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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups with Blackberries

Some things are simply meant to be together. Macaroni and cheese. Ross and Rachel. A glass of wine and and an episode of Scandal. And of course, peanut butter and jelly. If we are talking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I firmly believe white bread and a glass of milk are necessary. But, if you really want to take peanut butter and jelly to the next level (you do), then add cream cheese into the mix. Woah! So good.

These little peanut buttery, cream cheesy, fruity morsels are the perfect way to enjoy the classic flavor combo of PB&J while fulfilling the need to indulge. I love the size of them too, they are the perfect amount of indulgence without feeling glutinous. We all know it's a fine, slippery line. Oh, a glass of milk is still recommended.

I was inspired to make these after Tommy brought home a beautiful container of fresh blackberries. If fresh berries are available go for it, but frozen would work just as well. Or, if you wanna make your life super easy, you could probably use jam. Keep in mind jam will be sweeter, while your own topping will be more tart which I feel is a nice contrast to the rich cheesecake. 

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups with Blackberries (recipe heavily adapted from Alaska from Scratch)
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbs. flour

Blackberry topping
2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tbs. flour

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tbs. melted butter
dash of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a large bowl. Add a few dashes of salt and mix.
2. Place cupcake liners into a cupcake pan. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of graham cracker mix into each cup. Using your thumbs, press graham cracker crust down into the cup.
3. Using a stand mixer (or handheld) blend together cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla and mix until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mix until blended and then add flour. Scrap the sides of the bowl, then mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
4. In a small saucepan, add blackberries and sugar. Turn on low-medium heat and allow berries to cook for several minutes, stirring to mix in sugar. Use a spoon to slightly mash berries. Allow to cook for a several minutes, then add flour. Continue cooking until mixture has thickened slightly, and berries are nice and soft.
5. Using a spoon or piping bag (I tried both, the piping bag does make them look a little nicer), fill cups with peanut butter mixture. Cups should be almost full, but not quite. Top with a small spoonful of blackberries.
6. Place in oven and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until the center has set. Allow to cool, then enjoy!

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