Summer is winding down, and though the evenings are getting cooler, mid-day outdoors still tends to coat me in a sheen of sweat. Because of central air conditioning, August is a much more pleasant month than it used to be, and I am glad to spend the days baking treats inside instead of baking my pale skin outside.
Tennessee Williams sets the backdrop for A Streetcar Named Desire as a Louisiana summer in the 1940s. The air is heavy and dense, in many manners of speaking. Stella knows that her husband Stanley is sinful but can’t seem to get enough of him. And while I agree that there are few things yummier than a young, pouty Marlon Brando – I may have found one of them to be peanut butter cheesecake bars. The combination of cream cheese, graham cracker crust, peanut butter and chocolate chip may even drive you crazy.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars:
12 oz cream cheese
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp melted butter (unsalted)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Make graham cracker crust by combining graham cracker, brown sugar, and butter in food processor. Press to make even layer on bottom of greased baking pan. Bake in oven for five minutes, allow to cool on stovetop while making the cheesecake batter.
3. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, brown sugar, salt, and egg using electric mixer. Add milk a bit at a time, incorporating well into the batter. Fold in chocolate chips with spatula.
4. Pour cheesecake batter over cooled graham cracker crust. Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack (still in baking pan) for an hour, then chill in refrigerator for two hours. Remove from baking pan and cut into bars.
5. (Optional:) Sprinkle with cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar.
Enjoy your peanut butter cheesecake bars with A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, and check in at warandpeach.wordpress.com for future recipes and book reviews!