Friday, June 3, 2011

Reese's Minis Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake!

I don't know about you all, but, when Hershey's came out with their new Reese's Minis.  I instantly thought about how awesome they would be for baking!  I make A LOT of cheesecakes, so, naturally I had to try them that way first!  They go great together (as long as you have enough self-control to stop from eating the bag of easily-attainable, cute little Reese's cups)!  

Making cheesecake is easier than most people think.  I added a few tips throughout the recipe below.  

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (I use a combo of oreos and nutterbutters).
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (4 tbsp). (melted)

24 ounces (3 8-ounce packages) of Cream Cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp corn starch (keeps the cheesecake from cracking, if you have no corn starch,  all –purpose flour works)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag (8 ounce bag) of Reese’s Minis (save 12-16 for topping, to decorate each slice)
3 eggs

To make crust:
Prepare cheesecake pan (a springform pan works best) – spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter.
Melt butter in microwave safe bowl or on stove top.  Mix in with cookie crumbs (if it’s too wet, you can add more cookie crumbs).  Pat down in the bottom (and up the sides if you like) of the cheesecake pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes.  Remove and let cool while making cheesecake batter.

To make cheesecake batter: 
Mix cream cheese on high speed in mixer, add sugar, salt, and corn starch and mix until smooth and shiny (2 minutes or so). 
Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix until incorporated. 
Add Reese’s minis and mix until incorporated.
Scrape down sides of bowl and beater(s).
Add eggs, one at a time, just until incorporated. 
Scrape down sides of bowl again and mix again for about 15 seconds (to make sure everything is incorporated.
Tap bowl on counter to remove any air bubbles (air bubbles can cause cracks).
Pour batter in prepared cheesecake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn oven temperature down to 250 degrees and bake another 25-30 minutes (or until the center of the cheesecake is 150 degrees on a instant read thermometer – this step isn’t necessary, but if you have the probe thermometer, why not check it – that way you don’t’ overcook it).  When the cheesecake is done, it will have a ‘jiggle’ to the center, but the outer 2 inches of the cheesecake will be set.  Turn the oven off and let cheesecake sit inside for about 10 minutes.  Remove and cool on cooling rack for an hour.  Run a sharp knife around edges of cheesecake to make sure it’s not stuck to the sides of the pan (another way to stop possible cracking).
Then move to refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight, if possible.  Remove cheesecake from pan and serve with the extra Reese’s Minis on top for garnish (if ya want)!