Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Whipped Marshmallow and Bananas.

I’m setting the first bad example of 2015.

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Or the really great example?

I’ve only been waiting FOREVER AND A DAY to share this cheesecake with you.

Because we, um, ate it on… Thanksgiving. Yeah.

I wasn’t feeling pumpkin pie and wanted something different. Like something not filled with chocolate. Crazy.

It was definitely a risky move but GAH. This is so good. It was a bit strange eating peanut butter cheesecake after turkey and stuffing, but in the days that followed? This was the most popular breakfast, lunch and snack. It was gone in two days.

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It was nearly impossible to not share it with you before the holidays, but I really felt like this was a January dessert. A wintery dessert, if you will. An I-ate-too-many-cookies-and-chocolate-in-December dessert.

Plus I figured that with the peanut butter (protein) and banana (fruit), I could swing it as being a balanced nutritious cake because that’s how I do.

Yeah I know.

peanut butter cheesecake with whipped marshmallow and bananas I howsweeteats.com

So the cheesecake. It’s like the inside of a peanut butter cup. Super fluffy and sweet and peanut buttery. Otherwise known as heaven.

Also: the crust is made with peanut butter cookies. Freaking peanut butter cookies. Wait. Freaking peanut butter cookies MIXED with butter.

Uh huh.

I don’t know who I think I am.

The marshmallow frosting adds the best fluffy topping – but whipped cream would work in a pinch. I mean, the marshmallow is ideal, and I always want to do a full on faceplant into the mixer while making the fluff, but whipped cream may cut the sweetness a bit. If you need that type of thing.

peanut butter cheesecake with whipped marshmallow and bananas I howsweeteats.com

I feel that the bananas need no explanation, but since I’m super annoying and wordy I shall give one. Bananas and peanut butter just go together. The flavors here mesh so well, that it’s like you can’t ever imagine NOT eating peanut butter with marshmallow and banana. I can get behind that.

peanut butter cheesecake with whipped marshmallow and bananas I howsweeteats.com

Oh oh.

You can also swap out the peanut butter cookie crust for a chocolate crust or add some hot fudge on top to complete that perfect combo. Or… if you’re just not a chocolate person (uh what? I know this exists but it does not compute.) – then this is the best dessert for you.

No chocolate anywhere!

Unless you want.

peanut butter cheesecake with whipped marshmallow and bananas I howsweeteats.com

How does one stay out of this cake?

peanut butter cheesecake with whipped marshmallow and bananas I howsweeteats.com

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Marshmallow Frosting and Bananas

Ingredients:

crust
2 cups crushed peanut butter cookies
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

cheesecake
3 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

marshmallow frosting
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
freshly sliced bananas for serving

Directions:

crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together the peanut butter cookie crumbs and melted butter, then press it into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until it's just slightly set. Let cool completely.

cheesecake
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add in the peanut butter and sugar, then beat on medium speed until combined and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when needed. Beat in the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs one at a time until just combined. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the crust, smoothing out the top. Place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake the cheesecake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Remove and let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.

marshmallow frosting
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl, preferably the bowl of your electric stand mixer. Place over top of a double-boiler that contains simmering water, and whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are slightly warm. Immediately remove the bowl and place it on your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beating slow at first and gradually increasing the speed to high. Beat for 6-7 minutes until glossy and thick, then beat in vanilla extract for another minute until combined.

Pile the frosting on top of the cheesecake before serving (an hour or two ahead of time is okay). Serve with fresh bananas.

[cake adapted from taste of home, marshmallow from this lemon cake]

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peanut butter cheesecake with whipped marshmallow and bananas I howsweeteats.com

I want to cake myself in the face right now.