It’s December, and that always means I’m looking for some kind of delicious treat to make…’tis the season! While I was perusing the web looking for a recipe to prepare today, I ran across Paula Deen’s recipe for Peanut Butter Cheese Cake Minis. Game over.
These little confections are amazingly simple to make – no greasing, no chopping, and no special tools are needed (aside from a muffin pan and a mixer). I wanted to make a gluten-free version, and that was also very simple. For the crust, I used our Bakery’s gluten-free “graham” crust mix – this is a tasty mix that is super easy to use (simply mix in some butter or margarine and press into your pan). I also used the too-yummy peanut butter cups from our bulk department, although I will note that while they don’t contain gluten they are made in a facility that also uses wheat flour. A couple of packages of Organic Valley Organic cream cheese, some organic granulated sugar, and a couple organic eggs later I had beautiful little cheesecakes!
You have a few options when making this recipe – if you can tolerate wheat, you can just use crushed graham crackers for the crust; we also carry gluten-free “graham” crackers that you can crush to use for the crust; and as for the candy center, I’ve heard that Snickers minis also are fantastic in this recipe. I did end up chopping up the peanut butter cups for the batch I sampled in the store (so they would be easier to cut into smaller portions) and it worked really well, so that is another option if you want chocolate in every bite!
I also want to mention that 2012 has been declared the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations. Our co-op was one of eight in the nation chosen to take part in a video series (starring Kevin Gillespie from Top Chef) highlighting different ways that cooperatives help communities thrive (our videos will be released in late February and in March) so look for those and other events throughout the year! Go Co-op! For more information on cooperatives of all kinds, check out Stronger Together, the International Cooperative Alliance, and the Northwest Cooperative Development Center.
Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecakes
- 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs or Co-op Bakery gluten-free graham crust mix
- 2 T granulated sugar
- 1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 12 bite-size peanut butter cups *
- 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 c sugar
- 1/4 c flour, either gluten-free baking mix or unbleached wheat flour
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
*note—The peanut butter cups we carry in bulk do not contain gluten, but they are processed in a facility that also uses wheat flour so there may be trace amounts.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a cupcake liner in each cup of a standard muffin tin.
- To make the crust—in a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until the crumbs are moistened.
- Press crust very firmly into the bottom of each muffin cup with the back of a soup spoon.
- Place one peanut butter cup in the center of each crust.
- To make the filling—beat the cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy.
- Add sugar, flour, and vanilla and beat well.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups and graham cracker crust.
- Bake until set, about 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.