Sunday, July 25, 2010

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Peanut Butter & Crème Fraîche Pretzel Crust Mini Cheesecakes



This creamy, dreamy, peanut buttery, cheesecake is truly heaven on earth. And in heaven nothing goes wrong. Well. Here on earth, anything can go wrong. And you're not going to believe what happened while I was making this delicious peanut butter cheesecake.

I was itching to make mini cheesecakes with my newly acquired mini cheesecake pan. So I open the box and there was nothing but the actual pan and a little typed up note that read...


First of all, I think whoever printed this obviously made a typo. It reads,"Please removable bottom...." Okay so what does that mean? I think the correct word is "Place" not "Please" or perhaps "Please place." Well, that was the least of my worries. In fact, that was nothing compared to what happened next. But before I explain to you the drama, lets begin with the good ole ingredients and directions list.

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
My Modified Peanut Butter Williams~Sonoma Cheesecake Recipe
12 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
8 oz Créme Fraîche
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Heaping tbsp of Peanut Butter (I added this to the recipe, you can use less if you wish)

Pretzel Crust
2 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used crushed salted baked pretzels crumbs and added a 1/2 tsp of salt), originally it called for 1 cup but there was way too much batter left so I doubled the crust recipe)
8 tbsp Unsalted Butter (melted and cooled)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Directions
1. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the cream cheese, créme fraîche, and 1/2 cup of the sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, cream, vanilla, peanut butter and beat until smooth.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs (I used crushed pretzel crumbs) butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until blended.


3. Follow the instructions on your mini cheesecake pan and place the removable disks to each cheesecake form. Place about 2 teaspoons of the pretzel mixture (give or take) to each of the mini cheesecake forms and press down with a small spoon.


4. Place a spoonful (almost to the top but not quite) of the peanut butter cheesecake batter on top of the pretzel crust and bake until the filling is set. 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. My pan made 12 mini cheesecakes and I had to make two batches of the pretzel crust to use up all the batter. The recipe is originally for 4 mini spring foam pans.


5. Remove cheesecakes from the pan by pushing up the bottoms of each mini cheesecake form carefully and serve!


Okay, so now that the logistics of these peanut butter, pretzel crust, créme fråiche mini cheesecakes (whew did you get that) are written out, let's move right along to what went wrong. The mini cheesecakes are in the oven and about 10 minutes into baking, I smell something burning and smoke starts to seep from the oven through the stove top! I'm thinking OMG, did I set the temperature wrong? So I check, and its right. Then I take a closer look and the smoke is coming from the bottom of my oven!



Now, I'm freaking out because my oven is clean and I don't recall dropping any oil or butter that could possibly be creating all this smoke. And then I see dark oil marks beginning to form on the bottom of the oven. So I vigorously and carefully (since the oven is still on and the cheesecakes are still baking) start cleaning whatever is on the bottom of the stove. Then I realize something is dripping from the bottom of the mini cheesecake pan! My house looked like there was dense fog! I cleaned up the mess, placed a baking sheet under the mini cheesecake pan and allowed the baking to continue.

Meanwhile, I open all the windows and doors and allow the smoke to air out. What a disaster, I thought! Whew, boy was I relieved that was over with. Thinking back, I don't know what I was thinking. I should have placed a cookie sheet under the cheesecake pan from the very beginning and this disaster would have been avoided. I think I was overly anxious to eat some of these delicious little treats.

Needless to say, a couple of my mini cheesecakes had collapsed slightly in the middle. Boo, live and learn. Either way, they were DEE-LICIOUS! Thats all that matters. By the way the pretzel crust is amazing. Crunchy and it tastes similar to toffee. For all you peanut butter and cheesecake lovers, this ones for you! Happy baking foodies.




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32 Reactions to this post

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  1. Lauren Zabaneh said... July 25, 2010 at 7:54 AM

    great story, Lisa! Those are so cute, I can see why you were itching to use that pan. I love mini things. and pretzel crust? That beats out graham cracker crust any ol day!

  2. Sommer J said... July 25, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    YUM! My son would love this! Great idea as usual, girl!

    Kitchen disasters is what makes us better!! I know I keep trying until I get it close to perfect.

  3. Chef Dennis said... July 25, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    those are perfect little cheesecakes! I absolutely love the pretzel crust....it must have been a perfect match with the peanut butter! I am going to have to try one!
    I bet your going to get great use out of that pan!!

  4. sadaf said... July 25, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    hi, lisa
    these mini cakes looks scrumptious.
    i like peanut butter alot & think every thing goes well with P.butter & your story recall some memories when i had disaster because i filled my cake pan with cake batter more than 3/4 of its size, most of the batter came out and start burning. a long story :)

  5. Federica said... July 25, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    wow che delizia!!complimenti!!!baci!

  6. Hannah said... July 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    That story is too funny, I can just picture all the smoke in the house! These look amazing!

