Bakehouse Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Cookie Crust

If Dexter was a food blogger…

I promise, I’m not a psychopath… though I kind of felt like one when I was cutting these bars apart, seething with frustration as my initial rectangular bar shapes came out wonky and the glaze was cracking and cookie crumbs sticking everywhere (can you tell I’m a bit of a perfectionist?)

Finally, though I wanted to throw them all in the trash with a dramatic flourish, I cut the bigger bars into smaller pieces and as I used the knife to transport the bites to a plate (disclaimer: don’t try this at home) I thought it looked kinda cool; so I left them there. I didn’t quite realize just how violent the photo really looks until I started editing the images.

Whoops.

Easy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Needless to say and despite how these images make them seem, these cheesecake bars are really quite sweet, creamy and smooth and much easier to prepare than your typical cheesecake. The filling is little more than cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter. It was a little greasier in the end than I might have liked (I started having flashbacks to the peanut butter white chocolate fiasco), but you can barely tell in the final product other than the glaze is a bit reluctant to stick. Still, if you’re looking for an easy and impressive dessert, this is just the ticket.

Easy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Cookie Crust

This recipe comes from The Local Palate, a gorgeous magazine celebrating the Southern food culture and on whose blog we are featured as their blogger of the month (stay tuned for our post on Nashville sweet spots!) While I was tempted to make the Pad Thai Creme Brulee (equal parts intrigued and repulsed, I think, haha), I ultimately landed on this peanut butter cheesecake bar recipe from Bakehouse bakery in Charleston, South Carolina.

Easy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Cookie Crust

I used milk chocolate for the glaze, but you could certainly use dark chocolate if you preferred that instead. And I halved the recipe, feeling an 8-by-8-inch pan was more than enough rich cheesecake bites for two people to reasonably consume. The original claims a 13-by-9-inch pan makes 12 servings: apparently someone has quite the appetite. I found one or two of the mini bites was more than enough to satisfy, making an 8-by-8-inch pan easily serve 16.

Bakehouse Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 16 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • 9 ounces chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened

For Filling:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (10.5 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch fine sea salt

For Chocolate Glaze:

  • 5 ounces dark or milk chocolate
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Process cookies in a food processor and until finely ground. Add softened butter and pulse until evenly incorporated. Press into prepared baking pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter with paddle attachment until smooth. Mix in vanilla and salt. Pour into crust, spreading into an even layer.
  4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until set; remove from oven a place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  5. For glaze, in a double boiler set over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate until smooth. Pour over cooled cheesecake and refrigerate until set.

Recipe from The Local Palate.

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26 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Yum! These look amazing and I love that first photo. Hard core bars deserve hard core propping!

  2. It’s lethal to look at something so delicious so close to lunchtime. These look amazing ! 

    With love, Hayley x 

  3. Peanutbutter cheesecake bars sound amazing! And no knife in a picture can change my mind about that ;)

  4. I don’t care what you say, these look awesome! And i find it funny that you made a Dexter reference as I am FINALLY watching that series. I am only halfway through the second season.

  5. Oh I love the photo! It’s perfect. Just like these cheesecake bars. Send me a dozen!

  6. Those layers — GORGEOUS!!

  7. These bars look incredible, Lindsay! Those layers are amazing… total perfection. 

  8. Ha! Loving the Dexter reference :) but these bars look far from terrifying…I love the layers!

  9. Pb, cream cheese, sweetened cond milk, chocolate cookie crust, a layered bar…you just took all the best things in the dessert world and rolled them into one! Omg.

  10. ahhhhh, these look phenomenal!! 

  11. I love the layers. I’m like you, if they didn’t cut right I’d probably toss them across the kitchen. Ha

  12. I HAD planned to do something very Irish on this St. Patrick’s Day, but as soon as I saw these, those plans went out the window. St. Pat’s has never been sweeter at my house! Thanks! 

  13. Gah I love cheesecake. These look delicious, I’m pretty sure I’d have no self control with these bars in the house :)

  14. Thanks to my daughter who is a huge Dexter fan, I got your reference. :)  You got me at cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter (and chocolate)! These bars look divine!

  15. Peanut butter cheesecake bars!!! Yes please! :) 

  16. Oh wow, those look fabulous…cheesecake + peanut butter sounds like dessert heaven to me :)

  17. Need to try these peanut butter cheesecakes. Look divine!

  18. So… I never watched Dexter, though I’ve been told I would thoroughly enjoy the series. (I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing…) But these photos… gorgeous! The set up with the knife is certainly unique, and I am drooling over here just looking at these cheesecake bars. I certainly wouldn’t mind a few to get me through a mid-afternoon slump!

  19. Peanut butter and cheese sounds really delicious for dessert. Making it into a cakes makes it more amazing. This is just fabulous. The layers look beautiful. Nice recipe.

  20. my fiance is OBSESSED with peanut butter and chocolate. But like, who isn’t? These are an amazing looking dessert. Going to have to add this to my must-make list!

  21. Peanut butter and cheesecake! How unique and yummy!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  22. Wow! Those sound incredible! That is one stellar dessert. Pinned!

  23. Made these tonight. They tasted good but definitely did not have the cheesecake consistency. I don’t think I’ll make these again. 

  24. I’m in the middle of making these, and I’m confused! Recipe calls for 1 cup (10.5 oz) sweetened condensed milk, but 1 cup is 8 ounces not 10.5?! So, which is It?! I hate when recipes are not accurate! Not sure which way to go with this, as I don’t have time to wait for a reply, but hope they come out as good as everyone says!

    • Weight and volume are not always the same. In this case, sweetened condensed milk is much heavier than water (which does weigh 8oz for 1 cup). In the case of this recipe, measure out 1 cup using a liquid cup measurer to get the correct amount.

  25. Oh my goodness, I just want to reach through the screen and grab one or two of these! Beautiful pictures ?

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