Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

Mini peanut butter cheesecake with a pretzel-graham cracker crust topped with melted dark chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups.

Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

Thanksgiving week is here!  That means it’s time to put on those stretchy pants.

Bourbon pecan pie, mashed potatoes with gravy, creamed corn, biscuits and dinner rolls.  Once Thanksgiving hits, it’s all downhill for me.  The holiday season somehow always turns into a never-ending buffet.

With all the gatherings, get-togethers and parties every weekend until the end of the year, it’s really hard not to eat a little more than usual.  No complaints, though.  I look forward to this eat-a-thon all year long!

Thinking all of the food that will be served this Thursday leads to me question- if you could eat anything you want without gaining weight (and without all the other health-related repercussions), what would you eat?

Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

That’s easy.  I would eat dozens of Levain Bakery’s massive chocolate chip walnut cookies, bowls and bowls of pasta and noodles, and my super guilty pleasure- Chili Cheese Fritos.

I know Alex’s list would include beer, burgers, and pork belly.  But the two of us would definitely pig out on these peanut butter pretzel cheesecakes together.

Rich, creamy, sweet yet salty.  It’s a dessert that’s hard to tire of.  Peanut butter cheesecake with a pretzel-graham cracker crust topped with melted dark chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups.  My mouth is watering just typing out it’s description.

Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

One 9-inch cheesecake is good, 20 mini cheesecakes are better!  I love mini desserts not only because they’re super cute, but it’s a great way to portion control.

Every year, I make 5 dozen or so mini cheesecakes for our family Christmas party.  I have found that people would rather take a mini cheesecake than slice from a giant cheesecake.

But more importantly, I think my little nephews prefer mini desserts that don’t require utensils or plates.  Last year, my mini cheesecake brûlées and mini donuts were a hit!  (And yes, family!  I am bringing these mini cheesecakes to this year’s party.)

I used this mini cheesecake pan to make these cheesecakes.  It has a removable bottom that makes unmolding a breeze.  I find that the easiest way to press the crust into the pan is using a cocktail muddler.  (Who knew a cocktail muddler could do more than make a mojito?!)

Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

After baking, let the cheesecakes come to room temperature in the mold.  Once cool, store the cheesecake in the fridge until chilled throughout.  You can make the cheesecake up to 2 days in advance and leave them in the fridge.

Once you’re ready to assembly, unmold the cheesecakes from the pan.  Set the cheesecake over a wire rack with parchment underneath and have all your toppings ready.

Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

During baking, the cheesecakes may rise and puff a little bit.  Once they cool, they’ll shrink back down.  Don’t worry if the tops of the cheesecakes has wrinkles.  You’ll cover that up with delicious melted dark chocolate.

I saved the leftover pretzel-graham cracker crust and used it to top the chocolate.  And lastly, I topped the cheesecake with chopped mini peanut butter cuts leftover from Halloween.

I suggest assembling the cheesecakes right before serving.  If you place the cheesecakes back in the fridge with the melted chocolate, the chocolate will harden.

I like to serve the chocolate while it’s still all ooey-gooey.  This allows me to gauge how much my family likes it.  If they devour the cheesecakes immediately, they’ll have remains of the melted chocolate along their mouth- meaning they enjoyed it.

Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

Mini Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecakes

Peanut butter cheesecake with a pretzel-graham cracker crust topped with melted dark chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups. Rich, creamy, sweet yet salty, it's a dessert that's hard to tire of!

Yield: makes 20 mini cheesecakes

Author Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Pretzel-Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 cup roughly ground salted mini pretzels
  • 1 cup ground graham crackers
  • 1 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Peanut Butter Cheesecake:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Toppings:

  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped, melted
  • leftover pretzel-graham cracker crust
  • mini peanut butter cups, as needed

Instructions

  1. Pretzel-Graham Cracker Crust: In a food processor, pulse together pretzels and graham cracker until ground.  Transfer to a medium bowl and add sugar and melted butter.  Fold to combine until cracker crumbs are moistened.  Divide among mini cheesecake molds, using a rounded tablespoon of crust for each cheesecake.  Use a tamper or cocktail muddler to pack crust into mold.  Reserve any leftover crust.  Set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  3. Peanut Butter Cheesecake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add cream cheese and sour cream.  Beat on low speed until smooth.  Slowly add sugar while the machine is on low.  Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.  Add vanilla, peanut butter, and heavy cream.  Mix until smooth and combined.  Evenly divide cheesecake filling among molds.  Smooth tops.

  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Cheesecake may puff up slightly during baking, but will flatten once cooled.  Let baked cheesecake cool to room temperature in pan.  Transfer to fridge and let chill for at least 1 hour.

  5. Assembly:  Once cheesecakes are chilled throughout, remove mini cheesecakes from mold.  Spoon about 1 1/2 Tbsp of melted chocolate over cheesecake.  Sprinkle leftover crust over chocolate.  Top cheesecake with chopped mini peanut butter cups.  Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • I suggest assembling the cheesecakes right before serving to keep the chocolate melted.  If you store chocolate covered cheesecake in the fridge, the chocolate will harden.

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Comments

Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com

These just might be the cutest things I’ve ever seen! It’s all about the cheesecake this Thanksgiving! I also love your mini cheesecake pan–yet another kitchen gadget I think I suddenly need!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks Elizabeth! You won’t regret the mini cheesecake pan. I love it! And seriously, when is not a good time to make cheesecake? NEVER! :)

Sarah @ SavoringSpoon

These are so cute! My mom loves cheesecake and peanut butter, so this sounds like the perfect dessert to make for her this holiday season. Thanks for the tip about the mini cheesecake pan too – it’s so cute.

Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

These cheesecakes were cute and delicious as is, and then you topped them with that glistening chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups. I swear your desserts look effortlessly magazine-worthy. Also, where’s my invitation to your family’s yearly gathering??

    Maryanne Cabrera

    What can I say? I’m a sucker for melted chocolate.
    What?! You didn’t get the invitation? I must have the wrong mailing address. ;)

Sarah | Broma Bakery

These are just GORGEOUS Maryanne! Salty, creamy, sweet, and chocolatey? You really can’t ask for more. Oh wait. Mini. It’s too good to be true.

Jen+@+Baked+by+an+Introvert

I may just have to get myself a mini cheesecake pan! These little devils are to die for. Pinning!

Thalia @ butter and brioche

Wish I had a couple of these cheesecakes to devour right now – they look great!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks Thalia! I had to give most of them away because they’re too addicting!

Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong

These cheese cake looks incredible. . I love the the fact that these are bite size. Yumm!!

Nano Cleansers

Great recipe, Thanks.

Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen

These are just adorable. I love sweet and salty desserts – so can’t wait to try these. Beautiful photos, too. Regarding your question about eating anything you want – it would be one of two things – grilled cheese sandwiches or pizza :).

Jessica @ Sweetest Menu

These look magical! I just discovered your blog and i LOVE it!

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