* 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/4 cup crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 6 tablespoons butter, melted
* 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
* 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
* 3 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, divided
* 12 peanut butter cups, cut into quarters
In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, cookie crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until set.*** Cool on a wire rack. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat peanut butter on high for 30 seconds or until softened. Spread over crust to within 1 in. of edges.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour 1 cup into a bowl; set aside. Pour remaining filling over peanut butter layer. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 1/4 cup fudge topping on high for 30 seconds or until thin; fold into reserved cream cheese mixture. Carefully pour over filling; cut through with a knife to swirl.
Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
Microwave remaining fudge topping for 30 seconds or until warmed; spread over cheesecake. Garnish with peanut butter cups. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Yield: 12-14 servings.
*** I placed a pan in the oven on the rack below and filled it about an inch full of hot water and left it in the oven while the cheesecake was baking. I don’t know if it made a difference in this recipe, but my cheesecake had NO cracks in it.