Everybody at my house is crazy for peanuts and chocolate, especially Daniel. When we lived in NY we were steps away for from Magnolia Bakery (originator of the cupcake craze). He jokes that he left NYC when the Sex and the City tour started dropping off a bus full of middle-aged woman to get cupcakes there. I couldn’t resist them myself, but Daniel had to have this pie and of course share a bite or two with me. I can’t believe I’ve never made this before yesterday. But if you are going to make this pie…. do yourself a favor and start the day before. It needs to chill in the fridge overnight (which is probably why I have never made it before).
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (such as nilla wafers)
12 oz. cream cheese softened
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream (whipped)
6 peanut butter cups coarsely chopped (I used justin’s but reese’s would be delicious too)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used justin’s but anything is gonna taste good)
1/2 cup caramel sauce recipe below + a pinch of sea salt (I added the sea salt but you certainly wouldn’t have to)
3 peanut butter cups coarsely chopped (I used dark and milk chocolate for the topping)
1/4 spanish peanuts chopped (the recipe calls for unsalted peanuts, but these are our favorite)
3 cups of sugar
1 cup of cold water
2 cups of room temp heavy cream
This makes one 9-inch no-baking-necessary-pie. To make the crust all you need to do is process the cookies into crumbs and add softened (nearly melted butter) to the crumbs. Mix and press them firmly into the pie pan. Freeze for a half hour. Meanwhile, prepare your filling. If you haven’t made your caramel at this time, do that first or just use store bought. There are a lot of really good ones out there now, such as Jeni’s Salty Caramel Sauce from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. For the caramel, dissolve the water and the sugar over medium heat (just takes a few minutes). When you sense that there are no more granules of sugar, turn the heat up to high and boil the caramel for about 12 minutes WITHOUT STIRRING. Swirl to evenly caramelize. As soon s it looks dark amber in color shut off the heat and carefully add the heavy cream, and whisk away. This very well may boil over and could potentially make a huge mess, so be careful. Let it cool while you prepare the filling.
Now, onto the filling. Whip the cold heavy cream in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese adding the sugar and vanilla slowly while continuing to beat. In a third bowl, slightly beat peanut butter. Chop your peanut butter cups. Now fold the whip cream into the cream cheese mixture as well as the peanut butter cups. Place the peanut butter into a piping bag with a round tip, or do it like me and use a ziplock back and cut a small piece of the corner off. It’s nearly the same and you can throw it out!
It is time to assemble now. Add a thin layer of caramel on the bottom of the crust, then follow with 1/2 the filling and then pipe on half of the peanut butter. Use a knife to make a marble effect. Then one more layer of filling and the rest of the peanut butter. Marble technique …one more time. Then top with the pie with chopped peanut butter cups and the peanuts and chill overnight in the fridge covered with plastic wrap.