Sunday Salon: Pizza, Cake, Beer, and Loot Bags!

So, today I’m away from the computer, because I’m busy getting ready for (and having) my 26th birthday party. In place of “real” content, I’m going to leave you with the recipe for – and tantalizing pictures of – the birthday cake I made for myself. Be jealous!!!

(And don’t forget that you can – as always – click on the pictures to see them full-size.)

The finished result.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake

(adapted from this recipe at Willow Bird Baking)

Crust Ingredients:

  • 32 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs (I used one box of whole cookies, including the icing)
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • small pinch of salt

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups table cream (ended up being a little less after simmering since some volume was lost due to “skin” forming)
  • 16 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (this is 4 ounces less than the original recipe, but it made more than enough)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter (to replace the original molasses, coffee, and half the original vanilla)
  • 3 large eggs

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter (to replace the original vanilla, since I ran out)

Cookie Dough Layer Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter (to replace the original vanilla, since I ran out)
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips (to replace the original chocolate ones)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons water (I used 4)


To make the crust, butter a 9-inch springform pan. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides).

Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour 1.5-2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.

Preheat the oven to 350? F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.

After the first round of baking, still in the water bath.

Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Enclose the bottom of the springform pan in tightly wrapped foil and place it in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water about halfway up the cheesecake pan, careful not to let the moisture touch the cheesecake. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour (mine took longer). Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing the topping (maintaining the oven temperature.)

To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream, sugar and peanut butter in a small bowl. Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake, spreading to cover the filling completely. Bake until the topping is set, about 10-15 minutes (mine took a bit longer). Return to the cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.

Ready to start assembling.

To make cookie dough layer, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, salt, peanut butter, and chips. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have reached a cookie dough consistency. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper (I used wax paper). Spoon the cookie dough into the pan and flatten to an even layer. Freeze the cookie dough layer until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).

Huzzah! The crust survived, even with the cookie filling incorporated.

To finish, wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides. Carefully remove the springform. Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Turn cookie dough out of cake pan and place layer on top of cheesecake, pressing it gently into place. Place the reserved ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and use to garnish the top of the cake as desired. Chill until the ganache is completely firm, at least 6 hours.

Decorating Pictures:

All the pieces are together.


By the time we’re done, each of those 16 slices marked out will be worth … 841 calories!?!


The ganache was perfect for evening out the sides and creating an “edge” to the cake.


Look at the cute little rosebud edges!


You can never have too many rosebuds. Or ganache.

3 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Pizza, Cake, Beer, and Loot Bags!”

  1. Dear readers, you should be extremely jealous because this cake was EVEN BETTER tasting than it looks and sounds. Yep, I got to eat it. Nom nom nom. Thanks again for having me Carina 😀 <3

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