  7. cooperl788 said... July 25, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    These mini cheesecakes look delicious! My BFF Hannah, from Our Happy Home, told me how you had great recipes on here, and I have to say, I completely agree! I also like how you've added some great logistical information - I would definitely have burned the bottom of my oven too. I'm your newest follower! Have a great weekend!

    http://gruneisenfamily.blogspot.com

  8. Monet said... July 25, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Another great story, another appetizing recipe, another set of beautiful photographs. I feel so lucky to have found you! And even though kitchen mishaps happen, we keep on baking, learning and posting!

  9. ~Lisa~ said... July 25, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Thanks. They were out of this world. Seriously, please make these. The pretzel crust is amazing. Salty, sweet sooo perfect with peanut butter.

  10. Pam said... July 26, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    They look so cute and tasty... I love the crust!

  11. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said... July 26, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Hey Lisa, just wanted to let you know I posted it on my FB page too! :D

  12. spcookiequeen said... July 26, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Another one I'm going to have to try! I love the pretzel crust idea!

  13. ~Lisa~ said... July 26, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Thanks Pam!

    @ Tanantha, thanks sweetie (=

    @ Spookiequeen, the pretzel crust is really tasty. Never using graham cracker crust again (=

  14. Stella said... July 26, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Hey Lisa, I just saw this on F.G.-they look so good! I want one now, but I should probably have dinner first (smile).
    p.s. Cute baby boy!

  15. Jennifer Gideon said... July 26, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    Holy cow! These look delicious and they're bite size so I can share!!! I seriously can't wait to make these! You're spittin' out recipes quicker than I can even think about making them! Keep 'em coming! I LOVE your blog!!

  16. Magic of Spice said... July 27, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    Wow these are stunning! They sound heavenly:)

  17. Pacheco Patty said... July 27, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    Beautiful little cheesecakes! Don't you just hate to mess up the oven and smoke out the kitchen.

  18. Evan @swEEts said... July 27, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Now this is my kinda cheesecake! As long as it has peanut butter in it, it has to be a winner :) I'm also going to have to buy one of these mini cheesecake pans.. love it!

  19. ~Lisa~ said... July 27, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    @ Stella, thank you! I'm headed to your site.

    @ Jennifer, you're sweet! Thanks for reading my blog. I really enjoy reading about your daughter. You're doing a fantastic job juggling your work and family and your photos are outstanding!

    @ Magic of Spice it definitely was a a piece of heaven and I ate a LOT of them. Moderation went right out the window when I made these (=

    @ Patty, You have no idea, I was so flustered bc of all the smoke.

    @ Evan, thanks. The pan is very diverse so you can make quiches and other mini things (=

  20. baking.serendipity said... July 27, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    These look absolutely perfect! I kind of want a mini cheesecake pan now, though I've used muffin tins fairly successfully in the past. And I love finding the little typos and laughing at them. There's one on my flat iron that makes me laugh on the mornings I actually take the time to style my hair :)

  21. Bethesda Foodie said... August 2, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    That looks delicious! You are so talented :)

  22. doreese said... August 14, 2010 at 4:32 AM

    Omg this is so brilliant I am going to make this!!

    I love your blog, even though I'm not a mommy :) haha I like all the recipes!!!

    - Doris

  23. Anonymous said... August 18, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    I have that pan and can't wait to try this recipe. Although, I've used it several times and have never had any spills or leaks from the bottom.

    I'm thinking about adding a chocolate ganache to the top as well. Yum!

  24. ~Lisa~ said... August 18, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    @ Sarah, I know muffins pans do work. But silly me loves this sort of thing (=

    @ Andrea, Thanks!

    @ Doris thank you. sorry for the late reply, on my way to your site now.

    @ Anonymous, not sure what happened with my pan. It maybe the organic peanut butter? Maybe I have a bad one hehe. Chocolate ganache sounds perfect!

  25. Best coffee maker said... December 15, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    A truly delicious recipe! I have tried it and it was so good. My daughter even brought some to school. Thanks a lot for sharing this and this would definitely be one of our newest favorite food. Kudos!

  26. ~Lisa~ said... December 15, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    @ Best Coffee Maker, so glad you liked them. They're one of my faves as well. (=

  27. Country Girl said... October 29, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Beautifully photographed. Can't wait to try these. Found on Pinterest ~

  28. Spencer said... December 13, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    What a wonderful cake. It looks absolutely awesome!

  29. Anonymous said... February 2, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    I am going to make these for Sunday. Did you make the Créme Fraîche or buy it? Is there any way around it? Not sure how well my attempts to make it will turn out lol.

  30. ~Lisa~ said... February 3, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    @Anonymous
    You can use cream cheese if your prefer. I like the taste of the French style better but both work. It'll turn out fine just use less butter in your pretzel crust and place yout pan on a baking sheet and you'll be golden (=

  31. Anonymous said... February 4, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    so you did end up with 12 mini cheesecakes in total or did you have to make another batch to use up all the batter?

  32. ~Lisa~ said... February 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    @Anonymous
    There will be leftover batter enough for another batch (=