This might be the best chocolate and peanut butter experiment that’s come out of my kitchen.
Ever want to put something on your bagel like chocolate or nutella but don’t want something quite that sweet? Maybe peanut butter but not quite that heavy? Maybe cream cheese but not quite that plain?
I am faced with this dilemma quite often as I eat bagels all the time. But before I get to talking about the spread, I have to address the bagel. For the record, I’ve lived in the midwest and know what it’s like to have to rely on Panera for a halfway decent bagel. It was all well and good, until I tried one of these. For those of you who have had the pleasure of living in or visiting the NY area, you might know that it is the land of glorious bagels. And if NYC is bagel paradise, Ess-a-bagel is it’s king.
I used to work a couple blocks from one of the two locations, and would go at least a couple times a week bringing spoils home with me to share and to hoard away for safekeeping in my freezer. These bagels are fluffy, chewy and just that right amount of dense – basically, they’re just damned good. And always fresh – I once watched as the man behind the counter sliced my bagel open and steam wafted out. I looked on, amazed and drooling.
Enough about the bagel, onto the spread. This indulgent spread brings out the best of each ingredient. The peanut butter brings down the sweetness of the chocolate and it’s heaviness is lifted and made lighter by the cream cheese. I’m really not sure I can stress how good this is. It’s so easy to make and will last you morning after morning in your fridge. As for how long it technically lasts… unfortunately I am no scientist, but I assume about as long as the cream cheese you use for the recipe.
Also, out of the fridge when it’s solid, it tastes like the inside of a dark chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. Mmm MMM! Right after you mix it (before it’s refrigerated, while it’s easier to work with) I’d bet it’d make an excellent topping for cupcakes. You might just have to double or triple the recipe, since it only makes about a cup’s worth.
When you spread the cold c&pb mixture on your warm bagel it instantly starts to melt and the smell of warm chocolate and peanut butter hits your nose. What better way to start your day? Though, I have to be honest here, I didn’t trust my own recipe. I only put the spread on half of my sacred bagel. I tasted the spread and knew it was good, but was scared it was too sweet for the morning. So I intended to use plain old cream cheese for the other half to balance things out. But after scarfing down the first half, I quickly ran back to the kitchen for more of the chocolate peanut butter goodness. As I said earlier, the peanut butter brought down the sweetness of the chocolate. Delicious.
Make this recipe. Kids, adults and even proclaimed cream cheese haters (like my taste taster) will love it!
Recipe after the break.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp salted butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp cream cheese
1. Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, stir, then another 20 seconds, stir, then another 10 seconds and stir again. Proceed in this manner until the chocolate is completely melted, but do not overcook.
2. In another bowl, beat the peanut butter with the melted chocolate mixture until combined. Then add the cream cheese and beat until no white streaks remain.
3. Package the spread in a tightly sealed plastic container. Check the date that’s on your cream cheese container and write it on the spread container so you know how long it should last.