This is Josh’s birthday cheesecake.  He discovered Reese’s Cheesecake several years ago in a cave (I’ll explain later) and had to have it for his birthday ever since.  When Josh was a teenager, we started spending our spring break in NM.  For 3 or 4 years straight we would take a couple of those days to go to Carlsbad Caverns.   It takes the normal visitor a couple hours to go through the self guided tour but Josh would take hours looking at every formation and taking pictures.  At the end of the tour sits the famous lunchroom 750 feet underground which serves sandwiches, snacks and souvenirs.  When we went through the line Josh saw these packaged single slices of Reese’s Cheesecake that he wanted to try.  Since we were on vacation I said Okay.  He thought that was the best thing he ever ate and asked me to find a way to make that cheesecake.  So this is my attempt at the Reese’s Cheesecake. 

It starts with a chocolate graham cracker crust.  I made the crust with chocolate graham crackers, butter and sugar.  The peanut butter comes later.

I crushed 1 package of the graham crackers.  The easy way is to run it through a food processor until you get the right consistency of crumbs.

I added 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Once you stir in the sugar, add 6 tablespoons of melted butter.  Use a fork to mix it all together.

When the crumb mixture begins to stick together it’s time to place in the bottom of a springform pan.  Pat it down with your fork and then place in a 350 degree oven for 9 minutes.  Let it cool while we get the filling ready.

The cheesecake filling has cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, flour, vanilla and eggs.

Using a mixer, whip the softened cream cheese.

Add a cup of sugar to the bowl.

And a cup of sour cream.

Beat the sugar and sour cream into the mix.  While it’s mixing, add 3 tablespoons of flour.

Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg.

And a tablespoon of vanilla. Once you mix that all together it’s time to assemble the cheesecake.

I heated 3/4 cup peanut butter in the microwave.  Once it’s smooth and easy to spread, I pour it over my chocolate crust.

I poured it over the crust and tried to smooth it out.  As you can see mine isn’t perfect but no one will see it.

Pour the filling on top of the peanut butter.  Smooth it with a spatula and place into a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Turn down the heat to 250 and bake 1 hour plus 10 minutes.  Insert a toothpick and if it doesn’t come out clean add another 10 minutes.

While the cake is in the oven it’s time to get the toppings ready.  I used 10 Reese’s peanut butter cups and 1/2 package of dark chocolate chips.

I set myself up a double boiler by placing a small sauce pan inside a larger one filled with water.  Heat the water over medium low heat to melt the chocolate chips.

The peanut butter cups are easier to chop if you freeze them first.  Once you take them out of the freezer, run a large knife across and back to roughly chop them into bite size pieces.

The cheesecake is out of the oven and time to put those toppings on.

While the cheesecake is hot, add the chopped Reese’s peanut butter cup pieces to the top of the cake.

And drizzle the melted dark chocolate over it.  I was having fun and got a little wild with the drizzle!

It’s starting to melt into the cake.  Once it has cooled a little bit I placed the whole cake into the fridge to set the pieces and cool the cheesecake before cutting.

After it has completely cooled run a knife around the edges and release the springform pan.

Happy Birthday Josh!

Reese’s Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed Chocolate Graham Crackers
2 tablespoons Sugar
6 tablespoons Butter, melted
3/4 cup creamy Peanut Butter

4 (8 ounce) packages Cream Cheese
1 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons Flour
4 Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
1 tablespoonVanilla
10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, roughly chopped
3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips, melted

To make crust, crush the chocolate graham crackers in a food processor.  In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Using a fork, press onto the bottom of an 11 inch springform pan.  Bake for 9 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Melt peanut butter 30 – 45 seconds in a microwave safe bowl until smooth and thin.  Pour over crust to make a thin layer of peanut butter.  Set aside to cool.

Combine cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream in a mixing bowl.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  Add 3 tablespoons flour while mixing until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla and blend.  Pour cream cheese mixture over crumb crust and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Lower temperature to 250 for 1 hour plus 10 minutes.  Test cheesecake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.  If needed add 10 more minutes.

Drop the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups onto the hot cheesecake.  Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top.  Place in refrigerator to cool completely.  Run a knife around the edges of the springform pan and release.  Slice cheesecake and serve.