chocolate peanut butter tart Recipes

chocolate peanut butter tart

Definitely one of the best things about having a 6.5 year old is that he now has classmates that can bestow upon us The Annual Gift of the Thin Mint Cookies. If there were any other Girl Scout Cookies worth celebrating, I knew nothing about them until pickup earlier this week when I saw other parents scurrying off with boxes of curiosities like Samoas and Tagalongs and launched a full investigation. Seriously, why did nobody tell me about those crispy chewy rings of caramel, coconut and stripes of chocolate? Was there always a cookie with both peanut butter and chocolate in it or is this some millennium baby voodoo? Making up for time lost to Thin Mint blinders begins here and now.


what you'll need
buttery shortbread crumbs

The other awesome thing about elementary school kids is genuine excitement over math-y holidays such as this coming Monday’s Pi(e) Day, something that I previously only celebrated sarcastically, because I was a terrible person with a life bereft of wide-eyed wonder. Thus, when I spied a Tagalongs-style peanut butter pie on Tasting Table this week and realized that it was easy enough that I could pull it off in my current sleep-deprived fugue while also filing the vast peanut butter pie-shaped hole in the archives, it was a done deal.

so easy to make
compact layer of salty peanut butter
thick layer of ganache
peanut butter chocolate tart, tagalongs-style

I’ve always been charmed by the idea of peanut butter pies but found them (forgive me, I know how unworthy this makes me) a little goopy and over-the-top in their standard form, to say nothing of the Cool Whip most muddle perfection with. This one, however, is delightfully to the point with equal billing given to a buttery shortbread crumb base, a compact layer of creamy peanut butter (with the essential tangy oomph so many peanut butter desserts miss when they don’t include cream cheese and salt) and a thick shiny layer of dark chocolate ganache with a dusting of sea salt, and it requires all of 10 minutes baking time. Sure, Pi(e) Day could be celebrated with flaky crusts, seasonal fruit and zero PIPIEGI (Processed Ingredients Processed Into Even Greater Ingredients) but really, where’s the fun in that?

peanut butter chocolate tart, tagalongs-style

One year ago: Black-Bottom Oatmeal Pie
Two years ago: Broccoli Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Three years ago: My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits
Four years ago: Mulitgrain Apple Crisps
Five years ago: The Best Baked Spinach
Six years ago: Warm Mushroom Salad with Hazelnut and Coconut Milk Fudge
Seven years ago: Steak Sandwiches and Pita Bread
Eight years ago: Almond Biscotti and Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza
Nine years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Loaf

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Caponata
1.5 Years Ago: Herbed Tomato and Roasted Garlic Tart
2.5 Years Ago: Baked Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
3.5 Years Ago: Fig Olive Oil and Sea Salt Challah
4.5 Years Ago: Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mint

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, Tagalongs-Style
Adapted from Tasting Table

Notes:

  • I swapped the suggested graham crust for a shortbread one closer to the original cookie (but let’s be honest, so much better because: butter). One of the pesky things about crumb crusts is that I find that depending on the crumbs used and how finely ground they are, you might need more or less butter. Here, using shortbread loaded with butter, I only needed 3T melted butter to get the crumbs clumpy enough to form a crust. With the same amount of graham crumbs, I usually need 4T.
  • I like to parbake crumb crusts because I think they set much better this way. The sugar helps “glue” the crust together too, but I still use as little as possible.
  • I found that the recipe better filled out a 9-inch/1-inch tall tart pan than a standard pie dish. Should you not have a tart pan, you could still make this in a standard (not deep-dish) pie dish, but it might help to only press the 2/3 the way up the sides. Or, if you’d really like to fill out a standard pie pan, you could double the filling and chocolate This should also work in a 8-inch square baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends; this sling will hopefully make the bars easier to remove.

Crust
2 5.3-ounce (150 gram) shortbread cookie packages (to yield 1 3/4 to 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (see note about butter amount)

Filling
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 30 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (40 grams) powdered or confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup (130 grams) creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy but think a more natural one would work just fine here)
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping
1 cup (about 6 ounces or 170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
Flaky sea salt, to finish (optional)

Make the crust: Heat oven to 350°F (176#176;C). Place a 9-inch round tart pan (ideally with a removable bottom) on a rimmed baking sheet. Finely grind cookies with sugar and salt in a food processor. Add melted butter and process until clumpy. (See note up top about needing more with other types of cookies.) Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom and up sides of pan. Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. If any parts of the crumb walls have fallen or slumped, you can press them gently back into place with a spoon. Let cool completely. I have no patience for long cooling processes and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, peanut butter, salt and vanilla together until fluffy with an electric mixer or with good elbow grease, a big whisk. Scrape the mixture into the tart shell and smooth the surface with a spatula. Chill this while you prepare the topping — again, I just slide it into the freezer for 10 minutes. A cold surface helps the chocolate set faster.

Make the topping: Heat chocolate, pinch of salt and cream together in a microwave or saucepan until the chips are mostly melted. Stir until smooth. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly then pour over peanut butter filling and gently spread smooth. Sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired. Chill the tart until firm. As you can guess, I do this in the freezer for 15 minutes or so because I like to have my treats as soon as possible. An hour in the fridge would also do the trick.

