Peanut butter and chocolate howlingly rich

October 23, 1991|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Evening Sun Staff

THIS DELIGHTFUL CONCOCTION with its dark brown and dark yellow swirls is perfect Halloween fare. Slice it thin -- it's very rich -- and you can serve 14 to 16 of your favorite goblins. This recipe is adapted from a super new book "365 Great Chocolate Desserts" by Natalie Haughton; Harper Collins Publishers -- 1991, $16.95.

Halloween cheesecake

2 cups creme-filled peanut butter cookie crumbs (we used Nutter Butters)

5 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup milk chocolate morsels or peanut butter-flavored morsels, optional

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and butter until well blended. Press into bottom and one-inch up sides of ten-inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes.

Sprinkle crust with milk chocolate chips or peanut butter chips and return to oven for about two or three minutes, or until slightly bTC softened. Spread the melted morsels evenly over top of crust. Let crust cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, two to three minutes. Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth, about two minutes.

Transfer one-third of batter to another bowl and set aside. Beat melted chocolate into remaining batter. Turn chocolate mixture into cooled crust. With mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter into remaining one-third batter until thoroughly mixed. Carefully spoon peanut butter mixture on top of chocolate cheese mixture in pan. Using the long handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the two flavors together. Don't over swirl.

Bake about one hour or until cheesecake is set around edges and puffed but still jiggles slightly in the center. Let cake cool two hours, then refrigerate until well chilled, eight hours or overnight. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cake before serving.

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