Any dessert that combines peanut butter, chocolate and cream cheese is probably going to be a winner in my book. I also love the Reese's minis. I'm on a kick where I try to incorporate them into as many recipes as possible. Whoever had the idea to make the "minis" line of chocolate candy was onto something. Most people would've stopped at the Reese's miniature cups, but then someone said, how about we make them even smaller and just call them minis!? At least that's how I imagine that happening. Who knew that mini and miniature could be different. I'm not ashamed to admit I looked at the Reese's website to see if there were any other Reese's varieties I was missing out on. I guess this is what my life has come to.
These Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars incorporate all of my favorite things. The pretzel crust is also a great spin on some of the other cheesecake bars I've made before. It comes together very easily, especially if you have a Magic Bullet or some blender of that sort to grind up the pretzels. I feel like sometimes in recipes that call for an 8x8 or 9x9 pan there's barely enough to share, but because these are so rich they can be cut into smaller pieces. I brought some to my office and shared some with friends. Great reviews all around!
Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction
Sally's notes: Baking a cheesecake as bars is so much easier! This recipe makes 16 cheesecake bars.
Store bars in a covered container for up to 10 days in the refrigerator. Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch pan, baking time will vary - about 45-55 minutes.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (120 grams) very finely ground salty pretzels (about 3 cups whole pretzels)
- 3 Tablespoons (35 grams) granulated sugar
- 7 Tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 16 ounces (448 grams) cream cheese, softened to room temperature (not fat free)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10 regular sized Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped (or 30 minis)
- 1 Tablespoon (15 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup (45 grams) chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
- For the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse salty pretzels into a fine crumb. See photo above for how it will look. Stir the pretzel crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together in a medium sized bowl. Press evenly into the lined pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
- For the filling: Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract together with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Fold in the chopped Reese's cups and spread the mixture over crust. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.
- For the drizzle: Melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips together in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth and drizzle over squares.