Peanut Brittle Cheesecake

Yesterday I tried the peanut putter cheesecake at Pekara bakery in downtown Champaign. I like a lot of the things they make (and I like that they make and sell things based on my requests), and the PB cheesecake was okay, but not outstanding. I was a bachelor for the day, so I decided to try making a better one. I’ve never made cheesecake before, so I didn’t know what I’d end up with, but that didn’t stop me. I did cheat, though, and baked it in a store-bought granola pie crust, so it’s not a proper cheesecake. But I had too much filling, so I also baked a small crustless cheesecake in a 4″ springform.

I threw together:

2 packs of cream cheese
2 eggs
~1 cup crunchy, unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
~2 Tb roasted chicory espresso
1 cup sugar
8 oz butter
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 Tb water

I intended to add two tablespoons of flour, but I forgot.

I was computerless yesterday and none of our cookbooks had a PB cheesecake recipe. So I wasn’t really following a recipe (though I read several basic recipes before I started) and I was a little lax in measuring the PB and chicory. This was also part of an ongoing effort to come up with uses for roasted chicory. The Pekara cheesecake was a little lacking in body, and I theorized that a little chicory might help with that (I think it did). I started out mixing a bit of chicory and PB to see how far I could take it and then added that to the cream cheese. Coffee might work better than chicory (not that they taste at all alike), though I probably didn’t add enough chicory to test it well. I used what I had made and didn’t feel like brewing more.

Just adding the sugar seemed a little blah, so I decided to turn it into butterscotch. But my butterscotch recipe was on the aforementioned unavailable computer and none of our cookbooks have a recipe for it, so I tried to do that from memory too. : ) It turned out well enough to add to the cheesecake and while I haven’t tried the crusted one, the small one was pretty tasty. We’ll see what Alice thinks when she discovers it.

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4 thoughts on “Peanut Brittle Cheesecake

  1. It’s really firm, so I’m glad I forgot the flour. I guess a cup of peanut butter might do that… Alice hasn’t tried it yet, but I liked the crusted one too. She doesn’t care for peanut brittle, so I may have to eat the pie all by myself. Good thing cheesecake freezes well.

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  2. Alice tried it and thought it was good. However, she found it a little more firm than she prefers. Whereas I like a firmer, dryer cheesecake, she prefers a moister, more mousse like texture. She also thought that, like most everything I make, it was a bit overwhelmingly dense in flavor. : )

    I need more critical input. Any samplers?

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  3. I’ve made this again, but I apparently didn’t keep a record. Here’s #3, a double batch for small group and class. I also made a dark peanut brittle; I’ll stick a shard into the top of each piece.

    NO crust.

    4 packs of cream cheese
    4 eggs
    1.5 cup crunchy, unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
    .5 cup decaf espresso
    2 cup sugar
    16 tb butter
    6 tb water
    1 tsp lemon juice

    bake at 350 for 25 minutes for 12 square silicone cupcakes. (class)

    bake at 250 for 45 minutes for the remaining batter in a springform. (small group)

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  4. One interesting thing I learned from this is that the specific peanut butter makes a huge difference to me. My first rendition of this was using the crunchy peanut butter form the coop. The last was using name-brand crunchy peanut butter from the store. The store PB is smooth and creamy with some larger pieces thrown in. The coop PB is coarse-ground. I never realized how happy I was with the coop PB until I tried the seemingly simulated crunchy PB from the store. Go figure!

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