One of my favorite combinations are peanut butter and chocolate. Hands down. The.best.ever. Just a few of my favorites… peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter cups, puppy chow, cocoa crispy peanut butter treats, GF PB cheesecake…. all deliciously perfect.
I wanted to make mini chocolatey-PB desserts so I set off to make a yummy layered cheesecake. I’m not sure if this is more for the PB lover or the chocolate lover. If you are either, this is definitely a winner! I learned a few lessons while making this dessert I thought were worth sharing…
Lesson #1 – When Life Hands You Lemons…
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands you Oreos, make pie crust! Well life didn’t really hand me lemons, or Oreos, but I did learn that Oreos can be used in place of chocolate pie crust! The easiest way to make the crust on this dessert is to make it as a single pie and buy the premade chocolate pie crust. This is definitely the easy route but it’s guaranteed goodness. The second best would be chocolate graham crackers. If this isn’t an option either, Oreos are a perfect substitution!!
The Crust: 1 1/2 cups finely crushed Oreos or chocolate graham crackers, 1/2 cup melted butter and 2 tbsp sugar
Mix ingredients and scoop a small bit into the bottom on mini cupcake tins, lined with paper liners. Mash the crust mixture down until it’s firm. Step 1 done! Bonus: chances are you will have leftovers for the Oreos so when life hands you Oreos… grab a glass of almond milk! 🙂
There are 2 parts to the filling – a chocolate layer and a peanut butter layer.
Ingredigents for the filling: 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, 1 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 2 cups chocolate morsels, 2 tbsp. almond milk, 1 tsp vanilla
Lesson #2 – If you think a bowl is going to be too small, it is.
I overestimated the size of the bowl and underestimated the amount of the filling on this one.
In a bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese until smooth. Add peanut butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Now fold in 1 lightly beaten egg. Set aside. Baker’s note: this is so so yummy! I try not to eat batter because of that whole raw-egg-get-sick thing, but sometimes I just can’t help but get a bite. 🙂
For the chocolate layer, melt the morsels in the microwave carefully. Add 1 package of cream cheese and stir. Mix in milk and vanilla. Fold in 2 lightly beaten eggs.
I ended up with two super small bowls and not a whole lot of room to do anything. Slowing and carefully, the mixtures were complete but not without some spills.
The final part is to layer the mixtures in the cups.
Lesson #3 – Mini cupcake tins aren’t tall enough for the perfect layers.
I’m a fan of chocolate-peanut butter-chocolate layers. If using a single pie, this is the perfect order. However, in these mini cups, I ended up running out of chocolate and overflowing with crust. Taste did not sacrifice here though!!
The right way: cover the bottom with half of the chocolate mixture. Divide the PB mixture evenly among the cups. Layer the remaining chocolate on top.
For the single pie – bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. For these mini cakes – bake for about 15-20 minutes.
The outer edges will be dry looking but the center will look darker and wet. Cool on a wire rack and then chill for at least 4 hours. Top with whipped cream before serving! <— Taste > Looks (always)