Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dinner w/the neighbors and a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake!

Tonight we had the very fun priveledge of having a dinner party with our new(ish) neighbors!  I have to admit one shameful thing...they have lived next door since november and last week was the first time that I went over to introduce myself!  This past year has been so crazy, but we have finally established a relationship.  : )

I introduced myself to Rachel last weekend after I made a batch of sourdough bread and took some to share, and then this Saturday afternoon she had slipped the sweetest letter into our mailbox asking us over for dinner!  She also asked if I would like to make dessert since I had mentioned how much I love to bake, and of course I gladly agreed : )  They are just a lovely couple...but I must admit I feel very young and inexperienced compared to them!  I don't think they are too much older, definitely not over 10 years, but are both astronomers from Australia, and have lived all over Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US.  They are here teaching at our alma mater which is just wonderful for WKU!  We also got to meet the couple who live on the other side of them--English teachers at the local community college.  It was fun and also kinda rare to have 3 houses in a row with young couples who don't have kids.  Not that I have anything against children or only want friends who don't have kids, but most of the other people on our street have families and there is a bit of a difference in how we all relate. 

This was also a fun time for me to get to make anything at all that I wanted!  Since the TWD recipe for this week is biscuits I looked through my other magazines, cookbooks, and bookmarked recipes for a great dessert, and finally settled on this Paula Deen recipe that I have been drooling over since 2007!  It was perfect b/c I had a bunch of mini peanut butter cups left over from Easter too.  After I made it I had a bit of second-guessing myself...what if they don't eat peanut butter or are allergic?? so I made a fudge pie too just to be sure ; )
Well, everyone definitely did eat peanut butter and everyone raved about this cheesecake!  After our huge meal (steak, chicken thighs, asparagus, salad, mashed potatoes and bread) only a few people had room for tiny slices of fudge pie too...but everyone ate the cheesecake!
I made half the recipe in a 6 in. springform b/c I was short on cream cheese, and i'm glad b/c it was so rich i still have nearly half a cheesecake left to take to work tomorrow.

I couldn't get a picture of the sliced chicken before dinner, but I wanted to show you the chocolate layer...YUM!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Paula Deen's Best Desserts 2010 or Holiday Baking 2007
I baked half the recipe in a 6 in. springform pan, but for the same time

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate Layer:
6 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Peanut Butter Layer:
3 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Chocolate ganache:
3 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Garnish: chopped peanut butter cups

  • Preheat oven to 300 * F.
  • To prepare crust; In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and brown sugar.  Add melted butter, stirring to combine.  Press crust into bottom and 1 in. up sides of a 9 in. springform pan.  Bake for 6 min; let cool.
  • To prepare chocolate layer: In a medium bowl, combine chocolate and butter.  Microwave on High in 30 second intervals, strirring after each, unil chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1 1/2 min. total).
  • Whisk in sugar, eggs, and flour until combined.  Pour into bottom of cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes.  let cool.
  • To prepare peanut butter layer: in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown usgar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Beat in peanut butter until combined.  Beat in eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in cream.  Pour over cooled chocolate layer, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minues.  Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around edges to release crust from sides of pan.  Let cool completely.
  • To prepare chocolate ganache: in a small bowl, combine chocolate and cream.  Microwiave on High in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1 min. total) Spread over cooled cheesecake.  refrigerate a least 8 hours before serving.  Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups, if desired.


  1. Hey! Those look like the mini peanut butter cups from the office!

  2. Hi! Glad to see you are feeling better!

    Yummy looking cheesecake. I love cheesecakes. The mini pans are a great size.

  3. wow. holy crap that looks so amazingly good! PB = yummy. your cheesecake = extra yummy

  4. oh it look wonderful! yay for hanging out with the neighbors!

    and if your office doesnt finish this thing off, justin and I love Pb& choc!! hehe!

  5. OH. MY. GOODNESS. That looks soooo good!

    That's so cool you got to meet your neighbors. I totally get what you mean about the couples with no kids thing; it really makes things more challenging if only one couple has kids.

  6. Good food & good fellowship: it doesn't get any better than that in my books. I so love chocolate & peanut butter...I have bookmarked this page for future reference!

  7. Wow, that looks de-lish!
    Don't feel bad about meeting your neighbors after a few months. We've been in our house for 5 years and are moving, so some of our friendly neighbors just had a going-away neighborhood get together for us and we met some of the people on our street for the first time! ;)

  8. The two English teachers wouldn't be the Thompson's by chance?

    Your cuisine picture are great, by the way.