Fudgy brownie topped with a creamy layer of peanut butter banana cheesecake!
Sometimes you just have to go back to your roots.
I’ve been having fun with pumpkin and cookie butter and white chocolate, but let’s be honest. Chocolate and peanut butter will always have my heart. And as I look back over the last few months of blogging, there is just not enough of it. So in case you had any doubt, let me reassure you that I will always and forever love that combination.
The other thing I realized I haven’t done in a while is cheesecake. In fact, I think the last cheesecake I made was this Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake. I guess it was hard to come up with anything close to as good as that one. But let me tell you, we are in major cheesecake territory here.
These Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars are pretty much dessert rock stars. The base is a fudgy brownie just thick enough to get your chocolate fix, but thin enough that it doesn’t overpower the bars. The cheesecake filling is a light and creamy, yet rich, combination of banana and peanut butter that will have you craving them well after your last bite. I thought about adding another layer of caramel and peanuts or chocolate ganache but I actually think that would have been too much. Sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with a really good thing.
Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars
Makes 24 bars
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
3 ounces (6 tablespoons / 3/4 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
15 ounces (~1 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs OR 1 x-large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 ounces (~1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature (light or regular)
11 1/4 ounces (~3/4 cup) granulated sugar
7 ounces (~3/4 cup) mashed banana (~2 medium bananas)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs or 1 x-large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Line a 13×9 pan with tin foil and coat with cooking spray; set aside
Melt chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low to heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat
Stir in sugar
Whisk in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla
Whisk in flour and salt just until smooth (do not overmix)
Spread brownie batter evenly in prepared baking pan and set aside to make cheesecake layer
In the large bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese on high speed for until it is light and creamy (about 6 minutes)
Mix in sugar on medium-high speed for two minutes; scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula
Add the banana, peanut butter, vanilla and salt and mix on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes), again scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula
Then, add your eggs, one at a time, mixing at medium speed until smooth and creamy (about 30 seconds)
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until edges begin to come apart from sides of pan and cheesecake is set
Refrigerate a couple of hours until cool and completely set
Cut into squares and serve; store remaining cheesecake in the refrigerator up o three days
And while we are talking about it, here are a few of my favorite peanut butter and chocolate recipes: