Peanut Butter Icebox Cheesecake
From Cook's Country
We wanted our Peanut Butter Icebox Cheesecake recipe to have a supple, creamy texture—and great flavor too. We tried all manner of recipes, including those that relied on the stiffening power of Cool Whip, and found it was best to stick to the tried-and-true combination of heavy cream and cream cheese thickened with gelatin. Allowing the gelatin to hydrate in a portion of the cream, then bringing it to a boil in the microwave fully activated its thickening power. We whipped the heavy cream and cream cheese smooth before adding the cream and gelatin mixture to ensure the most thorough dispersal of the gelatin. Smooth peanut butter and vanilla extract complemented the flavor of the tangy cream cheese, while a moderate amount of sugar kept the filling light. Our crumb crust utilized an unusual ingredient—we combined crushed Nutter Butter cookies with a little butter to bind them, then packed the crumbs into the springform pan. Chopped salted peanuts made for a pleasant, crunchy garnish.
Don't rush the softening of the cream cheese. If microwaved, the cream cheese will cook slightly and eventually cause the entire cheesecake mixture to break. To speed up the process, cut the cream cheese into chunks and let it stand at room temperature for at least half an hour. When the cream cheese is no longer cold and gives easily under pressure, it's ready to use. Creamy peanut butter, Nutter Butter cookies, and chopped salted peanuts pack a triple peanut punch in this cheesecake. To make the crust, you'll need 16 Nutter Butter cookies, broken into rough pieces and processed in a food processor or blender until ground. Serve this cheesecake drizzled with melted chocolate.
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