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Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

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1 (16 ounce) package peanut butter sandwich cookies
10 tablespoons butter, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 (16 ounce) bags miniature peanut butter cups
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup salted roasted peanuts

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars are the perfect combination of a fabulous candy and velvety smooth cheesecake.

  • Serves 24
  • Medium

About This Recipe

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars is a fabulous recipe that combines peanut butter cups with a rich cheesecake on a shortbread crust, topped with a fabulous chocolate and peanut butter ganache. What more is there to say?

Well, here’s how to make it! You’ll need some peanut butter sandwich cookies; I prefer Nutter Butter brand because they are rich with peanut butter and always reliably good. You’ll also need Reese’s miniature  peanut butter cups, cream cheese, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and salted roasted peanuts.

Sounds like a party, doesn’t it?

This recipe would be perfect for a Halloween party, for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or just because it’s Wednesday. And the recipe makes a bunch, which means you can share it or just enjoy it yourself over the course of a few days.

Like all cheesecakes, these bars do need to be store in the fridge. I like to cut them cold, then let them stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving them. That way the cheesecake filling is a little softer and the flavors really pop.

How to make the best Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

  • The cream cheese needs to be soft before you mix it with the other ingredients or you’ll never get that perfect velvety soft texture. Rather than letting the cheese sit at room temperature for hours, which  is problematic from a food safety standpoint, I unwrap the cream cheese and place it on a microwave safe plate. Microwave at 50% power for 20 seconds. Remove from the microwave and test to see if it’s soft. If not, microwave again at 50% power for 10 seconds, and so on. You don’t want the cream cheese to melt. It should be soft enough that a light touch will easily make an indentation in the cheese.
  • Make sure that the crust is cool before you add the peanut butter cups and the cream cheese mixture.
  • For the peanut butter cups, you can use the miniature size that come in wrappers, or you can use the very small size that are unwrapped. I used the wrapped size.
  • Don’t overbake the bars. They should be just set and light golden brown on the top.
  • Frost while the bars are still warm, then cool at room temp for one hour. Refrigerate until cold, and store in the fridge.


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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13-inch by 9-inch metal pan with nonstick baking spray with flour and set aside.


Put the cookies into a heavy duty ziplock freezer bag and seal. Crush the cookies with a rolling pin. You can bash them or roll them out. Then put the crumbs into a medium bowl and add the butter; mix well.


Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.


In a large bowl, put the cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sugar, and 1/2 cup peanut butter and beat until smooth and blended.


Unwrap the peanut butter cups if that's the kind you chose, then place them, set closely together, on the cooled crust. You may have some left over - eat them!


Now spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the candies. Gently push the cream cheese mixture, using the back of a spoon, down so it goes in between the candies. Then rap the pan on the counter once to remove air bubbles.


Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cheesecake is light golden brown on the top and just set. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack.


In a small microwave-safe bowl, combined the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove and stir. Continue microwaving for 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until the mixture is smooth. Pour over the cheesecake and spread to cover. Top with the peanuts.


Let the bars stand at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate until cold. Store the bars, covered, in the fridge.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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