This spin on an icebox pie, with its chocolaty press-in graham cracker crust and airy no-bake peanut butter filling, comes with a sheen of fudgy glaze. A splash of coffee accentuates the dark side of the bittersweet chocolate, and salted peanuts scattered on top add crunch.
As fun as a candy bar and as creamy as a cheesecake, this layered dessert looks and feels special but is simple enough for anyone to pull together. And it's even easier to serve: The whole thing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Yield: One 9-inch pie
Total time: 2 hours
For the crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 7 crackers)
1/3 cup Dutch-processed (dark) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Nonstick cooking spray
For the peanut butter filling:
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter (see tip)
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
For the chocolate glaze:
6 tablespoons heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons hot brewed coffee or hot water
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
Make the crust: Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crumbs, cocoa powder, confectioners sugar and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Drizzle the butter over, and mix with a fork or your fingers until the mixture is evenly moistened.
Coat a standard 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the crumb mixture in an even layer across the bottom. Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake until it feels dry to the touch and smells toasty, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the filling: Whisk the cream with a stand or hand mixer (or by hand, which will take quite some time and energy) until stiff peaks form. Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla and salt (with an electric mixer or by hand) until well blended and smooth. Gently stir the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until fully incorporated. It's OK if the cream deflates.
Spread the peanut butter filling in an even layer over the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Make the glaze: Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn off the heat, and add the chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir slowly until the chocolate melts. Add the coffee and corn syrup, and stir until smooth.
Take the pie out of the freezer. Slowly pour the chocolate glaze all over the top of the pie. Tilt the pie plate if needed to evenly coat the top. Scatter the peanuts on top. Let stand until the top sets, about 15 minutes. Slice and serve, or refrigerate for up to three days before slicing.
Tip: Be sure to use standard peanut butter that includes sweeteners, fats and salt. Natural peanut butter, with only peanuts and salt, won't work in this recipe.