A smooth and silky no-bake filling comes together in a matter of minutes for this easy crowd-pleasing treat. Be sure to top the squares with peanuts quickly, before the chocolate sets.
- Prep time 40 minutes
- Total time 5 hours & 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin
- 1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese softened
- 85 g semisweet chocolate (about 3 oz) melted and slightly cooled
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup whipping cream (35%)
- 2 teaspoons smooth natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 45 g semisweet chocolate (about 1 1/2 oz) melted and slightly cooled
- 36 peanut halves
Crust: In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in peanut butter and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk flour with salt; stir into butter mixture in 2 additions. Knead gently just until dough comes together.
Press into bottom of parchment paper– lined 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until edges are light golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan.
Filling: While crust is cooling, in small saucepan, add 2 tbsp water; sprinkle gelatin over top. Let stand until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Heat over low heat until gelatin is dissolved, about 1 minute.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth; beat in chocolate, condensed milk, cream, peanut butter, vanilla and gelatin mixture. Scrape over crust, smoothing top. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.) Lift out onto cutting board; cut into 36 squares.
Garnish: Using piping bag fitted with small plain tip, pipe small circle of chocolate in centre of each square; top each circle with 1 peanut half, pressing gently to adhere. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Tip from The Test Kitchen: Make sure to thoroughly beat the cream cheese until smooth to give the cheesecake filling the silkiest texture.
Makes 36 squares.
Nutritional facts per square: about
- Sodium 28 mg
- Sugars 6 g
- Protein 2 g
- Calories 114.0
- Total fat 8 g
- Potassium 49 mg
- Cholesterol 18 mg
- Saturated fat 4 g
- Total carbohydrate 10 g
- Iron 3.0
- Folate 5.0
- Calcium 2.0
- Vitamin A 6.0