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In the past, I may have discriminated against individual-sized desserts, writing them off as fussier and more tedious than their life-sized counterparts. While this is sometimes true, where these cheesecakes are concerned I was wrong. I apologize, cheesecakes, I misjudged you.

I was delighted to discover that these precious hand-held morsels are actually much, much easier than a full-sized cheesecake. No springform pan, no pre baked crust, no water bath, no long baking time, no long chilling time, no slicing and serving… if you have a hankering for cheesecake and want to eat it within, say, the next 8 hours, make these.

I adore the combination of graham crackers and peanut butter. And, as I mentioned before when I made my Coconut Cheesecake, I have a thing for graham cracker crust. The ratio of crust to cheesecake in these is just ideal for me. Creamy, crunchy, salty-sweet, peanut buttery joy.

Individual Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

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Adapted from [Paula Deen via Food Network|http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/peanut-butter-cheese-cake-minis-recipe/index.html]

Yields: 12 individual cheesecakes

  • For the Crust:
  • 1-1/2c graham cracker crumbs
  • 4T sugar
  • 1/4c butter, melted
  • couple dashes salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1c sugar
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1/2c creamy peanut butter
  • 3T flour
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-count muffin tin with 12 cupcake cups.

In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt until well combined. Using a tablespoon, scoop a heaping tablespoon into the bottom of each cup. Use the rounded back of the tablespoon to press crust down into cup and slightly up the sides. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth, being sure to scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Add vanilla and peanut butter. Beat again until smooth. While mixer is going, sprinkle in the flour, then add the eggs one at a time until creamy and fully incorporated.

Scoop the peanut butter mixture into a piping bag or gallon-sized plastic zip bag with the tip cut off. Squeeze the mixture into cups, using a circular motion until almost full.

Bake for 20 minutes or until centers are set. Allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve later.

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