From the Chef: Peanut Butter Maple Cheesecake

Maple_Peanut_Butter_Cheesecake3

By Mark Marques

I created this recipe after trying a new peanut butter with real maple syrup in it. I did not like it by itself, but I thought that it would be good in cookies, so I made some cookies and they came out wonderful. I then thought of what else I could do with the peanut butter. I decided to try it as a cheesecake.

I created this recipe and had some friends and family over for dinner. I presented this cheesecake for dessert. They all took one bite and their eyes got big. They were shocked at how rich and delicious the cheesecake was. I was told that this was the best cheesecake I have ever come up with. It was a great surprise to me.

I hope you and your family and friends enjoy this just as much! If you have any questions or comments or need advice on cooking or presentation, please email me! Thank you.

(As with all recipes, read it completely first, assemble all ingredients before starting. This recipe can be served without the meringue top if you would like.)

Crust

  • 18 Sugar Cookies (pick your brand) crushed
  • ½ Stick Butter melted

Filling

  • 5 Packages Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 18oz Jar of Maple Peanut Butter (can use plain if desired)

Almond Sour Cream Topping

  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract

Optional Toppings

  • ¼ Cup Caramel Sauce
  • ½ Package Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies Candies chopped

Maple_Peanut_Butter_Cheesecake_Slice2

Instructions
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small oven proof bowl or stainless steel bowl, fill it with water and place in the back of the oven to add humidity to the oven to help prevent cracking.

Crust:

In a food processor or in a mixing bowl, finely crush Cookies. Once the Cookies have been finely crushed, add ½ stick melted butter and evenly press into the bottom of a large spring-form pan. I like using the bottom of a plastic measuring cup to press the crust around the pan, starting at the middle and working my way to the outside edge. Place in refrigerator until needed. 

Filling:

In a large bowl and an electric mixer or Kitchen Aid mixer, beat the cream cheese on a medium-high speed about 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy, stopping to scrape the side occasionally.

Add sour cream and vanilla, and then incorporate until smooth. On a slow speed, add in the peanut butter, once the peanut butter is incorporated, add sugar, then the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one and mix until completely smooth and cheesecake batter slightly airy. Be sure to scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go to ensure everything is properly mixed together. Pour cheesecake batter onto crust.

Place a sheet of foil under the cheesecake and bake for 75 to 90 minutes until center is mostly set and top is nicely brown. Keeping the cheesecake in the oven, turn off the heat and crack open the oven, using a dish towel to keep it open and leave set in oven for one hour.

Remove from oven and cool completely or even overnight.

Topping

In a bowl, combine sour cream, sugar and almond extract and whisk together until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Once cheesecake is at room temperature or cooled completely, pour sour cream mixture on top of the cheesecake.

You can do this in concentric circles or swirls or smooth over the top to cover completely. You can also add caramel and chopped candies decoratively on top as well.

Mark Marques is a graduate of the New York Restaurant School in New York City. He graduated with Top Honors. Mark has several years of experience in the Restaurant industry starting when he was kid working at his parent’s Italian Restaurant, Ducci’s, in Colorado. After serving in the US Navy, Mark attended culinary school and went onto work in some of the busiest eateries in the New York City, including in the Lincoln Building, the Empire State Building, Times Square, the South Street Seaport and Pier 17. Mark has also run restaurants for Club Med as well in his current city of Las Vegas. Please feel free to contact Mark at this newspaper with any questions concerning food, liquor, beer, wines, and cooking tips.

 

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