I didn't cry when she graduated from high school. Well, maybe a snot and a snort or two into an old McDonald's napkin I found in my purse.
I didn't cry when she turned 18. One single solitary soaked pillowcase doesn't count... for crying out loud!
But today the floodgates open because the baby turns 21 at midnight. And tonight while I'm bawling my eyes out, I'll lay out her Barney underpants, her navy blue polka dotted Easter dress with matching bonnet, her white ruffled anklets and her First Communion shoes, and when she gets home from the bars, I'm going to dress her up and rock her to sleep.
She requested a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for her 21st birthday and I made it under protest. For by making it for her, I'm acknowledging that she really, really is turning 21 and there is not a darn thing I can do to stop it.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (this was one package for me)
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
4 TBSP light corn syrup
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Reese's peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped.(I used 8 of the .55 ounce size)
1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 10" springform pan. Place pan on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
In a microwave-safe bowl, place the 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Microwave at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Add remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream and stir well to combine
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup of the cream. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on low speed just until combined.
Pour half of filling mixture onto cooled crust. Dollop half of the chocolate/peanut butter mixture onto filling. Using small spatula or butter knife, gently swirl the chocolate and peanut butter into the filling. Add the remaining filling and dollop the remaining chocolate and peanut butter mixture onto filling. Repeat swirling.
Place cheesecake on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 70-75 minutes or until center is almost set. (I baked mine for 75 minutes and I think it still could have used a few more minutes.)
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; then let cheesecake cool completely before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight.
The following day, remove the springform pan and place cheesecake (with bottom pan) on serving platter or cake plate. Place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool slightly; pour over cheesecake. Decorate top with chopped Reeses candy and peanuts. Return to refrigerator until topping is set. Store leftovers in the refrigerator
Edited 7/27: You thought I was kidding, didn't you.