And here's a bit of history about Reese's Peanut Butter Cups from The Nibble: Harry Burnett Reese, a former dairy employee of Milton S. Hershey, was so inspired by Mr. Hershey that he left to start his own candy business. The H.B. Reese Candy Company had some success with Johnny Bars and Lizzie Bars (caramel-like molasses and coconut candy) and also had its share of adversity.
By the mid-1920s, it was manufacturing a product made with
specially-processed peanut butter and chocolate from the local Hershey
Chocolate Company. Introduced simply as peanut butter cups, as its popularity grew
the candy became known as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Fast-forward to 1963:
Reese returns to Hershey’s when The H.B. Reese Candy Company, Inc. was sold for
$23.5 million to the Hershey Chocolate Company (then known as Hershey Foods
Decorating the top of the cheesecake: I'm a purist, but you can add pieces of Reese's on the top or drizzle with chocolate or sprinkle with peanuts... whatever!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
For the Crust
4 cups crushed Oreos
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
2 lbs cream cheese, softened
5 eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 Reese's Peanut Butter cups, broken into pieces (maybe 4 per piece/your preference?)
(Optional) For the Topping
3 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
Plan ahead--cheesecake needs to chill for at least 4 hours.
To Make the Crust
Combine crushed Oreo cookies and peanuts that have been ground in a food processor with the melted butter.
Pat the crust mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
To Make the Filling
Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth.
Stir in vanilla, then fold in peanut butter cup pieces with a rubber spatula.
Pour filling into prepared crust.
Place springform pan into a larger baking pan.
Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake at 275°F almost 2 hours (check at 1 hour 45--keep checking if not done in 2 hours), or until firm (but slightly springy--it will firm up a bit as it cools) and lightly browned.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour.
You may run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
(Optional) For the Topping
Combine the sour cream and sugar and spread on the cheesecake.
Return the cake to the oven for 5 minutes.