Buckeye Brownie Cheesecake

Did you know that March is Peanut Month? 

I swear there is a day/week/month for everything. EVERYTHING.

But I see absolutely no problem with that as you can have a lot of fun celebrating things this month like No Pants Day (May 4th), Meatball Day (March 9th), and International Fragrance Day (March 21st) . Today is Awkward Moments Day.

The only awkward moment you would have related to this awesome Buckeye Cheesecake is that you are going to be caught in the middle of the night, sneaking a bite. So awkward!

I am a sucker for peanut butter desserts so I knew that I needed to make this Buckeye Cheesecake when I saw it in my new copy of Secret Layer Cakes cookbook.

Dini Kodippili is the innovative force behind her blog, The Flavor Bender, and this awesome new cookbook. She is creative with flavor combinations and ways that recipes come together.

In her her second cookbook, Secret Layer Cakes, she created so many incredible recipes that feature mouth watering flavor combinations. The extra fun part is that her cakes have a hidden element to them. This cheesecake doesn’t reveal that it’s a cheesecake until you slice into it. Other cakes, like her Brownie Bottom Irish Cream Cheesecake, French Toast Maple Cheesecake, and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie Pudding, are all on my to-do list!

 

I was a little intimidated with this Buckeye Cheesecake at first, since I was thinking that it was really complicated and time consuming.

In reality, the process is really simple!!

There are a lot of steps, but they are just broken down so it makes the entire process really clear. But it basically is just this: make brownie layer, make cheesecake layer, let it chill in the fridge over night, cover with ganache, then top with peanut butter glaze, dump some extra delicious peanut butter cups on top. Done!!

 

I’ve made a bunch of cheesecakes in the past so I have to say that, beside it being really delicious, this one is really easy to make.

And I only had one minor crack. Which always feels like a victory, even if you are then covering it up with chocolate ganahce.

So even if you crack your cheesecake, no worries! All that matters is that it is delicious!!

Let’s be real, I am not great at decorating cakes, so the fact that this only required me to cover with ganache and then a peanut butter glaze was another reason for me to love this cake.

And if you feel like making this extra fancy, I’m sure you can come up with some extra special decoration on top or to do something fun with the peanut butter cups, other than mounding them in the center. Whatever floats your boat.

This cheesecake is sinful and delightful all at the same time.

And that is exactly why I called up neighbors and gave them big portions for them to enjoy. Their gain means that I don’t have to gain… in my waist!! ha!!

Buckeye Brownie Cheesecake

Makes one 8-inch cake, 16 slices

Ingredients

Brownie Bottom

  • 4 ounces (115g) bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces (115g) unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces ( 142g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3.3 ounces (94g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces (142g) mini peanut butter cups, cut in half

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces (455g) cream cheese, softened
  • 3.5 ounces (100g) sugar
  • 6.3 ounces (180 g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons (6g) cornstarch
  • 3/4 Cup ( 177 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 ounces (340g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 1/2 Cup (236 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pinch of salt

Peanut Butter Glaze

  • 6.3 ounces (180g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 ounces (57g) unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 ounces (85g) confectioners’ sugar

To Decorate

  • Mini Peanut Butter Cups, cut in half (optional)

Process

To make the Brownie Bottom

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Butter an 8-inch wide, 3″ tall spring-form pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, dust the sides with flour.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, and salt in a microwave
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Fold the flour and halved peanut butter cups into the batter, until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.  (At this time begin to prepare the cheesecake layer, see below)
  6. Remove the brownie bottom from the oven, turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Let the brownie layer cook for at least 15 minutes.

