Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars

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Fudgy brownie topped with a creamy layer of peanut butter banana cheesecake!

Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars: 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.

Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars: Fudgy brownie topped with a creamy layer of peanut butter banana cheesecake!

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.

Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars: Fudgy brownie topped with a creamy layer of peanut butter banana cheesecake!

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: Fudgy brownie topped with a creamy layer of peanut butter banana cheesecake!

Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients:

Brownie Layer:
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

Cheesecake Layer:
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

Directions:

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

 

Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars: Fudgy brownie topped with a creamy layer of peanut butter banana cheesecake!

And while we are talking about it, here are a few of my favorite peanut butter and chocolate recipes:

Big, Chewy, Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Brownie Bites

Fluffernutter Chocolate Cake

Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Icing and Chocolate Ganache

Thick and Chewy Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Toffee Bars

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8 Responses to “Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars”

  1. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) December 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Occasionally, I think maybe I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter. It’s too gooey and gloppy. But then I remember that’s ridiculous and peanut butter is basically the best, especially when paired with chocolate. But the banana thrown in? That’s putting me over the edge! :)

  2. thelittleloaf December 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Chocolate and peanut butter will always hold a special place in my heart too :-) LOVE the look of these Lauren.

  3. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic December 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Dessert rockstar indeed! This looks sooooo good!

  4. DessertForTwo December 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    I’ve been missing your chocolate-PB recipes, too. So glad to have another one :)

  5. Audra | The Baker Chick December 10, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    These are so up my alley. As much as I love fun holiday treats- peanut butter, banana and chocolate are flavors I will always always love!!

  6. Joanne December 10, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    I’ve been neglecting the chocolate and peanut butter combo also and it is a sad, sad thing! I need to travel back to my roots with these bars!

  7. Rachel December 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    These look awesome! I love anything cheesecake basically :) Sadly since I was pregnant, I have just not had the same love of peanut butter! I was hoping that my aversion would go away after I had P, but unfortunately now I’m just indifferent towards it….this from the girl who used to carry a jar of pb in her purse…sigh.

    • Keep It Sweet January 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

      I can’t believe you didn’t get your love for peanut butter back! I can’t decide if that would be a blessing or a curse lol.