Sunday, May 16, 2010

Reese's Cheesecake Bars

When I first saw the recipe for these over on the Tasty Kitchen blog, it was like two halves of my heart had been finally made whole. Cheesecake! Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! In an easy to make bar form! What in the world, how had I never thought of this before?!
 Reese's Cheesecake Bars by freshfromthe.com

I'd been wanting to make these for a while, and today decided to go for it, even though yesterday I really felt like crap most of the day and the thought of food was a little quease-inducing. But nothing will separate me from my Reese's Cheescake Bars! I'll probably be bringing them to work, because no one person should eat that much delicious saturated fat. Alas, the woes of life. Without further ado...

Ingredients:
  • 7 whole Graham Crackers, Broken Into 1-inch Pieces
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 Stick) Unsalted Butter, Melted And Cooled
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 packages (8 Oz. Each) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • ⅔ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 12 whole (0.75 Oz Each) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Divided, Cut Into 6 Pieces Each
  • 2 ounces, weight Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by lining the pan with aluminum foil, leaving 3-4 inches of foil draping over the sides of the pan.

The crust:
Place graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the crackers form fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. To the crumbs, add butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are fully combined. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake until the crust is beginning to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let the crust cool on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes.

The filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the beaters and sides of bowl frequently. Gradually beat in granulated sugar until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, one a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract until fully combined, about 30 seconds.

Unwrap and cut 9 Reese’s peanut butter cups (0.75 ounce each) into 6 pieces. Gently fold into the cream cheese mixture. Scrape the cream cheese mixture into the baking pan, over the top of the cooled crust. Spread evenly.

Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken slightly, about 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Place the pan on a cooling rack and allow the bars to cool for 2 hours. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 hours.

Using the overhanging foil, lift the bars from the pan. Gently remove the foil and cut into 16 bars.

Place bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave on 50% power until melted, stirring every 15 seconds. Drizzle the chocolate over the bars, top each with a small chunk of a Reese’s peanut butter cup and serve.  (I didn't do this last step, as I may or may not have eaten a bunch of the Reese's earlier in the week, and didn't feel the need to add the extra chocolate.)

 If you don't have a food processor, like me, here's how you can achieve these crunched up graham crackers. Stick them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin! If you don't have a rolling pin, also like me? Improvise with something else. I used the thing of salt. Not a salt shaker, but one of the large things a bunch of salt comes in. Works just as well.

Important when baking? Reading directions. Because I skimmed and thought I read 3/4 CUP butter, when it actually said 3/4 STICK butter. Major oops. I added some more graham crackers and had to bake it for longer than listed. Seems to have turned out okay enough, thankfully.

After the bottom has baked. Yours may look a little different if you actually put in the correct amount of butter!!

While the crust is sitting for 30 minutes, I cut up the Reese's. 

And when there was about 15 minutes left, I started on the filling. This is just the cream cheese after it's been beaten for a while.

Once the sugar is added. It's a little fluffy at this point.

I had photos from all the different steps with the filling, but it really just looked the same. White, liquidy. So here it is with the Reese's bits added in.

Yep, I forgot to take a picture after I added the filling into the pan, so here it is in the oven. It fills very close to the top!

Here it is fresh out of the oven. Now here's where all of the waiting begins. First you have to let this sit out for two hours. THEN you have to put it in the fridge for at least three hours before you can eat it! So much waiting!

Reese's Cheesecake Bars by freshfromthe.com
But! Finally! It's ready! Lift it out of the pan by the foil and unwrap it, stick it on a plate. Slice into it and enjoy.

Reese's Cheesecake Bars by freshfromthe.com
Sorry it's not the sharpest. I was impatient and don't have a fancy camera. 

I cut into this when it was just three hours into the fridge, and it was barely cold, so I'd definitely recommend waiting a little bit longer. I thought I'd be over the moon for this since I love cheesecake and I love Reese's, but I don't know, it didn't wow me as much as I thought it would. I guess maybe I have been spoiled by the light fluffiness of The Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes that this was a little too heavy for my tastes. It's also my first try at any sort of cheesecake ever, so I guess I should just be happy it turned out as well as it did!

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