To make the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Layer

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the cheesecake and sugar until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom well to make sure you don’t leave any lumps behind.
  2. Add the peanut butter, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium sped until well combined. Scraping down the sides and bottom again will help you avoid lumps.
  3. Fold or manually whisk in the eggs, one at the time. It is very important not to over mix at this point. The eggs should be just incorporated.
  4. Cut 2 pieces of foil that are at least 12″ long, lay out in a cross shape. Place the pan in the center of the cross and fold up the foil, creating a tight fit around the pan.
  5. Place the pan in a 9 x 13 pan.
  6. Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled brownie layer. Pour hot water (hot tap water works), around the cheesecake so that it is halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.
  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the middle when you gently shake it.
  8. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar, let the cheesecake cool for 15-30 minutes, while still in the oven.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath, let cool to room temperature completely. This can take up to 4 hours, depending on ambient room temperature.
  10. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan by running your knife along the sides. Open the spring and carefully pulling the open form up, away from the cheesecake.
  11. Place the cheesecake on a plate and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, or over night.

To Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a large heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and heavy cream, and salt together in 30-second intervals, stirring between the intervals, until it is completely melted.
  2. Let cool to a spreadable consistency.

To Make the Peanut Butter Glaze

  1. In a large heatproof bowl, melt the peanut butter, butter, and salt together in 30-second intervals, stirring between the intervals.
  2. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl, mix well.
  3. Let cool to a spreadable consistency.

To Decorate

  1. Using an offset spatula, lift the cheesecake off the bottom pan. Pick the cheesecake up and carefully remove the parchment paper on the bottom. Place back on the bottom, or directly on a serving plate.
  2. Pour half of the ganache on the center of the cheesecake, using the offset spatula, move the ganache to the edge of the cheesecake and let it side down the sides.  Using the offset spatula, spread the  ganache around the sides. Add the rest of the ganache and completely cover the cake.
  3. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Spread the peanut butter glaze on the top and then decorate the top with the peanut butter cups.

Recipe is adapted from Secret Layer Cakes: Hidden Fillings and Flavors that Elevate Your Desserts

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Peanut Butter and Banana Frozen Dog Treats

I know that everyone is like “OMG!!! Bring on Fall!!! Pumpkin Spice All The Things!!!!” but it’s still hotter than the surface of the sun here in Florida. In fact, we have just 2 seasons: Hot and Hotter.

Here, these frozen treats will be a welcome reprieve to the heat for most of the year. And even it it’s cold out, I bet your dog will enjoy them.

These Peanut Butter and Banana Frozen Dog Treats are super simple to make so whipping up a batch will be quick and easy for you. And before you know it, your dog will be giving you extra kisses to thank you.

These treats just need 3 ingredients: Bananas, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Oil.

And you just need to beat everything together until smooth, pour into some paw and bone shaped molds, and freeze.

The best is that they are super healthy for your doggo.

 

We all know that bananas are a great source of potassium, but they are also packed with Fiber, B6 Vitamin, Biotin, Manganese, Vitamin C, Copper. No wonder they are the world’s most popular fruit!

The peanut butter is a good source of protein and fiber. As well, peanut butter is full of antioxidants, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and resveratrol. Did you know that resveratrol has anti-aging and anti- cancerous properties? So one of their favorite treats is not only delicious, but it’s good for them too!

Lastly, the coconut oil helps with digestion, immune support, and improves their coats. Coconut Oil is a good fat, that is packed with Medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which is composed of Lauric Acid, Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Palmitic. The Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, which help boost their immune system. Similarly, Capric and Caprylic Acid also best known for their anti-fungal effects. Coconut Oil is a great super food for you and your dogs!

Plus, they naturally are dairy and gluten free, which is great for a lot of dogs with allergies.

While they are healthy, they are treats so we treat them as such. We give these treats to Kemper and Brinkley only 1x a week as they are high in fat and calories from the coconut oil and the peanut butter. As I explained, the coconut oil is a good fat, that even helps in weight loss, but we still don’t want to overload them with treats in general, especially since we do watch their weight so closely.

Kemper and Brinkley are super excited when we take these guys out of the freezer. They rush over to the back door to get outside as quickly as possible. They sit well, Brink wiggles in place) and wait for a treat to come their way.

Peanut Butter and Banana Frozen Dog Treats

Makes approximately 24 treats, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 Cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

Process

  1. Beat all of the ingredients together until very smooth.
  2. Fill the cavities of a ice cube tray or mold.
  3. Freeze for several hours.

