Trying to make new recipes can be an intimidating process. If you are anything like me, usually the picture and description is what “sells” me on the idea of making it. Then I scan the ingredients checking to see if they are common items that either I already have, or that I would easily pick up at my next grocery trip. The directions must also be somewhat easy to follow and have to make sense to me. When it comes to making cheesecake, some people shy away from the challenge because of the last point. The directions include baking it, and placing it in the refrigerator overnight before tasting your creation. It is confusing to know when a cheesecake is done and ready to come out of the oven.
If that sounds like you, well, I am excited to encourage you to check off that “do something I have never done before” item on your New Year’s Resolution list and make this amazing Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust recipe. Sure it can be a little stressful waiting until the next day to see if you got the recipe correct, but this one is so worth the wait! It is just the perfect amount of peanut butter goodness with the smooth and fluffy texture of cheesecake. The crumbly chocolate crust is a match made in heaven. If you have mastered cheesecake recipes this one will top your list as one of the easier ones with a healthy twist recipe.
It is a bit different from most cheesecake recipes because it incorporates ingredients like Greek Yogurt and uses 2% cream cheese. The surprising fact that it only has ½ cup of sugar (yay! Less calories) is not reflected on taste. The Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter is naturally sweet which makes this Cheesecake so smooth and rich. You can reduce the “animal” fat by using 2% Greek Yogurt and 2% cream cheese and that leaves room to indulge on the better for you “plant” based fat from peanuts.
This recipe is a combination of various cheesecake recipes I have made before. I selected some of my favorite ingredients and tweaked a little here and there for this one, the crust is really up to you! I’ve seen some pictures of individual cheesecakes like this one that used a round cookie as the crust and made the recipe one step shorter and even easier. The idea of making these in a muffin pan is great for portion control, after all indulging a little is perfectly okay, and these smaller sized cheesecakes make it much easier to keep it at just one serving per person. And they really are just the perfect size!
For the crust, I used chocolate graham crackers and broke them up using a potato “masher”; to make them stick together I added a little butter. Add about a tablespoon of the mixture to each paper lined muffin and use another muffin liner to press them at the bottom of each muffin cup.
The cheesecake portion starts with 2 8oz 2% cream cheese packs and using a mixer on medium setting cream together ½ cup of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter. Add ½ cup of sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and add 2 eggs, one at a time scrapping the sides of the bowl. Using a spoon, mix in ½ cup of unflavored 2% Greek Yogurt. Fill up each muffin cup (about 14-18 depending on size and how much you fill each one) and use the back of a spoon to smooth the top.
Take it to a 275F oven for about 20-23 minutes. This is the tricky part, to know when it is done just slight cracks on the top, it won’t change colors and you can really test it with a fork. It just sets and then it is ready. Let it cool completely then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is even better.
That’s it! Be ready to impress your audience with these Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
3-4 Graham Crackers – chocolate flavored
2 Tbsp butter
16 oz 2% Cream Cheese
½ cup Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
½ cup 2% Greek Yogurt, unflavored
Crust – Crush the crackers up using a potato “masher” then add the melted butter. Add about a tablespoon of the mixture to each paper lined muffin and use another muffin liner to press them at the bottom of each muffin cup.
Cheesecake – Cream the cream cheese using a mixer on medium setting with the Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter. Add ½ cup of sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and add 2 eggs, one at a time scrapping the sides of the bowl. Using a spoon, mix in ½ cup of unflavored 2% Greek Yogurt. Fill up each muffin cup (about 14-18 depending on size and how much you fill each one) and use the back of a spoon to smooth the top.
Bake at 275F oven for 20-23 minutes until set. Then let it cool and take it to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Store in air tight container, you may freeze these as well.