You know, when I look at recipes from around the world, they sure look a lot different than American recipes. British baking recipes tend to have less sugar, but still seem to taste as good. American recipe seem to want to use the entire kitchen sink! These cookies are a great example of that! This cookie uses cookie crumbs, 18 ounces of peanut butter/chocolate candy, two packages of cream cheese, and a cup of butter. How decadent! Lots of ingredients, but they sure come together to make a tasty cookie.
In my efforts to have a well-stocked kitchen (well, for baking at least), I will pick items up at the grocery store as I might be thinking about a recipe that uses the particular ingredient. Thankfully, most items aren’t that perishable, so it’s ok if I take my time using them. I had picked up several packages of cream cheese at some point, and I figured that I should use them since, well, they are more perishable. I did some searching and came across these bars. I’d recently had some awesome trail mix with peanut butter cups, so this sounded extra appealing to me.
I won’t lie, these cookies take a little bit of extra effort and makes a lot of dishes. They are supposed to have a graham cracker crust, but when I went to the store to get graham crackers they didn’t have any! I figured a chocolate cookie crust would work since they have chocolate, so I went with that. I ended up having to do the dishes half way through the process, but it worked out. These are messy to make, especially spreading the cookie layer on top of the cheesecake layer. Just take your time; there is plenty of dough to cover the cheesecake filling, so you’ll eventually get there. Not surprisingly, these bars are super decadent, and certainly worth the extra work!
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
2 1/2 cups cookie or graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 ounces peanut butter chips
8 ounces Reese's mini peanut butter cups
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil.
In a food processor, pulse the cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter until the mixture forms crumbs. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the crust with half of the mini peanut butter cups.
Make the cheesecake filling: in a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium high until smooth, 3-4 minutes. Carefully spread the cheesecake filling over the crust and mini peanut butter cups.
Make the cookie topping: in a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until combined. Stir in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda and mix on low to combine. Add the peanut butter chips and stir on low until incorporated.
Working with a small amount of dough at a time, spread the dough on top of the cheesecake filling. I used my hands, flattening the dough and then piecing it together on top of the filling. Try to cover the filling as much as possible. Sprinkle the cookies with the remaining mini peanut butter cups.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top layer is golden brown and is set. Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars.
Recipe from Shugary Sweets