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Peanut Butter Pupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

PEANUT BUTTER PUPCAKES

Maybe you didn’t know but our 2 Boston Terriers are super cool. Super, super cool. They are way cooler than me.

How do I know?

Well, they have crossed the 40K follower mark on Instagram. They have more than 2x the number of followers than me. (yay!/ugh!)

PEANUT BUTTER PUPCAKES

I have been having tons of fun with them and building their account. Thankfully, they don’t know how successful it has become or they would be even more demanding of treats, bacon, and belly rubs.

They were super spoiled when I made Pup-cakes for Brinkley’s 2nd birthday.

PEANUT BUTTER PUPCAKES

Our sweet, derpy dog just turned 2 years old. She is such a peanut, although she is fully grown, so everyone thinks she is a puppy. She might be small but she has a mighty appetite. I think she would have eaten them all had I let her.

But she  just gobbled up 1 and shared another with Kemper. They both really enjoyed their extra special treat.

 

I swear our dogs know the moment when we open a jar of peanut butter. They can sniff out peanut butter in a 1/4 mile. So they were in their glory with the peanut butter in the cupcake and in the frosting.

PEANUT BUTTER PUPCAKES

So this yummy pupcake recipe is the first in a new series of features from our dogs Kemper and Brinkley! Hope you and your dogs will enjoy them as much as we enjoy the treats and adventures that we will be sharing.

PEANUT BUTTER PUPCAKES

Peanut Butter Pupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Makes 6 Pupcakes

Ingredients

For the pupcakes

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 Cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup shredded zucchini/carrots
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • 1 egg

For the frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 small dog bone biscuits

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the peanut butter and vegetable oil with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the zucchini, honey, and the egg; beat well. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Divide the batter into the 6 prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until cooked through. Cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting. Decorate with a dog bones.

Slightly Adapted from Fake Ginger

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

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This weekend was all sorts of perfect.

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My brother and his family came in on Friday night for vacation. It’s been a year+ since we have seen each other so it was great getting to hang out and catch up. Best of all was the girls playing really well together, like they had just seen each other the weekend before. And the age different (3 & 6) even worked out well.

On Saturday we went Strawberry picking. So fun with the girls. And delicious. I made biscuits for shortcake for dessert that night. It was great with the grilled veggies, burgers, and hot dogs that we enjoyed for dinner. So yummy.

Besides that they also had a blast putting on tons of make up from my big makeup kit. Shoot, as long as you are not fighting, yelling, or destroying something… do whatever. They were so proud of themselves as well. But, let’s be real, they need to work on their eye liner application skills. ha!

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And then Sunday was all about hanging by the pool. We had a leisurely morning enjoying breakfast before we headed out to the pool. The weather was great and the pool was warm so we had a blast lounging around and playing with the girls in the pool. Autumn was so worn out that she napped on me for 2.5 hours as we sat by the pool. I even napped. The best kind of day ever.

More family came over later on and we made homemade pizza (of course the girls wanted boxed mac and cheese…). The night wrapped up with baths and girls cuddled up to me while I read to them.

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I am loving this year’s weekly recipe theme. I love working with dough and perfuming our house with cinnamon and sugar is just so fun. Plus, it’s fun as hell to come up with different flavors and combinations for the cinnamon rolls, monkey breads, and pull apart breads. And since we can’t possibly eat them all, I love getting to share with with our neighbors when they are fresh out of the oven.

Rock on Monkey Bread Mondays!

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If you love peanut butter then you will looooooove these cinnamon rolls. There is just the right amount of peanut butter in them where you can taste it, and smell it, but it’s balanced out so nicely with the typical cinnamon and sugar in cinnamon rolls. Plus, the jam glaze on top rocks.

