To prepare the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a 9″ springform pan by wrapping it in sheets of aluminum foil. I use 3 layers of extra wide, heavy duty foil wrapped to the top lip of the pan. Spray the inside walls and bottom of the pan with cooking spray.
- Process your chocolate sandwich cookies in the blender on medium speed until they have been reduced to crumbs. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter in a small bowl until the crumbs are well moistened. Gently pat out your mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides if desired. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
To prepare the cheesecake:
- Begin boiling some water in a kettle or saucepan for your water bath.
- Place the softened cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and eggs in the base of your blender. Process on medium speed until well combined, about 10-15 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the cream to the mixture. Turn the blender on for another 10 seconds or until the mixture has been well combined.
- Strain the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer (if desired) into a reserved bowl. Pour the strained batter on top of the crust. Gently rap the pan on the counter to help any air bubbles escape.
- Place your springform pan into a slightly larger baking dish/pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water you prepared for the water bath until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Carefully place both pans in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. After an hour of baking, the edges and top of the cheesecake should be set but still slightly jiggle in the center. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to bake for an additional 30 minutes in the oven. Prop the door of the oven open slightly with a wooden spoon and continue to cool the cheesecake for another 30 minutes in the cooling oven.
- Discard the water bath, remove the foil and then place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for several days.
To prepare the ganache:
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the cream over the stove over microwave until just barely bubbling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and cover the bowl tightly with a sheet of plastic wrap. Allow to rest for five minutes and then stir. If the chocolate has not melted completely, place the entire bowl back in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir again. Stir the peanut butter into the ganache. Spread the ganache evenly over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with the peanuts. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.