Whether you are team crust or team cake, you'll love this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake and its secret ingredient: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios!
(This post was developed as part of our partnership with General Mills, one of the sponsors of Blog Brulee.)
I have a love affair with crust.
...bet you weren’t expecting that, were you?
Savory or sweet. I don’t discriminate.
The crust on the edges of a casserole of mac and cheese or the crust on a piece of Chicago style deep dish pizza. Crusty garlic bread. Yes, please.
Quiche crust -- get this -- I made a quiche crust out of croutons and Fiber One cereal last week. The family loved it.
I’ll take the crust on a pie instead of the filling any day. Free formed galette crusts. Brownie “crust”.
At Blog Brulee this year, we sampled yogurt cups with crusts made out of regular and Honey Nut Cheerios… they. were. amazing. And, they were the inspiration for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake you see before you.
Tracing the beginnings of this strange but more-common-than-you-think-passion for the crust leads me directly to my Dad. He, too, is a fan of all crusts. This is a man who hated pizza but would happily eat the teeth-marked crusts we kids tossed back into the pizza box. However, his preference—and it’s hard to say this-is for the crust to be lightly charred. Ok, burned. He likes things burned. Bread. French Fries. Even steak. Ohhh—that burnt steak was his fave. If I had $5.00 for every food memory I have associated burnt T-bone steak he enjoyed throughout my childhood….. sigh. Burned steak. Sacrilegious, I know.
Speaking of growing up, (hang on, I’ll get back to the crust love)...Raise your hand if you grew up with the big yellow box of Cheerios in the pantry.
As a kid, there was one kind of Cheerios and only one way to eat them. Pour into bowl. Add Milk. Eat.
As I grew, so did the Cheerios brand—and so did the recipe ideas in which to use this surprisingly versatile ingredient. (I’ll point you again in the direction of this cheesecake.)
Today, in addition to regular Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios (seasonal), you’ll find --- wait for it ----
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHEERIOS
Yes. You can jump for joy now. Inspired by the classic and delicious combination of chocolate and peanut butter, Cheerios introduced new Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios this month.
I had the chance to talk with the folks at Cheerios recently and they told me that with these two beloved flavors, real cocoa and real peanut butter, coming together into two amazing dual-colored ‘O’s, cereal lovers will be able to enjoy the delicious taste of this much-loved flavor combination. And, like many General Mills Big G cereals, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios is free from artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources. Oats remain as the first ingredient on the ingredient list, too.
One important note of distinction--while many of the Cheerios line up of products are gluten free, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios is not. It is, however, a combination that families will love and parents will feel good about putting on the breakfast table.
Now, if you’d rather not pour it into a bowl and serve it with milk, I understand. Craving something a bit sweeter, perhaps? Check out this cheesecake made with Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios.
ad: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios make an irresistible crust for this Cheesecake! Tweet this
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Makes 12 servings
- For the Crust:
- 2 cups Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios, pulsed into crumbs
- 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) butter, melted
- For the Cheesecake:
- 24 ounces (3-8oz. packages) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup 4% (full fat) plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with butter. Wrap the bottom of the pan with tin foil; set aside.
In a food processor add Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios and pulse until they resemble crumbs. Crumbs should measure to 2 cups.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Mix with the Cheerio crumbs.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (Use a measuring cup to firmly press evenly to the bottom of the pan)
Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar at medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and peanut butter.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Pour filling into cooled crust and spread evenly.
Create a double boiler, by adding about 1 cup of water in a small pot and place heat-safe bowl on top (making sure the water is not touching the bowl). Heat double boiler over medium heat. Add the chocolate to the bowl and chocolate will start to melt, stirring occasionally.
Once chocolate has melted, turn off the heat. Temper in the heavy cream, adding a little at a time, stirring throughout the process, until all the heavy cream is mixed in. Let slightly cool.
Using a ¼ teaspoon add dots of chocolate over the cheesecake. Using a knife, gently swirl chocolate dots to create a marble look. Reserve the remaining chocolate in the refrigerator for later use.
Transfer the cheesecake and place in a roasting pan. Bring a few cups of water to a boil and pour the water into the roasting pan. Fill the pan to about an inch, just below the edge of the pan.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack the door open to let the cheesecake slowly cool for one hour.
Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and chill for a remaining 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove the edges of the spring form pan, when ready to serve.
(Optional) With remaining chilled chocolate, roll into balls and roll into crushed Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios and use to garnish the cheesecake.
Notes for baking the perfect cheesecake:
Using a water bath when baking a cheesecake is key. A water bath helps bake the cheesecake gently, while also creating a steamy environment in the oven so the surface doesn’t dry and crack.
Add tinfoil around the bottom of the spring form pan. This will protect the cheesecake from any water leaking into the spring form pan.
To prevent cracks: Let the cheesecake sit in the turned-off oven with the door cracked for about an hour, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.