Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
2½ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Peanut Butter Cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze:
6 ounces milk or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons vegetable shortening (can substitute coconut oil)

Directions:

1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter and toss together with a fork until the crumbs are all evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack and cool.

2. Make the Cheesecake Layer: Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter and flour on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Slowly pour in the milk and then the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

3. Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cheesecake layer is set around the edges and still appears slightly soft when the pan is wiggled. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

4. Make the Chocolate Glaze: Combine the chopped chocolate and vegetable shortening in a small bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cheesecake layer. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.