Peanut Butter Cheesecake With Pretzel Crust

My sister always looks for the richest desserts for the family and this is no exception – it’s basically a Reese’s peanut butter cup cheesecake. This recipe was huge, so we half batched it (thank goodness). Adapted from Taste of Home.

Fun tip: freezing cheesecake always gives perfect slices…plus it tastes infinitely better

The pretzel crust is certainly interesting and gives a salty balance to the sweet cheesecake; however it doesn’t hold that well together, perhaps since it doesn’t absorb the butter as much.

Can you believe this pie is a half batch? Filling should be twice as high!

The salted peanut topping matches the pretzels’ sweet salty mix. We actually didn’t have enough peanuts, so we hand picked peanuts from our mini packets of trail mix. Normally I’m not a fan of salted nuts (since nuts in bulk are always salted, I actually “wash” them in water then re-roast them in the oven!). But my sister forgot that we were half batching, so we need all the salted peanuts we could to counter the sugar (fortunately she reduced the sugar for the “full batch” amount). I thought it was still a sweet, but my brother thought it was great.


1/2 cup crushed pretzels
6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 1/2 packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup peanut butter chips + semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts

In a small bowl, combine pretzels and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a pie tin. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs; beat on low just until combined. Stir in chips. Pour over the crust. Return pan to baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from the oven; let stand for 15 minutes (leave oven on).

For topping, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, peanut butter and sugar; spread over filling. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 5 more minutes.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Freeze overnight, then serve. 

Notes: I turned the oven off and used the remaining heat the finish baking the topping.

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