Make Ahead

Peanut Butter and Jelly Picnic Cheesecake (Vegan)

August  9, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Jillian Krebsbach
  • Serves 12-14
Author Notes

Old-school favorites reunite in this spin on the classic sandwich in a delectable dessert format. Your taste buds are sure to have a party! —Jillian Krebsbach

What You'll Need
  • Crust
  • 1/2 cup graham crackers finely grounded
  • 1/2 cup pretzel sticks coarsely grounded
  • 1/4 cup sea salt potato chips with ridges, coasely grounded
  • 3 tablespoons Sucanat or unrefined raw sugar
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (room temp/melted)
  • 1 tablespoon Almond or other nondairy milk
  • Cheesecake Filling, Layers and Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight and drained)
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (use creamier portion at the top of the can if possible)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter of choice
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil+ 1 teaspoon for chocolate dipped potato chips
  • 1/3 cup light brown agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice+4 tablespoons juice reserved for berry jelly preserves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups whole potato chips with ridges (1 cup for topping, 1 cup for filling)
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips (for dipped potato chip topping)
  • 12 ounces fresh blackberries, washed (for preserves)
  • 6 tablespoons Sucanat or unrefined raw sugar (for preserves)
  • 2 teaspoons white chia seeds (for preserves)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (to dilute preserves for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted chopped peanuts (for topping)
  1. Crust
  2. Grease spring form pan with coconut oil.
  3. Put 1/2 cup graham crackers (3 sheets roughly) into food processor. Grind crackers to a fine crumb. Next throw chips into food processor and then pretzels. I processed all three crust ingredients separately to get the right texture. For pretzels and potato chips I just did a few pulses for larger, coarser crumbs.
  4. Mix ground graham crackers, pretzels and chips together in a bowl with coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Once all ingredients are mixed, spoon them into the spring form pan. Press mixture evenly with hands or back of a large spoon to compact and form crust. Put crust in freezer for an hour to solidify.
  1. Cheesecake Filling, Layers and Topping
  2. Remove chilled crust from freezer. Blend raw cashews (drain first) coconut milk, coconut oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sea salt (optional) in a food processor. Be sure to process ingredients for several minutes until mixture is completely smooth. You may need to take breaks and scrape the sides down of the container to make sure all the cashew bits are ground. Use a knife or spoon to spread evenly.
  3. Take the cheesecake mixture you just blended from the processor and pour out approximately half of it onto the cheesecake crust. Use a knife or spoon to spread evenly. Return mixture to the freezer for approx. 45 minutes so the 1st layer batter can harden a bit While waiting for the mixture to harden, you can make the jelly preserves and chocolate dipped potato chips.
  4. To make Jelly Preserves: Heat a medium size stock pot to medium high. Put berries into pot and cook until softened. Reduce the heat. Add lemon juice and sugar and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Use a large fork or potato masher to break the mixture down further and help dissolve the hard parts of the berries. Remove pot from heat. Add 2 teaspoons of white chia seeds to the berry mixture. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Return to fridge to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  5. To make Chocolate dipped potato chips: Place ¾ of the total amount of chocolate into a heat safe bowl and place over the top of a pan of simmering water. If you have a double boiler, use that. Heat stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted, then continue to heat the chocolate to 110 degrees F( 43 degrees C) stirring occasionally. As soon as the melted chocolate reaches temperature, remove it from the heat and stir the remaining chocolate chips in. Continue stirring until the chocolate has cooled to 90 degrees (32 degrees C) Use tongs or your hands to carefully dip potato chips in one at a time. Place on dipped chips on parchment paper. Cool until set in the refrigerator.
  6. When the time is up, remove the cheesecake from the freezer. Take remaining 1 cup of potato chips (not dipped) and lay them on flat on top of the 1st layer of the cheesecake cake. You may have to break up chips so they lay flat. Then pour a thin layer of the jelly preserves on top of the chips. Smooth out with a knife. Return cake to freezer for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove cake again from freezer. Spoon the remaining cheesecake batter on top of the jelly layer. Smooth out with a knife. You can remove the spring form pan but first run a warm knife along the edges of the ring so the ring comes off easily. At this stage, you can add the jelly/peanut/chip topping if you like.
  8. For Topping: Place remaining jelly preserves into a plastic squeeze bottle. Add warm water to help dilute and shake vigorously. If mixture clumps up, you can use a toothpick to clear the hole of the squeeze cap. Sprinkle roasted peanuts and drizzle preserves on top of the cake. Take chocolate dipped chips out of the fridge and stagger chips along the outside of the cake slightly overlapping.
  9. Cover and return cheesecake to freezer for 2 more hours.
  10. Defrost cheesecake ideally for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Slice the cake with a serrated knife dipped in hot water. Enjoy!
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1 Review

David August 16, 2016
This was fantastic. Served cold, with contrasts of sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy, it's a perfect summer dessert!