This treat is sinfully good. I really didn't need to be taste testing it at breakfast, but my word it was wonderous. Thank goodness I sent everything off with Paul is all I have to say about that...ehehehe. Anywho this yummy is based loosely on this Toll House recipe. In the future I probably will make it in pie form, but it's easier to send to the office in squares. Not that the shape really matters all that much. ;)
Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used one sleeve)
1/3 cup tub margarine, melted
2 tbls sugar
1 tsp dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts, roughly crushed
1/2 cup caramel, thinned with milk (caramel topping would also be fine)
12 oz milk chocolate chips
6 oz peanut butter chips
14 oz non fat sweetened condensed milk
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
8 oz Cool Whip Free, thawed
3 oz melted milk chocolate, (garnish)
1/3 unsalted dry roasted peanuts (garnish)
For the crust, combine the margarine, sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs. Press into a 9x9 greased pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350. Spread the caramel across the crust and top with the crushed nuts. Press the nuts down into the caramel. Cool.
Combine the 12 ounces milk chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in a bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring often to prevent overheating. Set the melted chips to the side for the moment. Beat the cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk together. Add in the melted chocolate mixture and mix well. Stir in whipped topping until well combined. Pour mixture over the cooled crust and spread evenly. Pop pan into the fridge to cool.
For garnish melt the 3 oz milk chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Spoon a third of the chocolate into a ziplock bag with one corner snipped off for chocolate drizzle. Seal the bag and set to the side for the moment. Combine the remaining melted chocolate and the 1/3 cup peanuts. Use a spoon to spread the chocolate covered nuts across a piece of waxed paper in clusters no larger than two. Put the nuts into the fridge to set. When the chocolate covered nuts have hardened enough to handle remove them from the fridge along with the pan of treats. Spread the chocolate covered nuts across the top of the cheesecake squares. Use the ziplock bag to drizzle lines of chocolate across the top of the nuts. Return the pan to the fridge to cool. Cut into squares before serving.
A few pics of the process...
A little picture before I sliced up the goods this morning. I really think some drizzled caramel would have looked lovely in addition to the chocolate covered nuts and milk chocolate, but I used up all the caramel I had ready topping the crust.
Peanut and caramel topped chocolate crust. Is it done yet? If you are using standard caramel it's easy to thin with a couple tbls of milk/evaporated milk to make it easier to spread and nosh. I usually have thinned homemade caramel in the freezer ready to use because it's handy. I do the same with fudge sauce....which reminds me I need to make some. ;)
Chocolate covered peanuts for the garnish. Yes, it was a wee bit on the tedious side to drop one chocolate covered nut onto the wax paper at a time. I cheated with the occasional cluster of two. If you end up with clusters any larger though it would be super hard to cut into portions.