Make Ahead

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

August 13, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Makes one 9-inch pie
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

What You'll Need
  • 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...)
  • 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. Pretzel Crust
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  1. Peanut Butter Filling
  2. *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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. Allow to warm at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving (or the crust may be difficult to cut). Garnish each slice with crumb mixture if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Niknud
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • AntoniaJames
  • fiveandspice
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

26 Reviews

Niknud September 8, 2015
Licking the screen. the salty sweet combo.
hardlikearmour September 8, 2015
Thanks :-)
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!!
hardlikearmour May 21, 2013
Thanks, TWV! I love using tofu in sneaky ways!
LeBec F. August 15, 2012
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!
hardlikearmour August 15, 2012
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 ;-)
AntoniaJames August 14, 2012
All I can say is . . . . You win! ;o)
hardlikearmour August 14, 2012
I wish! Thanks, AJ!
fiveandspice August 14, 2012
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!
hardlikearmour August 14, 2012
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!
lapadia August 14, 2012
HLA! This is truly crazy-scrumptious, to…die…for; thanks for sharing your awesome idea!
hardlikearmour August 14, 2012
Thank you, and you're welcome!
gingerroot August 14, 2012
This looks amazing! I knew you'd work your magic.
hardlikearmour August 14, 2012
Thanks, gr! It did almost seem like magic when it came together so well.
lorigoldsby August 13, 2012
Wonderful job HLA! Almost makes me want to buy tofu! But seriously, will save this for next summer's horse camp!
hardlikearmour August 14, 2012
LOL! You should definitely buy some silken tofu. It's great in smoothies and for making fake Caeser dressing.
Midge August 13, 2012
You are a genius hla!
hardlikearmour August 13, 2012
Aww, thanks! I knew you could make a chocolate cream pie with silken tofu, so figured a peanut butter one would work too.
drbabs August 13, 2012
hla, you never cease to amaze me.
hardlikearmour August 13, 2012
Thank you kindly! I figured the pie would either be brilliant or a complete disaster - luckily it worked out well.
arielleclementine August 13, 2012
yes yes a thousand times yes! and egads- it's almost health food! excited to try this!
hardlikearmour August 13, 2012
Thanks, AC! It is sinfully good, and closer to health food than the original!
aargersi August 13, 2012
You have done it again HLA - this sounds absolutely amazing! Plus a perfect no-bake summer pie. YUM!
hardlikearmour August 13, 2012
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.
EmilyC August 13, 2012
Oh wow -- this does look luscious! What a great dessert for anyone -- vegan or omnivore alike. Love the salty, sweet, crunchy, silky notes here!
hardlikearmour August 13, 2012
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.