Deep Dish Peanut Butter Pie is a family tradition – birthdays, holidays, any day… you name it, this is the dessert of choice! Instead of the traditional oreo crust, I’ve changed it to a decadent fudge like brownie, filled to the brim with a peanut butter cream cheese filling, topped with peanut butter cups, and a fudgy drizzle! I love it’s stunning looks, and that it can be made ahead. It’s a real crowd pleaser, and you’ll probably want help eating it – seriously, one should not be left alone with this in the house! And… if there’s peanut allergies, you can substitute almond butter and almond cups for a choco/almond amazingness!
To make a parchment circle for your springform pan, start by cutting a square piece as wide as the pan (top left picture). Then, fold it into quarters and keep folding it until it won’t fold again (top right photo). Using your scissors, cut off the excess ends so that the parchment is half the diameter of the pan (bottom left photo). Finally open the circle and press it flat to the bottom of the pan to straighten it out a bit (bottom right photo).
You don’t have to use a springform pan for this dessert, but it’s optimal for presentation because you can take your cheesecake brownies out and place them on a cake stand which adds a dramatic touch!
Spread the brownie batter as smoothly as possible over the base of the pan and bake until just done with a fair bit of fudgyness in the middle. While the brownies are baking make the peanut butter filling. You can use either a stand mixer or a food processor – I prefer the food processor because I didn’t have to scrape down the sides as much as when I used a mixer. You can also mix it by hand, but it’s going to take some muscles!
Once the brownies have cooled, spread the peanut butter filling smoothly over the top. Stretch a piece of plastic wrap tightly across the top and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. This step is really important, you can eat it right away but the flavor improves the next day, (I know this for a fact because I dove right in and it wasn’t as good as after it had been chilled). It also won’t hold shape until after it’s been refrigerated because the filling is too soft at room temperature.
When you’re ready to serve it, you can sprinkle the top with chopped peanut butter cups and drizzle with some fudge sauce. Now I’m all for piling on and gilding the lily, but I actually prefer this dessert without the peanut butter cups (it’s a texture thing, I prefer it all soft). However, I’m totally alone on this one because everyone else unanimously agrees they like the peanut butter cups. So it’s your call, they certainly add to the presentation!
- 1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ¼ Teaspoon baking soda
- 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 - 8 ounce pkgs cream cheese, softened
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla
- chopped peanut butter cups (I used 7 ounces of peanut butter cups to top my brownies)
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF and cut a circle of parchment to fit a 9" springform pan.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the brownie base until thoroughly mixed. Spread the batter evenly over the parchment lined pan and bake 15-20 minutes or until the brownies start to puff but are still fudgy in the center.
- Set the brownie base aside to cool completely.
- To make the peanut butter cheesecake filling, combine all the ingredients in a food processor or stand mixer and mix to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides so there's no lumps. Refrigerate the filling until the brownie base is cooled.
- Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the top of the brownie base and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, (the flavors really improve after a lengthy refrigeration).
- When you're ready to serve, top your dessert with any of the extra toppings. I made this plain without toppings and another time with the chopped peanut butter cups on top, and the fudge sauce drizzle. Both ways are really good, but the extra toppings add a bit more punch to the presentation!
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