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I’ve made my love of peanut butter well known, and this pie was the perfect mix of salty and sweet, crunchy and creamy. I’ve made this pie many times, but I’ve always used a chocolate cookie crust. But since it’s National Pretzel Day, I felt I needed to put some of those crunchy salty treats into this pie.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I used these Chocolate Pretzel Poppers from Tumbador as both the inspiration for this dessert as well as the garnish.
1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
1 cup peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipped cream*
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
Start by crushing the pretzels in a food processor, or throw them in a bag and bash with a rolling pin. Basically we’re looking for pretzel crumbs.
Discard any large pieces. Since my pretzels were salted, I did not add any extra salt to the crust. It’s important to control the salt in any recipe. That’s why in baking you should always use unsalted butter.
Melt butter, add pretzels, sugar and flour. Mix well and press into pie tin. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Let cool.
*I like to use freshly made whipped cream in this pie. If you’re going to do that, you should make it first. If you just want to use a pre-made whipped product, that’s fine too.
If making fresh whipped cream, I like to take 1 cup heavy cream and begin to mix on medium speed. Once it starts to thicken, add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and turn to high speed. Whip until it holds soft peaks. I like to make it first because I scrape it out of the mixing bowl and then just start with the pie filling right in there without having to wash it.
With a mixer, beat cream cheese until soft. Add peanut butter. Scrape down sides to prevent any lumps. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Take the whipped cream we made (or whatever you purchased) and fold that in now. We don’t want to deflate the whipped cream too much, just incorporate it so that the pie filling has some lovely fluffiness.
Pour pie filling into the shell. Smooth out top with spatula or knife.
I poured a layer of chocolate ganache over the top of this pie because I had some extra just sitting there. And it made the pie over-the-top decadent. But it’s not necessary. You could leave it out or just drizzle a small amount of chocolate over the top. But I’m all about delicious. Dessert is just that – dessert. It should be amazing.
If you go forward with the ganache, just heat the cream until bubbling and pour over the chocolate. Whisk until all chocolate is melted.
While ganache is still warm, pour this over the top. Use Tumbador Pretzel Poppers on top as a garnish. Allow pie to chill in refrigerator for a few hours before cutting. Enjoy!