Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Who doesn’t love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust has all that plus a bit of salty in the delightful Pretzel Crust!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Whole

This month’s Progressive Eats event is being hosted by Heather from the blog All Roads Lead to the Kitchen and Heather has chosen for her theme to have a Pretzel Party. Now…I have no say in what one of our team members picks and this one had me flummoxed for a bit. I’m just not a big pretzel fan.

If you see someone hunched over that bowl of Chex Mix picking out the pretzels…that would be me! I might enjoy the perfectly baked version from the mall (and I’m betting some of our contributors) but the normal crunchy pretzel? Not so much.

Still with a bit of an observation and a twisting of my own arm I think I did the pretzel proud with this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust.

When I finally had a moment of clarity I realized that pretzels appealed to me more when they are combined with sweet elements. I LOVE these Bacon Wrapped Pretzel Rods with Brown Sugar and Cayenne Pepper. I wanted to hide my updated version of The Strawberry Pretzel Salad when I made it, it was that good. So it seems I do like pretzels OK… I just need some sugar!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake - Pretzel Crust

While I love cheesecake, I prefer it relatively simple. This Lemon Cheesecake is my all time favorite but I have made a few others that I enjoy too. I’m not big on piling them with candy from the checkout lane at the grocery but I was OK with making one that mimicked my favorite candy bar.

I suppose I could have called this a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake except for the pretzel component so there really is no namesake; it’s just a really nice, rich cheesecake with a decadent ganache topping all surrounded by the slightly salty and crunchy pretzel crust and the whole thing is garnished with some peanuts and pretzels.

Sort of a ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ cheesecake; so perfect for summer! If you’re thinking YUM at the thought of this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust…you would be right.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake - Pretzel Crust

I’ve never got a lot to say in my blog posts; I really just want to share a great dish with you but tonight I’m exiting even sooner. I was a bit too social this past weekend to get this post done (and I plan to do that more often!) and then tonight? After I had 95% of my post completed I lost power for a second and everything disappeared.

It’s 9:25pm and I’m done and done in and my poor cat is literally crying for me to come into my bedroom…that boy is used to curling up by me and getting some attention and I’m not there yet…uh oh! So please just trust me on this. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust is a very very good cheesecake. Yummalicious even! 🙂

Progressive Eats

Pretzel Party!

Pretzels as an Ingredient

Pretzels from Scratch

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re having a Pretzel Party hosted by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez, who blogs at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. Since today is National Pretzel Day, we thought it was the perfect chance to feature all sorts of fabulous homemade pretzel recipes, recipes that feature pretzels (both soft and hard), and pretzels dips/condiments. We have a varied and delicious menu for today that we hope you’ll enjoy!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

PIN ‘Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust’

Chocolate and Peanut Buttter Cheesecake PIN

Yield: 12 slices

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Whole
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • !For the crust:
  • 2 cups about 7 ounces crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Cheesecake:

  • 24 ounces 3 - 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

For the Ganache Topping

  • 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate

For the Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.
  2. Combine pretzels, melted butter, brown sugar and salt until well mixed.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Press evenly into bottom and up sides of pan.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the cheesecake filling:

  1. Place cream cheese and both sugars in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a handheld or stand mixer on medium speed, beat until smooth. Mix in sour cream and vanilla extract.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add peanut butter and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour filling into crust and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 200°. Bake for 2 hours, or until the center is firm and the cheesecake no longer looks shiny or wet.
  6. Remove cheesecake from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan.
  7. Turn off the oven. Place the cheesecake back into the oven for 2 hours. Then, remove the cheesecake, cover, and chill overnight.

To Make the Ganache Topping:

  1. Heat cream in a small saucepan until simmering.
  2. Off the heat add the chocolate and whisk together with cream as it melts. Pour onto top of chilled cheesecake and spread to the edges; reserving excess for drizzle.
  3. Mix together the peanuts and pretzel pieces and garnish the outside edge of the cheesecake. Drizzle ganache over garnish and down sides of cake.
  4. Return cheesecake to the fridge until the ganache sets, about 30 minutes.
  5. To Serve, slide large knife into very hot water and cut a slice. Clean off knife, slide it into water again and repeat.

Notes

I used half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate for the ganache but use what you prefer...all dark or all milk or a mix like mine. All personal preference!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 19gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 5g
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28 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! So wonderful! The contrast between the sweet and salty, the creamy and the crunchy, makes this a delightful dessert!

    1. So glad to hear you enjoyed it; it was a huge hit here too and now I want to make it again!

  2. Hi Barb,

    Close to 2 years ago I first made your lemon cheesecake. Every time I serve it people really enjoy it.
    Today, my grandson and I made your Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake. It is truly a wonderful cheesecake. The peanut butter is evident in the filling. The peanut & pretzel garnish topping the chocolate ganache is pure heaven.

    Thank you for another outstanding recipe!!

    1. Thank you Julie for taking the time to let me know; that means a lot! I’m glad you love it too. I’m not one to mess with a lot of ingredients in a cheesecake and you’ll most likely never find me turning one into a version of a Snickers Bar…but I have to say…we really loved that peanut butter one too!

  3. Barb, I am drooling! When it comes to combinations, there is almost nothing better than chocolate and peanut butter. But then you went and added some salty pretzels to take me waaayyy over the top. Luckily, the cheesecake is just on my screen and not on my table:)

    1. It is the best isn’t it? I can pass by lots of things but a peanut butter cup might still find it’s way into my shopping basket! I still have a piece I saved for you! 🙂

  4. Of course, the quintessential chocolate and peanut butter and oh, in cheesecake format, taken up a notch with a salty crunchy pretzel? Seriously dangerous, Barb. Thank you very much!

  5. Hate it when you lose power like that! I always use a battery backup — been burned way too often. Our kitty often wants us to come to bed early too, so she can snuggle. Anyway, love cheesecake, and this looks just terrific. Thanks.

    1. The killer is it was my laptop with battery backup and it was ONE second! The weird thing though is that WP usually autosaves; you know, except when you need it? 🙂

  6. This cheesecake looks amazing. I love pretzels as a crust for tarts and pies, but I’ve never done the pretzel cheesecake. I’m going to try that for my next cheesecake. And yes, you did do the pretzel proud!!

    1. Thanks so much and yes, they added a nice crunch and a touch of salt; a nice update to one of my favorite flavor combos.

    1. I’m more a fan of the pretzel now…everyone made such great looking recipes I might actually find my mind changed!

    1. Did the same to me! I’ve been trying to save the last piece for a neighbor but I might cave today; a girl only has so much willpower and it’s turned out to be a real favorite.

    1. I’m a TJ’s newbie so have little knowledge of what is good; will definitely put those on my list for next time; if it reminds me of this cheesecake it will be especially nice! 🙂

    1. Thank you Heather and special thanks for a great theme; it’s so fun to see the wide array of treats that come from our imagination isn’t it?

    1. Thanks Liz. I used to be the dessert Queen; long before the booze one but once my daughters moved out after college, my reasons to make them and my eaters to eat them went with them. I’m enjoying it again since finding those traits in my neighbors. Desserts are such a form of artistic expression and I love the time and effort of building something both pretty and delicious. I know you know what I mean!

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