Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate? They go together like bacon and eggs. Like wine and cheese. Like gin and tonic. Like champagne and me. You get the picture.
This weekend we had a little celebration for my baby’s 16th.
(My baby…is…16…heart palpitations…deep breaths…)
It was a mini-birthday thing. Just me, her, and the hubby and a little cozy movie night together with good food and a peanut butter pie. She was away on a class trip to Washington for her actual birthday, so we wanted to do a little something fun when she got back. We watched Serendipity. So it was John Cusack and pie.
We tend to drag the birthday thing on in my house, which suits my youngest just fine. She was the kind of kid who would plan her birthday the entire year. It was pretty harmless – my girls were never greedy about gifts, it was just the fuss they enjoyed. They’d be happy with a box of sugar cereal if I wrapped it. Which I did one year – a big improvement for them over the natural stuff I fed them for breakfast that tasted like sawdust.
I didn’t mind encouraging this kind of thing, because I like to have a lot of fun myself. Otherwise, every day is just like the next, right? So we would always have a birthday breakfast on the day of. And then a fun family event for the 4 of us. Then there was usually something with the extended family, because Italians like any excuse for a big meal. And of course there would be some kind of friend celebration. Birthdays always tend to turn into a series of events around here. Lots of good excuses for cake, right?
The cake part is where I come in. I love baking, and birthdays are a great reason to go a little overboard. This year I decided on a decadent peanut butter pie. Just the sound of it gave me a sugar rush.
I decided to try a gluten-free version this time, and I needed something for a crust. I did an experiment using a gluten-free chocolate cookie mix, which I pressed into a crust shape and baked. Very easy and it worked out perfectly!
I wanted to make the flavour of the crust extra-rich, and so I added a ½ cup of cocoa powder to the mix. This made the dough a little drier and easy to press into the pie plate. I baked it for a few minutes longer than suggested, and I used the leftover dough to make a few cookies which I baked on the side. This worked out fabulous – I’ll be using cookie dough mixes to make gluten free pies from now on.
The rest of the pie was pretty easy. I made up a rich peanut butter–cream cheese filling, mixed in some crunchy goodness, and topped it with a chocolate ganache and crushed salted peanuts. It was over the top good! And we ate it for breakfast the next day. It was sick in a really good way.
Here’s the recipe. It was one of the best pies I’ve ever had. And I have to warn you that this is one rich pie, so don’t cut giant he-man pieces. If you don’t care about making it gluten-free, you could also make a crust with chocolate wafer crumbs, butter, and a bit of sugar – just like a graham cracker crust.
Give it a try – I guarantee you’ll earn some major family love points.
Dani’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
1 gluten-free chocolate cookie mix
optional: add up to ½ cup cocoa powder if the dough is too soft or if you want a strong chocolate flavour
(for a non-gluten-free version, make a crust with 1 box of chocolate wafer cookies, processed into crumbs, mixed with ¼ cup melted butter, 2 tbsp sugar, and a pinch of salt)
1/3 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup chocolate chips
4 peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
1 ¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp espresso powder
1-1/3 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp icing sugar
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tsp whole milk
1/3 cup whipping cream
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1. To make crust, preheat oven and mix up cookie dough according to package directions. Generously butter and flour a 10” diameter pie plate. Press cookie dough into pie plate and up the sides so that it is about ½ cm thick. Use any leftover dough to make cookies. Bake pie crust about 3 min. longer than package directions. Cool.
2. Combine the chopped salted peanuts, chocolate chips, chopped peanut butter cups, espresso powder, and sugar in a small bowl to make the peanut mix for the filling.
3. Whip the whipping cream in the bowl of an electric mixer using the whist attachment until it forms soft peaks. Add 2 tbsp sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Transfer into a bowl.
4. Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in peanut butter and milk.
5. Fold about ¼ of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to incorporate, and then fold in the rest of the whipped cream and the crunchy mix. Spread filling into pie crust and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
6. To make the chocolate topping, melt chocolate in a double boiler and remove from heat. Heat the cream in another saucepan and stir into chocolate. Pour chocolate over pie and sprinkle peanuts on top. Refrigerate until cool.
Looking for some other gluten-free ideas? Have a look at my delicious Gluten-Free Apple Crisp or my amazing Flourless Gluten-Free Fat-Free Chocolate Fudge Cookies. Or you could try Nads’ Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake or her Best-Ever Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Banana Bread. And we have lots of recipes that are full of gluten, too, if you like that sort of thing. There’s a little search button in our sidebar – type in “sweets” and you’ll get all kinds of good things!