Desserts, Gluten Free, Vegan

V/GF Peanut Butter Cheesecakes with a Chocolate Ganache

peanut butter cheesecakesI think chocolate and peanut butter go together like peas and carrots… biscuits and gravy… macaroni and cheese… fried chicken and waffles…bacon and eggs… My list could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.  My point is:  you just can’t have one without the other!  And WHY would you want to?! I know you’re probably thinking, “HOW on earth can these be VEGAN and CHEESEcake?! Well, prepare to be amazed… when you soak cashews in screaming HOT boiling water for about an hour, they blend up (with other ingredients) and take on the same texture as cream cheese.  Amazing, right?!  I’m not going to lie to you.  I’ve been a little apprehensive about making a faux cheesecake.  Because in all honesty I LOVE cheesecake just the way it is with REAL cream cheese.  But because I’ve been on this vegan kick for the last 6 months (which by the way, is slowly killing my husband…not really, but he thinks he’s never full *insert eye roll*).  I decided I HAD TO TRY IT OUT FOR MYSELF.  I didn’t tell him these were VEGAN until he actually said, “WOW!  These are really good!”  To which I responded, “Would you believe it if I told you they’re VEGAN?!”  He gave me a quick eye roll and ate the whole thing, then asked for seconds.  BOOM!  That is what I call success, people.

I used maple syrup to sweeten these up a bit and in all honesty, if you’re not a big peanut butter fan (which would make me really sad), you could totally use almond butter instead and make these paleo if that’s your thing!  I was feeling the peanut butter and chocolate duo, so I went with it!  Making these is quite simple.  All you need is a blender or food processor and a muffin tin.  They do need to freeze for a bit, so if you’re in a hurry, I suggest making them the day before.  Forget about them in the freezer.  About 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve them, pop them out, drizzle some of that chocolate ganache on top… because why not?!   And watch everyone DEVOUR them.  I’m thinking these would be a perfect Super Bowl dessert!  <3

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V/GF Peanut Butter Cheesecakes with a Chocolate Ganache

  • Servings: 12
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The perfect individual dessert! If you're having a crowd over, these are sure to please! Who doesn't love their own personal dessert?!

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 1 cup packed, pitted dated (if your dates are super dry, soak them in hot water for a few minutes)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, quick-soaked
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients for the Ganache:

  • 4 tbsp enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1 – 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 – 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, soak the cashews in boiling water for at least an hour.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and cut little strips of parchment paper coming up the sides.  This helps to pull the cheesecakes out easier after you’ve frozen them.
  3. To a blender of food processor, add the dates, almond flour, and salt.  Blend until a dough forms, about one minute.
  4. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the “dough” into the muffin tin and press it down using your finger or the back of a spoon.  Set in the freezer to firm up.
  5. In the same blender or food processor, add all of the filling ingredients.  Blend until completely smooth…about another minute or so.
  6. Taste the filling and make sure it is sweet enough… has enough peanut butter flavor, etc… Divide the filling evenly among the muffin tins.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 – 6 hours.
  7. Pull out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve.  They’ll loosen up just enough to pull out.  I used a pairing knife to run along the sides, too.
  8. In a small saucepan, add all of the Ganache ingredients.  Cook on low heat until the chocolate and peanut butter melt.  Remove from the heat.  Drizzle the ganache over each cheesecake.
  9. EAT!!!  If you have leftovers, store them in an air tight container in the freezer for 1 to 2 weeks.

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