Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

By • August 13, 2012 • 27 Comments

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Author Notes: My all time favorite peanut butter pie is from the Joy of Cooking. The filling is made with peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and whipped cream. It is smooth, not overly dense, and just plain luscious. I decided to take a stab at making a dairy free and potentially vegan version using silken tofu and a little lemon juice in place of the cream cheese, and whipped coconut cream in place of whipping cream. I was thrilled with the results - the texture and flavor were both spot on. No one would know this was a "knock off" version! I love to combine peanut butter with chocolate and salt, so went with a pretzel crumb crust and a layer of chocolate sprinkled with flaky Murray River salt on top. I garnished with some crust crumbs, but a sprinkling of roasted peanuts or toasted coconut would work as well. If you want this to be vegan make certain to read the label on your pretzels, bittersweet chocolate, and brown sugar. I used a natural muscovado brown sugar to keep it vegan, but it's fine to use regular brown sugar if you're just looking to be dairy-free. hardlikearmour

Makes one 9-inch pie

Pretzel Crust

  • 7 to 8 ounces mini-pretzels (knots or sticks)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown muscavado sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil (I like extra virgin for it's mild coconut flavor. If you don't want the coconut flavor, use refined instead)
  • neutral oil (vegetable, canola, etc...)
  1. Pulse pretzels in 2 batches in food processor until a fairly equal mix of fine and coarse crumbs, about 10 one second pulses per batch. Measure 2 cups of crumbs (save remaining crumbs to use as garnish later if desired), and return them to the food processor. Evenly distribute brown sugar and coconut oil over the crumbs. Pulse mixture together until pretzel crumbs are evenly coated with oil, about 5 to 6 short pulses.
  2. Lightly oil glass pie pan with a neutral oil. Press all but 1/4-cup of the crumb mixture into the pan in an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. (If not using the crumb garnish, go ahead and use all of the crumbs for the crust.) Place the pie pan in the freezer to set the crust while making the filling.
  3. Crumb garnish: Stir together the remaining crumb mixture with any left over pretzel crumbs you might have. Transfer the mixture into a layer on a parchment or waxed paper lined plate, and freeze until set. Transfer the mixture to a storage container, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish each slice when serving to prevent the crumbs from getting soggy.

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1 14-oz (400 ml) can coconut cream* (I used Aroy-D)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Endangered Species)
  • 12.3 ounce package extra-firm silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu)
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (I prefer smooth, but feel free to use crunchy)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • flaked salt - I like Murray River, but any flaky salt will do
  • optional garnish - chopped peanuts or toasted coconut
  1. *Coconut cream is not the same as cream of coconut. It can typically be found in Asian groceries. If you cannot find it purchase 2 cans of a good quality, high fat coconut milk (like Whole Foods 365 or Chaokoh brand), chill the cans, then separate the solid cream and the milk portions. Add enough milk to the cream to measure 400 ml (or 1 2/3 cups.)
  2. Transfer the coconut cream to a clean medium bowl. It will not be homogenous, so whisk briefly to blend. Transfer 1/2 cup to a 2-cup glass measure, and bring to a boil in the microwave. Place the bowl with the remaining coconut cream in the freezer to chill. Finely chop the chocolate and add it to the hot coconut cream. Let it sit for several minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Open package of tofu, and pour out any liquid that may be present. Transfer tofu to a medium bowl. Add the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Using a hand mixer beat until smooth, and no little white flecks of tofu remain. Scrape the bowl and beat another 10 to 15 seconds just to be safe!
  4. Using a whisk, briefly whip the chilled coconut cream until it is thickened. It's not going to whip as nicely as whipping cream, but it will perceptibly thicken with whisking.
  5. Fold about half of the whipped coconut cream into the tofu-peanut butter mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipped coconut cream.
  6. Remove the pie shell from the freezer and pour the filling in. Smooth gently, then pour the chocolate mixture over the top. I like to leave a little rim of the peanut butter filling visible at the edges. Use the back of a spoon to gently smooth and spread the chocolate. Sprinkle several pinches of flaked salt over the chocolate (if not doing a garnish, either skip this step or do it when serving as the salt makes the top of the chocolate spotty looking). If not using the pretzel crumb garnish, feel free to garnish with chopped peanuts or toasted coconut now. Refrigerate until cool, then cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve chilled, garnishing each slice with crumb mixture if desired.
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Me

over 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh. My. God. This looks absolutely fantastic, HLA. Love, love it. It's so creative and I just know I'd love it. And I love that it uses tofu!!

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over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, TWV! I love using tofu in sneaky ways!

Photo_squirrel

over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

hla, i thought you might get a kick out of:

Every time i see your recipe title (even though i read the recipe a few days ago) my mind goes immediately to "with SOY SAUCE? gee, i wonder how that fits in?.........."!! and then i remember tofu!

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

That's a good one, LBF! I'm pretty sure soy sauce would not be good in this. Alton Brown does use it when he makes caramels, though, so you never know ;-)

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over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

All I can say is . . . . You win! ;o)

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I wish! Thanks, AJ!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This is really brilliant! It sounds delicious. I went through a high school phase of making cheesecakes with tofu all the time, but this looks waaaaay better than those ever were!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Hah! One of my friends is vegan, and we occasionally eat at vegan restaurants. We tried a vegan cheesecake once. It was awful! It tasted more like cream of wheat than cheesecake. Bleh!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

over 2 years ago lapadia

HLA! This is truly crazy-scrumptious, to…die…for; thanks for sharing your awesome idea!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, and you're welcome!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

This looks amazing! I knew you'd work your magic.

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, gr! It did almost seem like magic when it came together so well.

Lorigoldsby

over 2 years ago lorigoldsby

Wonderful job HLA! Almost makes me want to buy tofu! But seriously, will save this for next summer's horse camp!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

LOL! You should definitely buy some silken tofu. It's great in smoothies and for making fake Caeser dressing.

Summer_2010_1048

over 2 years ago Midge

You are a genius hla!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Aww, thanks! I knew you could make a chocolate cream pie with silken tofu, so figured a peanut butter one would work too.

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

hla, you never cease to amaze me.

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you kindly! I figured the pie would either be brilliant or a complete disaster - luckily it worked out well.

3-bizcard

over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow!! I love this now I know what to make when she comes to dinner. Delicious!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

some of my message didn't print, weird anyway my good friend is vegan and always need to come up with a great dessert. This is it!!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, sdebrango! If she likes peanut butter and chocolate I think she'll love this pie.

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

yes yes a thousand times yes! and egads- it's almost health food! excited to try this!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, AC! It is sinfully good, and closer to health food than the original!

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You have done it again HLA - this sounds absolutely amazing! Plus a perfect no-bake summer pie. YUM!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, aargersi! I typically bake my crumb crusts, but didn't want to turn on the oven - it worked out well and I'm glad the whole pie is no-bake.

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Oh wow -- this does look luscious! What a great dessert for anyone -- vegan or omnivore alike. Love the salty, sweet, crunchy, silky notes here!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Emily! I fed it to several omnivores and it was a hit, and I figure it has to be somewhat healthier than the original.