Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes with a Pretzel Crust

I love peanut butter and chocolate. I love cheesecake. So, these little beauties are a big winner with me. I'm a little obsessed with the whole chocolatey, peanut buttery, salty, sweet, cheesecakey combo.
I decided to pair these with a pretzel crust instead of the traditional graham cracker crust. Best. Decision. Ever. You know me, I'm a sucker for sweet and salty! I love the hint of saltiness that the pretzels give. 
The pretzel crust is a bit crumbly, so expect a bit of a mess when you dig in to these. I thought about adding some more melted butter, but it seems like there's just no way around it. No worries...they are totally worth the mess! 

Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes with a Pretzel Crust
Makes 6 mini cheesecakes
3/4 cup crushed pretzels
1/2 cup peanuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup non fat, plain Greek yogurt (you could also use non fat, vanilla)
2 eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse the pretzels and peanuts until a crumb mixture. With the machine running, slowly add the melted butter and pulse until it just starts to come together.
Divide the crumb mixture into your mini cheesecake pan then press evenly with the bottom of a glass to create an even crust. Bake crust in the oven for about 5 minutes and let cool.
Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla extract. Add the peanut butter and mix until it just comes together. Continue to mix with a spatula until well combined.
Transfer the filling to the cooled crust and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. The top should be slightly puffy and lightly browned. Remove cheesecake from the oven and let cool completely.

Combine the chocolate chips, milk, and vanilla in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Remove and stir until smooth. Pour glaze over the cheesecakes. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Refrigerate the cheesecakes for about 4 hours or overnight. Remove carefully and serve.