“Mr. Tulkinghorn, sitting in the twilight by the open window, enjoys his wine. As if it whispered to him of its fifty years of silence and seclusion, it shuts him up the closer. More impenetrable than ever, he sits, and drinks, and mellows as it were in secrecy, pondering at that twilight hour on all the mysteries he knows.”
-Charles Dickens, Bleak House
_ _ Nothing goes together better than peanut butter and chocolate, except maybe bacon and everything… I may not have the most advanced palette when it comes to food, but only a fool would dislike these. That’s really all there is to say.
*Note: This makes a lot of extra brownie mix so unless you want to make, like, 20 of these jars, you can always do as I did and bake the rest of the brownies in a muffin tin.
Servings: 10-12 (plus extra brownies)
1 box Brownie Mix (I used the extra fudgy kind)
10-12 tbsp Caramel Sauce (like the kind you put on ice cream)
16oz Cream Cheese, at room temp
2 large Eggs, at room temp
2/3 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
White and Dark Chocolate Baking Discs, for drizzling (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix it in thoroughly. Add the brown sugar, peanut butter and cream. Once those are all combined, stir in the vanilla by hand. Place the cream cheese mixture in the fridge while assembling the rest of the recipe.
2. Preheat the oven as the brownie box suggests (most likely 350°F) put together the brownie mix according to the box instructions. Fill 10-12 (4oz) mason jars about 1/3 full of brownie mix (and put the rest in greased muffin tins if you wish). Place the mason jars on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 20-25 minutes until there is a crust on top of them but a tooth pick comes out still a little sticky… you don’t want them totally cooked through because they’re continue to cook with the cheesecake layer.
3. Reduce the oven heat to 275°F
4. Because the brownie mix rises, it had a rounded top, so I used a spoon to lightly press it down into a flat surface. Spoon about a tablespoon of caramel on top of the brownies.
5. Spoon the cooled cream cheese mixture into a piping bag, or a sandwich bag and cut off the tip. Pipe it on top of the caramel layer until it’s slightly lower than the rim of the jar and use a spoon to smooth the top.
6. Place the jars in a deep cake pan and fill the pan with hot water until it reaches about 3/4 of the way up the mason jars. Carefully put the pan in the oven and bake for an hour and a half. Remove the jars from the water bath and allow to cool.
*Note: The cheesecake will likely rise up out of the jars, but once it cools it will settle back down.
7. After the jars have cooled, melt some white and dark chocolate discs and drizzle them over the top of the cheese cake (or put them in sandwich bags and cut the tip, for a more uniform drizzle). Also drizzle with more caramel and you can garnish with peanut butter cups if you want!