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Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Layered Cheesecake

Contributed by: NAPSA

If You Know That They're Coming, Bake A Cheesecake (NAPSA) - No matter what the occasion, a slice of rich, creamy, silky-smooth cheesecake is a tantalizing way to top off a memorable feast.

Cheesecake may be a classic holiday dessert, but that doesn't mean you can't improve upon perfection. From luscious ingredient additions to better baking methods, it's possible to bake up a cake that's reason enough to celebrate on its own. Consider these preparation tips:

  • For even marbling and the best distribution of added ingredients-such as nuts or Reese's new Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chips-do not over-soften or over-beat the cream cheese.

  • Avoid overbaking. Cheesecake baking times are not always exact, due to variations in ovens. The cheesecake will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven. The center of the cheesecake should be just slightly moist when it is ready to be removed.

  • Baked cheesecakes freeze well. Cool completely and wrap securely in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap; do not freeze cheesecakes with garnishes or toppings.
One way to wow your guests this year is with this rich recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cartons (8 oz. each) dairy sour cream
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups (11 oz. package) Reese's Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chips, divided
  • 1 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)

Directions:

Heat oven to 325 F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa and melted butter in medium bowl. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and about 11/2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 minutes; remove from oven. Cool slightly.

Increase oven temperature to 350 F. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and vanilla on medium speed of mixer until well-blended. Add sour cream; beat on low speed until blended. Add eggs; beat on low speed until just blended. Do not over-beat.

Pour 2 cups filling into prepared crust. Reserve 1/4 cup chips for drizzle. Sprinkle remaining 11/2 cup chips evenly over filling in pan. Carefully spoon remaining filling over chips.

Bake about 1 hour or until center is almost set. Remove from oven. Using knife or narrow metal spatula, loosen cheesecake from side of pan. Cool on wire rack additional 30 minutes. Remove side of pan; cool 1 hour.

Combine shortening and reserved 1/4 cup chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High (100%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave on High additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Drizzle over cheesecake; cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Cover and refrigerate leftovers.

Serving Size: Makes 12 to 14 servings


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