Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

25 Jul

One of the blogs I have recently been obsessing over is Sallys Baking Addiction. Everything she posts looks absolutely incredible so I am starting to make as much of them as I can. The last thing I baked off of her blog was banana chocolate chip muffins with cinnamon streusel. One of the yummiest banana bread muffins I have ever tasted. It is such a good twist on basic banana bread.

This time I wanted to try one of her bar recipes. I am a big bar fan. Especially when cheesecake is involved. For those of you who like Reese’s peanut butter cups, this one is for you. Who doesn’t like the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels?

This little bar packs in a pretzel crust, a creamy peanut butter cheesecake filling, loaded with chunks of peanut butter cups, all topped with a glaze of even more chocolate and peanut butter. Every bite you take makes you want to take another. It can be dangerous is you have zero self-control. Readers beware.

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This recipe takes a few simple ingredients and a small amount of prep work. Finely ground the pretzels in a food processor or with a hand chopper. I noticed that the pretzels do not ground up as finely as graham crackers do. So, ground them up as much as you can. It is okay if there are a few bigger pieces. The butter helps hold it together. I added about a tablespoon more from what the original recipe calls for (the more butter, the easier it is to press down onto the bottom of the pan).

Another thing about this recipe is the cheesecake is thicker than your average cheesecake batter (more of a cookie dough consistency) so it doesn’t take as long to bake.

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INGREDIENTS:

Pretzel Crust
1.5 cups finely ground salty pretzels
3 Tablespoons sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12-15 regular sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
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Chocolate Drizzle
1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips
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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.

2) Prepare the crust. Finely chop the pretzels until they are finely ground. Stir the pretzel crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a bowl. Press into the lined pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool while you make the filling.

3) Beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla together until smooth and creamy (about 2-3 minutes). Chop the Reese’s cups and fold them into the batter. Spread the mixture over crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. (Mine came out slightly overdone so make sure to keep an eye on them and adjust the baking time based on your oven).

4) Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then place them in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

5) When ready to eat, lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares. To make the drizzle, melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips together in a small microwavable bowl. Place chocolate into a zip-lock bag and cut a VERY small part of the corner off and drizzle on the bars.

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A final random suggestion: If you are not a huge pretzel fan, I also think this recipe would be delicious with a chocolate crust (oreos instead of pretzels). I think I will try this next time and see which one I like better. Do whatever sounds best to you!

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Enjoy.

Love, Lindsi

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One Response to “Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars”

  1. rebeccajayneparry July 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    so making those!!!!

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