In the quaint coastal town of Ocean Springs, MS, Pastry Chef Jaqueline Ladnier is up baking before most of us have had our first cup of coffee. Jackie, as the locals call her, discovered her love of baking after years of dreaming how she could make her own mark in small town America. She worked as a waitress and later in a bakery, where her path become clear. Now after several years, and much trial and error, this self taught baker is rocking the scene of South Mississippi with locations now open in both Ocean Springs and Long Beach. Serving French classics with a Southern flair, she appreciates local products, and her cakes and cheesecakes are as beautiful as they are tasty receiving recognition from Coastal Living and Paula Deen Magazine recently.
One of Jackie’s favorite ingredients is peanut butter. With most commercially available peanut butter in the U.S. hailing from family farms in the Southern U.S., consumption of peanut butter is a great way to easily support local farmers. With the holidays quickly approaching we asked Jackie to share one of her holiday favorites. We sure are glad we did!
Feast your eyes on this decadent cheesecake topped with a crowd-pleasing favorite – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Loaded with peanut butter and cream cheese – this holiday treat is sure to please your crowd!
Jacqueline Ladnier’s Incredible Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Cheesecake
- 1 cup chocolate wafer cookies, crumbled
- ½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
- Pinch of salt
- 32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old fashioned or freshly ground)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- 2 ½ cups Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (about 10 ounces) cut into ¾ inch pieces
- 2 cups sour cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan.
- Mix chocolate cookie crumbs, chopped peanuts, melted butter, brown sugar and pinch of salt in bowl until well combined.
- Press mixture evenly onto bottom and ½ inch up sides of pan. Bake until crust is set, about 8 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
- Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar in large bowl until smooth.
- Add peanut butter and vanilla extract and beat just until blended.
- Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Add whipping cream and beat until smooth.
- Stir in peanut butter cup pieces.
- Pour filling into crust.
- Bake until sides of cake are set but center still moves slightly, about 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
- Blend sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract in medium bowl. Carefully spoon topping over cheesecake.
- Return cheesecake to oven and bake for 5 minutes.
- Cool cheesecake in pan on rack.
- Run small sharp knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
NOTE: This can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Release pan sides. Let stand 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.
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