One thing that I often forget when making cheesecakes is how long they take to bake and set up in the fridge. So it’s best to make this cheesecake the day before you plan to serve it. When you’re ready to dig in, top slices with whipped cream and salted peanuts, to give your guests a little hint at what’s inside.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 1/2 hours
Total time: 5 hours
Yield: 8-12 servings
For the crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 18 squares)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup Smooth Operator peanut butter
For the filling
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup Smooth Operator peanut butter
For the garnish, optional
Chopped roasted salted peanuts
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and peanut butter in a medium bowl until mixture resembles wet sand. Press into the greased pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Let cool completely.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one a time, mixing after each. Mix in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl and add it all at once to the mixer. Mix until just incorporated.
4. Pour 1 cup of the filling into a medium bowl and set aside. Pour remaining filling into the pan on top of the cooled crust. Add peanut butter to the reserved filling and stir until smooth. Spoon on top of the filling and use a knife to gently swirl it into the rest of the filling.
5. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 200°F and bake for an additional two and a half hours until the center is firm and no longer appears shiny or wet. Turn off the oven and let cheesecake cool inside the oven for 2 hours. Transfer to the fridge and let chill for up to 4 hours or overnight.
6. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove springform pan ring. Serve slices with whipped cream and salted peanuts, if desired.