Mini Peanut Butter Explosion Cheesecakes – Peanut butter cheesecake is speckled with crushed Butterfingers and stuffed with a peanut butter cup and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream
I had so much fun making these mini chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecakes last month. I seem to have so much more fun making things in mini form than the regular size – I think I just enjoy how cute and adorable mini desserts look. Don’t believe me? Check out these few mini treats that I’ve made that look just as precious as they do delicious:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites with Fudge Frosting
- Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
- Mini Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
- Peanut Butter Banana Bites
Ever since my first attempt of mini cheesecakes a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to make my next mini cheesecake recipe, which brings us to today’s recipe!
The inspiration for today’s cheesecake came from a recent trip to the Cheesecake Factory. I rarely get the same cheesecake twice – except for the peanut butter ripple cheesecake. I ordered this cheesecake again and remembered why I loved it sooo much. It’s loaded with peanut butter cups and Butterfinger pieces. So that’s exactly what I did with my interpretation. However, I wanted even more peanut butter so I added peanut butter to the cheesecake base.
I call this creation my Mini Peanut Butter Explosion Cheesecakes and that’s exactly what they are – little explosions of peanut butter!
Peanut Butter Everything!
I am a peanut butter addict- there I said it! So when it came to making this recipe, I had to hold myself back from adding in too much of the stuff into the recipe, keeping only the following:
- Creamy peanut butter
- Butterfinger pieces
- Peanut butter cups
I almost added on peanut butter buttercream on top but that would have been way too much. I love my peanut butter but I want there to be balance in this recipe, too.
How to make these cheesecakes
Cheesecake is one of the easiest desserts you can make. For these cheesecakes, you just make the crust, mix the filling, load up the molds with the filling, bake, chill, and top them with whipped cream and garnishes. It’s really that simple, I promise!
Tips & Tricks
As always, I have a few tips to help you make these peanut butter explosion cheesecakes exactly right the first time:
- The recipe below is made to use this special cheesecake pan. However, if you insist on using a muffin tin instead, the recipe will yield less mini cheesecakes and take a little longer to bake.
- The key to making any cheesecake is to use room temperature cream cheese. This ensures that there are no lumps in the cream cheese mixture when beating with the sugar and eggs.
- Make sure you use regular peanut butter – not the natural kind that has no sugar. Otherwise, the cheesecake texture and flavor will be off.
- It’s important to remove all air bubbles from the cheesecake before baking. To do this, I smack the pan on the counter a few times. This also helps level off the cheesecake so the tops are flat.
Mini Peanut Butter Explosion Cheesecakes
For the mini cheesecakes:
- 20 chocolate sandwich cookies
- 3 tablespoons butter melted, unsalted
- 2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup crushed Butterfingers
- 6 regular peanut butter cups (not the mini ones!)
- freshly whipped cream (recipe below)
- crushed Butterfingers for garnish
- peanut butter cups for garnish
For the fresh whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse chocolate cookies in food processor until they turn into crumbs. Place crumbs in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir together with a fork.
- Grease cups of mini cheesecake pan. Spoon 1 tablespoon of cookie crumbs into each cup. Using the bottom of a shot glass, pack down the crumbs to make a cookie crust.
- Cut all regular peanut butter cups into quarters. Place one quarter peanut butter cup over cookie crust of each cheesecake cup. Repeat with rest of quarters. Set aside.
- Add sugar and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium for 3 minutes. Add peanut butter cup and beat until combined and creamy. Add eggs, beating one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Fold in crushed Butterfingers
- Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheesecake batter into each cheesecake cup, leaving about 1/4 inch free from the top. Smack down pans to release air bubbles from the cheesecake cups.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until edges are firm but center is still jiggly. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes before placing in refrigerator to set and cool completely for 3-4 hours, while still keeping in the pan.
- Once cheesecakes have set, prepare the whipped cream. Add heavy cream to a bowl of a stand mixer with sugar. Whip on medium-high until very stiff peaks form. Add whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Remove cheesecakes from the pan by pushing up cheesecakes from the bottom. Pipe little peaks on top of each cheesecake and sprinkle with more crushed Butterfingers. Top centers of whipped cream with a slice of a peanut butter cup.
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