shape 1 inch balls of dough and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
  8. Using the tip of a wooden spoon, press a hole into the center of each cookie at least ½ way down.
  9. Fill each hole with blackberry jam. (I used a piping bag with the jam in it to squeeze into each hole.)
  10. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies stand for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Once cool, mix the powdered sugar, cream and lemon extract. Drizzle over each cookie. (Again, I filled a piping bag filled with the glaze to drizzle over each cookie.)

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms

For the second year, I’m participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  Last year I was paired with two other bloggers both stationed in Europe but this year I’ve got a fabulous new group of food bloggers to send to!

Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms by JavaCupcake.com

You must check out these ladies & their blogs!  The things they come up with are AH-MAY-ZING!

Sara Croft @ Solid Gold Eats

I didn’t even realize it, but Sara has made a cookie similar to the ones I’ve made for the cookie swap! Check out her Chocolate and Peppermint Blossoms!  She also has a ton of other great dinner and side dishes ideas.  I think I need to bookmark her blog for next week’s meal planning!

Audra Fullerton @ The Baker Chick

Audra is a baker after my own heart.  Seriously, everything she posts on her blog… I want to bake.  Recently, she posted a recipe for a Cranberry Meringue Pie.  I mean, WOAH.  Cranberry pie!!  I think I need to make this… ASAP!

TammyJo Eckhart @ The Chocolate Cult

A blog all about chocolate?  Have I died and gone to heaven? I think so!  TammyJo shares so many mouth watering ideas for ways to use chocolate that I never even dreamed of… including these Chocolate Waffles!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012The cookies I made for this Cookie Swap are a spin on my favorite Christmas cookie, the Chocolate Crinkle.   I took Betty Crocker’s recipe from my 1963 Cooky Book and added some peppermint then topped them with a Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss chocolate!  These Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms are the perfect combination of chocolate and peppermint for the holidays!

I can’t wait to see what TammyJo, Sara and Audra come up with! :)

Enjoy!

Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms
 
Ingredients
  • 4oz unsweetened bakers chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Candy Cane Hershey Kiss candies
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar, oil and melted chocolate.
  2. One at a time, add the eggs. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
  5. Add the flour to the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth and combined.
  6. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Unwrap 5 dozen Candy Cane Kiss candies.
  9. Roll teaspoon sized balls of dough in your hand. Toss them in powdered sugar until they are coated.
  10. Arrange them on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake 8-9 minutes.
  12. Immediately press a Kiss into the center of each cookie. Allow cookie to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.