As you all know, it's winter. And here in New York it's been one hell of a winter. Frankly, I'm tired of it all. I like the snow as much as anyone, I'm just sick of scrapping it off my car every morning and worrying out getting stuck. I just want to enjoy being outside again without getting cold and wet. I also want to wear flip-flops and Toms. My boots are great, but my feet want to be free! In other words, I'm ready for some warm spring days and I'm especially ready for hot summer days. I just moved to the beach, let's get this beach party started! I haven't even walked to the ocean yet. Yes, a large part of that is laziness; but a bigger part is a my fear of slipping on the ice. It's treacherous out there; safety first.
Enough whining, let's discuss something happy, babies! These delightful treats were made for John and Irene. Clearly the babies aren't ready for chocolate peanut butter cheesecake bars, but until they are, their daddy can eat the treats for them! I can't think of a better way to survive this winter than staying inside holding little babies. Of course when I was there Gavin and Kait slept and were perfectly happy; apparently having twin 3-week olds is a piece of cake! Obviously, I've never cared for newborns :-)
New parents need lots of sustenance. What I lack in baby-caring skills I make up for in sugar, butter, chocolate, and peanut butter. This is one of the best recipes I've posted to the blog, seriously. I couldn't stop eating them so I had to take the four remaining bars to Jackie's; I want to fit through doorways. The chocolate cookie/brownie bottom is rich and chocolatey with a creamy peanut butter layer on top. The extra crust and chocolate drizzle keep the bars together and make it a complete package. I wish I had some more bars, they were just so perfectly perfect; everything you could ever dream of wanting from a chocolate-peanut butter pairing. Whether you have a little baby or not, you need to start shoving these bars in your face!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars Adapted from Inside BruCrew Life Yield - 24 bars
Chocolate Base 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup shortening 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Cheesecake Layer 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 8 regular size Reese’s cups, frozen
Topping 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 1 teaspoon shortening
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease a 9x13” pan with shortening and then dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Base - In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment add the butter, shortening, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat until creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Sift together the flour, salt, soda, cocoa powder onto parchment paper. Add slowly to the creamed butter and mix on low until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Wet your hands with cold water and dry. Press two-thirds of the dough on the bottom of the greased pan as evenly as possible. The dough will be sticky. Save the remaining dough for topping.
- Filling - In a clean bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat in the egg and peanut butter. Chop the peanut butter cups and stir into the mixture. Spread evenly over the base.
- Take the leftover dough and make round, flat disks. Spread the disks over the top of the peanut butter filling.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Let cool for 1-2 hours on a wire rack and then overnight in the fridge.
- Topping - Melt the chocolate chips and and shortening together. Add to a disposable piping bag.
- Cut the bars into 24 pieces. Drizzle the melted chocolate over each bar.
- Let the chocolate harden before packaging. Store in the fridge.