Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart

If you like sweet and salty, you're going to love this.  I found this recipe in Everyday with Rachael Ray.  It's a great make-ahead dessert that yields impressive results. 

You will need a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  My tart pan is a little larger than that so you won't see the crust up the sides of my tart.  I suppose you could make a variation in mini tart pans as well--how cute!  This dessert will serve 8 regular people or 16 people watching their weight. 

For the crust:
2 cups broken salted pretzel pieces/sticks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350.  Using your handy dandy food processor, finely grind the pretzels, brown sugar, and salt.  Transfer to a bowl and then evenly stir in the melted butter.  Press evenly on the bottom of your tart pan and up the sides if you can.  Bake until lightly brown around the edges, about 18 minutes.  Let it cool on a rack while you're making the filling.

For the filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp softened butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tsp vanilla

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and softened butter at medium-high speed until fluffy [about a minute].  Then beat in the brown sugar.
In another bowl, beat the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form, just like making whipped cream.  Then fold the cream into the peanut butter mixture.  Be gently so you don't flatten the whipped cream. 

Evenly spread the filling into the tart pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

The recipe calls to top it with fresh caramel, but I simply couldn't be bothered with that when I served this.  I just melted some good milk chocolate and drizzled it over the top.  It was amazing!  Not too sweet with just the right peanut buttery taste.  We were having lunch guests on Sunday so I just put it together Saturday night.  It was one less thing to think about while I was entertaining.  Try it!

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