I always make PBJ’s with strawberry jelly so it just felt right to use that for the glaze, but if you like grape or something else then just give that a try. I bet a blueberry jam would be awesome on it too. No matter what, you can’t go wrong.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 1/2 Cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 Tablespoons orange juice

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into an even ball. Add the dough to a large oiled bowl. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is rising, cut the bacon into very small pieces and cook. Drain well and set aside.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 1 9x 13 baking pan.
  7. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″.
  8. Mix the peanut butter into the melt butter and then evenly spread out on the dough.
  9. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pan.
  10. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. While the rolls are baking, warm the strawberry preserves and orange juice together; mix well. Drizzle all over the baked cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Oreo Crunch Brownies with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting

Oreo Crunch Brownies

I had such an epic weekend so I figured I’d share some epic brownies.

But first, let’s discuss the weekend!

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On Friday night, I finally got my new phone!!!! I broke my phone back in September and just taped up the screen. It finally died a few months later so I got a cheapy $40 go phone. I impatiently waited for the Samsung Galaxy S7 to be released. Then I just kept letting busy weekends get away from me and it was another 2 months before I got it. And I am in LOVE with it. I have been loving the updated features so I have been glued to it and doing silly stuff like Snapping (@iamahoneybee) like crazy!

Saturday was focused on the glorious tomatoes that Autumn and I picked that morning. I then made 2 big batches of Roasted Tomato Soup. (Recipe coming on Thursday!) And we set up Autumn’s ‘Big Girl Bed’ (which sounds like Bagel Spread when Autumn says it!), and she did fabulous with the change!

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And Sunday was Mother’s Day so that was just wonderful. I got some extra sleep, Price made breakfast, then we went blueberry picking. OMG so many blueberries. And they are all so juicy and sweet. After our adventures in blueberry picking we went to the pool in the community where my dad lives.

And that leads me to these amazing brownies.

It would be reasonable to call them effing amazing brownies. No joke.

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When I saw them on Amy’s blog, Amy’s Cooking Adventures, I knew that I needed to make them for this month’s Secret Recipe Club post. Typically I would post on the 4th Monday of every month, but the group of us changed things up and now I am posting on the 2nd. It gives me a new batch of awesome bloggers to exchange recipes with. So fun.

This month, with Amy’s blog I had so much fun discovering her and her great recipes from her 5+ years of blogging. She covers it all with her Italian BMT Sandwiches, Lemon Blueberry Pancakes, Poblano Pesto Pizza, and Cookies and Cream Cake. She shares all of that with her 2 sons and her husband, who is her #1 test tester. Fantastic.

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I picked out these brownies since I love brownies so much. Plus, they had Oreos in them and I love Oreos as well. And then it had a chocolate peanut butter frosting on them. Sorta a frosting. Sorta a ganache. A fronache. (I’m an idiot…)

The best thing is that it starts with boxed brownie mix. And Oreos. Super simple. The Oreos and chocolate chips mixed into the batter add great flavor and texture. Can’t beat cookies inside brownies. Nope.

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I am totally all for making brownies from scratch but there are times when you just need to go blueberry picking and go to the pool in a day and still need to squeeze in making brownies. Or between trips to the mall and getting a mani/pedi. Oh, I wish!

The one thing to consider is that that frosting/ganache/fronache needs time to set up so you need to either need to budget 2 hours for it to set up in fridge or give it over night.

But the wait is totally worth it. Make these damn brownies. Trust me.

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Oreo Crunch Brownies with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting

Makes 16 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Family Sized Box of brownie mix, with necessary eggs, oil, and water as directed on packaging
  • 12 Oreo Cookies
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, divided
  • ½ cup peanut butter

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Coarsely crush the Oreos by using a food processor or in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.  Set aside.
  3. Combine brownie mix, eggs, oil, and water and mix until smooth.  Stir in ½ cup of the crushed cookies, and ½ cup chocolate chips.
  4. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle ½ cup chocolate chips and the remaining crushed cookies over the brownies.  Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes.
  6. While the brownies are back in the oven, make the frosting. Combine the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and ½ cup of peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate chips are fully melted and the peanut butter is mixed in.
  7. Spread the peanut butter mixture over the brownies.  Let the brownies set overnight or after chilling in the refrigerator for 2 hours before cutting.

Adapted from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

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Check out all the other great Secret Recipe Club posts HERE this month!

And be sure to check out my 4+ years of Secret Recipe Club posts!!!!

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