I debated what dessert I wanted to make for Easter dinner with my boyfriend's family for a couple days. I'll whip up whatever I feel like when I'm baking or cooking for myself, no real thought process needed. When I know more than Harley and I will be eating what I bake, a little more effort goes into the mix. So, I explored online for hours, ogling at all the drool worthy pictures on foodgawker. For some reason everything peanut butter was hinting to me. Through all the different cupcakes, tarts, tortes, cakes, you name it, peanut butter kept whispering sinfully convincing words into my ear. So it was finalized; I was going to make SOMETHING with peanut butter...now what do I make? I saw what looked like an amazing recipe for a chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and peanut butter buttercream, but hesitated. That was a lot to make in 4 hours time. I decided on a peanut butter pie. I studied a couple different recipes, some with cream cheese, some without.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
adapted from Once Upon A Chef
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (I use Callebaut semisweet discs) ;)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
8 ounces (2 cups) chocolate graham crackers (the original recipe calls for chocolate wafers which would be delicious but I haven't been able to find them anywhere, this substitution works great)
1/2 cup toasted coconut
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
Peanut Butter Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 small tub)
1 cup peanut butter (I used Skippy chunky but creamy would be a lovely choice as well)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup well-chilled heavy cream
Chocolate Topping with Peanuts
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped (optional- I obviously didn't use them)
Make the chocolate crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Process crackers, coconut, & cocoa powder in a food processor until crumbly. In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and microwave at high power in 20-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted. Stir well, then stir in the cookie crumb mixture. Press the cookie crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the rim of a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom.* (Be sure not to make the crust too thick in any one spot, especially around the rim. Keep it thin throughout, otherwise it will come out too hard.) Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then cool on rack.
Meanwhile, make the peanut butter filling: In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the peanut butter, sugar and vanilla extract until blended. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the chilled cream until firm. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to loosen it, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the filling into the crust, smoothing the surface. Refrigerate uncovered for about 1 hour.
Make the chocolate topping: In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate with the heavy cream and salt and microwave at high power in 20-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted and the cream is hot. Stir the chocolate topping until blended, then let cool to barely warm, stirring occasionally. Spread the chocolate topping over the chilled peanut butter filling and sprinkle the chopped peanuts around the edge of the pie. Chill uncovered in refrigerator for 3 more hours.
To serve: Carefully remove the rim from the pan by gently pressing upwards on the bottom while holding the rim in place. (If using a springform pan, run a thin knife around the crust to loosen it, then remove the springform ring.) Use a sharp knife to cut the pie into wedges. Run the knife under hot water and dry it between each cut. Serve chilled or slightly cooler than room temperature.