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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

September 7, 2011

You already know how much I love peanut butter and chocolate together, right? (I really, really love it.) And chances are you agree (or your probably wouldn’t still be reading…) so I’m sure you already know that these little peanut butter cheesecake bites topped with a dollop of chocolate ganache are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

But they’re also so much more.

They’re symbolic of my life-long love of chocolate and peanut butter. A life that I celebrated lasting 30 whole years just this past weekend.

(I plan to eat peanut butter and chocolate for at least another 30 years.)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

But they’re also symbolic of the love we share through food. I was initially inspired to make these decadent bites when I heard about the tragic death of Jennifer Perillo‘s husband. Wait, that sounds weird. You see, dozens upon dozens of people, many complete strangers, reached out to Jennie and honored her husband Mikey by making his favorite peanut butter pie in the days after his passing. I don’t know Jennie and you might not either, but the outpouring of love and support for her that I witnessed online was awe-inspiring. It even led to the creation of Bloggers without Borders, an organization that harnesses the power of bloggers for those in need. And it all started with food.

In my family food has always been an expression of love and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy baking so much today. So go. Make these and share them with someone you love.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

Makes 12 bite-sized cheesecakes

I love (really, really love) cinnamon, so I added some to the graham cracker crust. You can skip it if you want. I also (really, really) love dark chocolate so that’s what I topped my bites with, but feel free to use milk chocolate if that’s you’re thing!

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs (7-9 graham crackers pulsed to crumbs in food processor)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg

For chocolate topping:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 12-cup mini muffin tin with non-stick spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to combine. With food processor running, drizzle in melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Divide evenly among muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon each). Press crust down firmly. (I used the bottom of a shot glass to get them nice and flat and compact!)

In a medium bowl, whisk together cream cheese, peanut butter and egg. (If needed, microwave cream cheese and peanut butter for 10-15 seconds to help combine.) Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon each).

Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed (tops may crack) and no longer shiny. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave on high for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between, until chocolate is melted and a smooth ganache forms. (If your ganache turns out oily and gloppy, no biggie. Just add a little bit more cold heavy cream and stir until smooth.) Top cheesecake bites with a dollop of ganache. Eat any leftover ganache with a spoon (optional, but you know you want to.)

Store bites in fridge until ready to serve, or freeze. If frozen, thaw at room temperature.

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15 Comments
  1. Renee permalink
    September 8, 2011 12:02 am

    Happy Birthday! You and I are about the same age – I turn 30 in January.

    These look delicious and not too difficult, either! So I’m guessing you’re a fan of Tagalongs, too? :)

    Clicked through to Jennie’s blog. I had never read it before, but her posts about her husband were so heartfelt and loving… heartwrenching that the father of their young family passed away so early…

  2. September 8, 2011 8:34 am

    These sound so easy, but so yummy! i may have to try my hand at these this weekend!

  3. September 8, 2011 3:09 pm

    Chocolate,peanut butter & cheesecake in the one bite?Sounds amazing.

  4. September 8, 2011 4:03 pm

    Happy Birthday (belated but all the same, its my firm belief birthdays and their celebrations carry on for a good week :) )
    These look absolutely beautiful, so so scrummy, SAVED!

  5. September 8, 2011 6:10 pm

    I recently made up some cheesecake bars, but looking at these, I’m thinking bites would’ve been a better idea. They just look so perfectly sized, and I love the addition of cinnamon to the crust (or to anything else, really). Happy Birthday and thanks for posting. :)

  6. September 9, 2011 12:55 am

    Whoa these look fantastic!! I’m pretty much obsessed with chocolate and peanut butter – so good together. These bites look so delish! :)

  7. September 9, 2011 6:23 pm

    These look really cute amazing and delicious! Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Tracy permalink
    September 10, 2011 9:22 am

    Just wondering if the peanut butter you used was sweetened?

    • The Craving Chronicles permalink*
      September 10, 2011 1:31 pm

      Tracy, I used store bought peanut butter (Jif) which I believe is sweetened. If you use plain ground peanuts you will probably need to add some sugar and salt.

  9. Martha in KS permalink
    September 10, 2011 1:27 pm

    Happy Birthday! I’m twice your age & also love peanut butter and chocolate. Can’t wait to try these. I found you through Brown Eyed Baker’s blog.

  10. The Teenage Taste permalink
    September 12, 2011 8:28 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! These cheesecake bites seem like THE perfect way to celebrate!

  11. September 14, 2011 5:30 pm

    im so excited to try these! thanks for sharing! and happy birthday!

  12. September 14, 2011 5:31 pm

    lovely! happy birthday

  13. September 19, 2011 11:52 am

    Absolutely perfect! Such a sweet treat!

  14. September 28, 2011 10:23 pm

    I made these today, and they taste fabulous, but the cheesecake tops don’t ‘stick’ to the crust… am I doing something wrong??

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