- Peanut Butter Swirl:
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 4 large eggs
Heat oven to 350°.
Combine crust ingredients and stir with a fork until well blended. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Place the pan on a large square of heavy duty foil and wrap the outside, up to but not over the rim. The foil is to cover the seams, since the cheesecake will finish baking later in a pan of water.
Place the prepared crust in the 350° oven. Bake for 9 minutes; remove to a rack and lower oven temperature to 325°.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in 1 1/2 cups of sugar, the vanilla, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat just until well blended. Pour filling into the prepared crust. Put little dollops of peanut butter swirl all over the cheesecake, then swirl in with a small spatula or butter knife. Note: if dollops sink into the batter before you're able to spread, thin the peanut butter mixture with a little milk or cream, and drop smaller amounts. Repeat until all of the swirl mixture is used. Set the cheesecake in a roasting pan. Put the pan with the cheesecake on the oven rack then slowly add boiling water to the larger pan to a depth of about 2 inches. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set. The middle will still be a little jiggly.
Remove the springform pan to a rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and carefully remove the rim.
Serve this delicious cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped peanuts for garnish. Serves 12.