Get ready for this: Sweet, creamy peanut butter mousse fills a salty brown sugar-pretzel crust. A dark chocolate ganache adds an extra layer of richness, and is crowned with additional pretzels and a sprinkling of chopped peanuts to tie everything together. Say goodbye to your beach bod, and HELLOOOOO to happiness!
Once upon a time, there was a cookie. Its name was Peanut Butter & Friends, and it was a product of the one and only Paradox Pastry in Charlottesville, VA.
The PB&F was a glamour girl. Her demure peanut butter cookie exterior was never seen without a healthy helping of semi-sweet chocolate chips and the three pretzel twists that were lovingly arranged by Paradox Sugaristas into every cookie. She was a stunner, for sure.
As a former sugarista myself, I have had many a PB&F in my day. On sunny days, on snowy days. On happy days, on heartbroken days. And, I must say, there is no amount of willpower that can prevent you from sneaking some of the dough into your mouth as you pass the vat, just waiting to be scooped.
I no longer have the pleasure of working at Paradox (though I dream of returning every day!), but a girl cannot live without her peanut butter-chocolate-pretzel fix! As such, I made this pie. In the interest of your happiness, I must suggest that you do the same. You can thank me later.
Your thighs, however, will not. Thank God we’re fast approaching sweatpants season?
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse Pie with Pretzel Crust
To make this pie, you will need:
– 2 cups pretzels (for crumbs), plus additional for garnish
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Peanut Butter Mousse Filling
– 12 oz smooth peanut butter (I used JIF)
– 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese, softened
– 1 t vanilla extract
– 2 cups heavy whipping cream
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
– 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
To begin, preheat the oven to 350F and spray an 9″ springform pan with baking spray.
Using a food processor, crush your pretzels into crumbs. You can also use your hands, or a rolling pin, which is cathartic, but super time consuming. You can also play with the texture of the pretzels, keeping in mind that the bigger the chunks are, the more texture the pie will have, but the more difficult it will be to keep slices of the pie together.
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and butter over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Pour the butter/sugar mixture over the crushed pretzels and combine until each pretzel is thoroughly coated. Use your hands to press this mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it will taste delicious, no matter what! Pop this baby in the oven for 15 minutes, and in the meantime get to work on your filling.
You will start out the peanut butter filling by mixing up a simple whipped cream. Add your heavy cream to a large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until it holds medium peaks. Add in half of your powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium-high until the mixture holds firmer peaks.
Set the whipped cream in the fridge, and get out another large bowl for the peanut butter mixture. Into this bowl you’ll combine your softened cream cheese, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and the other half of the powdered sugar. Use the beater to mix these together until uniform, being sure to scrape the sides down frequently so that everything is incorporated.
Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the peanut butter mixture, until it becomes a light, airy mousse.
Spread the mousse over the pretzel crust, and set this in the freezer to chill while you prepare the dark chocolate ganache.
Once you’ve finely chopped the chocolate, place it in a small, heatproof bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a medium saucepan until it starts to bubble, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 4-5 minutes, then use a whisk to stir the mixture until it forms a smooth ganache.
Let the ganache cool at room temperature for a few minutes, then remove the peanut butter pie from the freezer. Slowly drizzle the ganache over the peanut butter filling, being sure to evenly coat the entire surface.
Garnish the pie as desired – I used pretzels and crushed peanuts, but chocolate chips or candy bar pieces could also be a great addition! Set the pie in the fridge for several hours to cool, and then, when you can’t stand waiting any longer, pop the outer rim off the springform pan to release your masterpiece.
All I have to say is heart-eyes emoji.
Why am I not married yet?