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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Allow cream cheese and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, stir together peanuts and flour. Stir in melted butter until combined. Press the mixture onto the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Beat in brown sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until combined. Add the eggs; beat just until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust, spreading evenly.
Place the springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a 2-1/2-inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Cool in the springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool cheesecake completely on the rack. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
Before serving, in a chilled medium mixing bowl, beat the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut butter on medium speed just until smooth. Add whipping cream, granulated sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate candies and, if desired, chopped peanuts.