In times like these, when I get run down, I start to crave something decadent. Something that is delicious and has no nutritional merit.
They have a salty, crunchy crust, smooth peanut butter cheesecake filling, a layer of chocolate ganache, and a swirl of peanut butter frosting to top it off. SWOON.
Despite the numerous layers, these bars are pretty simple to make. Each part can be made while the other part is baking or cooling. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool before you eat it. Trust me, as someone who couldn’t resist and tore into it too early, cheesecake is much better cold.
To make, use a food processor to grind up your pretzels into tiny pieces. Or use the old fashion method of putting them into a paper bag and hitting it with a rolling pin (after the weeks I have had, the rolling pin method was calling out to me). Mix that with butter and sugar, press into a pan and make for 10 minutes.
The cheesecake layer couldn’t be easier, just toss cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and (of course) peanut butter in an electric mixer and blend away until smooth. Pour over your crust and bake for about 45 minutes.
If you haven’t make ganache before you need to try it. It always sounds so fancy – but it is super simple to make all you need is some hot milk and chocolate.
Finally the last step is the peanut butter frosting. This step is optional, but total worth it in my opinion. I piped a little bit on each individual bar, but feel free to just smother all the bars with a nice thick layer of it.
- 2 cups pretzels
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup peanut butter
- Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a food processor grind pretzels into tiny pieces. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in melted butter and sugar. Pour into prepared pan, making sure to press it down into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Using an electric mixer, mix together all 6 cheesecake ingredients until they are nice and smooth. Pour mixture over cooled pretzel crust. Bake at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes or until the cheesecake is cooked through. Refrigerate to cool.
- To make ganache, bring heavy whipping cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate chips. Using a spatula, stir the chocolate and cream until a thick sauce begins to form. Pour over cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate to cool completely, 2-3 hours.
- To make frosting, combine all frosting ingredients in an electric mixer. Blend until a fluffy frosting forms. Pipe frosting on individual bars or spread on top of all of them before cutting.