If you need an over-the-top treat, this deep dish brownie crust peanut butter cream pie is it. It’s rich, decadent, peanut butter/fudge brownie overload. And dairy and gluten free!
This is it: my most favorite dessert in the world!
I’ve been worshiping peanut butter cream pie since way back in the day when my grandparents took me to Dean’s Diner and I had it there. I thought gustatory experiences couldn’t get any better than Dean’s peanut butter pie, but wait! This peanut butter cream pie, the one you’re looking at right here, actually beats out Dean’s. I know that’s a bold and subjective statement, but I’m willing to get feisty over this pie. I want to marry it. I would put a little tiara on it if I had one.
I view over-the-top desserts (deep dish peanut butter pie with a brownie crust qualifies, I think) as a total experience. It’s all fun and games when I’m elbow deep in hot fudge sauce, but how will I feel when the noshing’s over? Will I be happy, comfortable and satisfied, thinking contented thoughts about what a great dessert that was? Or will I be awash in regret because now my stomach feels weird and my heart is racing slightly yet I’m tired and sort of cranky? Usually it’s b) awash in regret, so as a rule I skip them unless it’s a special occasion I want to ruin. But this pie’s different! I feel like all’s well with the world before, during, and afterwards, except that I want more.
I think that’s because it’s got some clever ingredients. One of them is tofu, which I dramatically describe as an unsung hero in the dessert world. When you run tofu through a food processor or blender, it makes a thick, fairly neutral tasting cream that’s a perfect base for all kinds of desserts and works some kind of divine magic with peanut butter. It also provides some fiber and a whole lot of protein, which is great anyway but also helps regulate blood sugar levels. That may be why I always feel good after I eat this pie, even though I invariably have twice as much as I originally planned and someone has to take the dish away from me.
The other clever ingredient is black beans, and they help make up the hedonistically dark, moist, fudgy brownie crust. Being beans and all, they’ve got a fair amount in common with tofu, like they’re both nutritious and hella good in desserts. My last post was a passionate ode to black bean cookies, and low and behold, the exact same black bean cookie recipe marched right over here and plunked itself into the bottom of an 8″x8″ baking dish to make a thick brownie crust worthy of this awesome peanut butter pie.
Here’s how that happened: back in the day, I used to make Louise Hagler’s Frozen Peanut Butter Pie from her Tofu Cookery book, but I kind of gave it up because I was never happy with any of the crusts I came up with; it’s one of those “have a baked pie shell ready” deals. As soon as I made those fudgy black bean cookies, I thought they’d make a great crust for that pie. But basically, this is Louise Hagler’s recipe and as far as I know, idea. I have to say I love Tofu Cookery because it’s simple and straightforward, and has a ton of easy recipes that come out tasty as hell and happen to feature tofu (and with the exception of a little honey here and there, are mostly vegan). I got my copy at a thrift store, which was lucky. If you don’t want to try your thrift luck, here’sa link to it on Amazon. If you buy through my link, I’ll make about 30 cents I promise to spend wisely.
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
This Deep Dish Brownie Crust Peanut Butter Cream Pie is rich, decadent and so delicious!
20 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- For the crust:
- about 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or a 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed)
- 2 Tbs your favorite nondairy milk
- 2 Tbs peanut butter
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 3 Tbs your favorite gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa, Dutch process or a blend
- 1/2 cup coconut or palm sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash salt
- For the peanut butter cream filling:
- 24 oz. firm tofu, divided
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, divided
- 1 cup maple syrup or agave, divided
- 4 Tbs olive or melted coconut oil, divided
- 2 tsp vanilla, divided
- dash salt
- about 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips or chunks or cocoa for dusting on top
- Heat the oven to 375. Lightly grease an 8"x8" baking dish.
- Combine the beans, milk, peanut butter and oil in a food processor and process until they’re very smooth. Add the remaining crust ingredients and keep processing until you have a smooth, slightly fluffy dough. Spread/press the dough into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Let the crust cool while you make the peanut butter cream filling.
- If you have a magnificently large-capacity food processor or blender, just dump everything in there and blend until smooth and creamy, then spread it on the brownie crust. If you don't, put half of everything in (12 oz. tofu, 3/4 cup peanut butter, etc) and blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed. Spread the first round of filling on the crust. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
- Use a coffee/spice grinder or food chopper to grind the chocolate chips into a rough powder. Sprinkle them semi-evenly atop the pie. Or just dust the pie with cocoa.
- Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before slicing. Keep the pie covered in the fridge when not noshing.
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