Serve in wedges. Don’t forget to share.

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143 comments on chocolate peanut butter tart

  1. Would you believe that last year was the 40th birthday of Samoas?

    I’m going to bookmark this and bring it into the office in the next month or two. I work for Girl Scouts and we’re currently surrounded by cookies.

  2. Don’t forget to celebrate square root day4/4/16 this year too! You won’t get to celebrate again until 5/5/25…my serving only food items that are perfect squares

  3. Oh, this looks so good. I love peanut butter and chocolate–two great tastes that taste great together. And there are no Girl Scouts where I live in France, not even Reese’s.
    However, a dear friend recently sent me two boxes of Thin Mints and a box of Lemonades. She paid three times more in postage than the cost of the cookies. That’s a friend! I managed to eat only one sleeve a day, which I thought was quite a show of restraint.

  4. We had samoas and tagalogs back in the dark ages (1980s) when I was a Girl Scout–you were just missing out.

    This looks delicious and much simpler than the peanut butter pie I’ve made in the past (I think the recipe originated with Emeril–it’s delicious but takes forever because different layers need hours to set).

    I continue to be amazed (and jealous) that your son’s school allows peanuts.

  5. Deb. How have you never tried all of the Girl Scout cookie ouvre?! Thin Mints are fantastic, of course, but there’s so many more varieties!

  6. I LOVE peanut butter and chocolate (well, peanut butter and everything), and I love your recipes. Wondering if anyone has some ideas for a lactose-free substitute for the cream cheese?

  7. This looks amazing! I was just thinking about what to do for Pi day. The note about how to make it in a cake pan is perfect because everyone knows Pi r squared :)

  8. A local restaurant here in Columbus, Ohio, sometimes serves a peanut butter pie I love, but I’ve never quite gotten around to recreating it. And now you’ve done my work for me, plus chocolate! (We’d call that a Buckeye pie around here, I suspect.)

  9. Samoas, Tagalongs & Thin Mints are considered by my household to be the Holy Trinity of Girl Scout Cookies. Sadly, they are all gone now, but I think this pie may help to hold us over until next year.

  10. I was planning to make a chocolate peanut butter tart to bring to work on Monday (Pi Day) and was going to use the Fine Cooking recipe but this one might take its place. Great timing!

  11. @Danielle – soy cream cheese would be the easiest sub, or if only the lactose is an issue you can find lactose free cream cheese or quark.

  12. This looks remarkably similar to a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible, only she uses a homemade peanut butter cookie crust. It’s a huge hit in my house. Her Baking Bible contains a similar recipe for a hazelnut tart, but it requires a can of praline paste, making it a less frequent guest than I would like.

  13. Packaged shortbread cookies?? It’s like I don’t even know you anymore!

    Just kidding. Walker’s (or, when I lived in the UK, Tesco’s) shortbread is awesome and hard to improve upon at home. At least not if you’re just going to crush it up.

    Tagalongs have always been my favorite Girl Scout cookies, even though they get outshined by samoas and thin mints (more for me!). This looks so fantastic.

  14. Making the crust is the most challenging step of the entire recipe. I tried the exact measurements given in the recipe to make the crust and it came out so well. Thanks for the post.

  15. And just like that, my husband has a dessert worthy of his Pi(e) Day Birthday. Thank heavens the Kid has finally come to his senses and realized how wonderful peanut butter is. Thank you!!

  16. Oh, WOW! You’ve given me the most delicious-looking recipe for Easter Dinner! I know my D-I-L & my daughter(& me!) will gobble it up!
    Thanks!

  17. Aw Deb, come on… I’m trying to lose weight :-(
    Just realised that Jacob is the same age as my sweetie pie daughter. Don’t the grow up really fast?

  18. Oh my gosh: This is exactly what i needed and what i was looking for all the time, it looks amazing!
    Just one quick question: Would you say the taste will change tremendously if i make a simple shortcrust? I am German and unfortunetaly we usually don’t have shortbread crackers or anything comparable to that in our supermarkets.

  19. Every time you post a pic of the two kids together I think it’s too cute for words, but today’s makes the top five list, for sure. Well done, those two!

  20. This looks incredible! Two questions:

    1) Could one just use a shortbread crust that instead involved making shortbread dough and pressing it into the tart pan?

    2) Could the cream cheese be swapped for creme fraiche? I’m a bit of a creme fraiche fiend.

    Thank you so much!

  21. #29 Jackie: just smash up the shortbread cookies with a rolling pin. There may be a few slightly larger crumbs if you lose patience, but it will still work.

  22. Holy cow Deb, the timing of this is insane. I seriously just came to your website to look for a chocolate peanut butter pie recipe for Pi Day! What are the odds we’re on exactly the same wavelength?

    This looks amazing, can’t wait to make it this weekend!

  23. This looks amazing, and I just decided to make it for my sister’s birthday “cake.” But I have a question about using the crust in another application. I’ve been hankering after some of those 7-layer magic bars, the ones with the chocolate chips and nuts and sweetened condensed milk. But I don’t have graham crackers and hate to buy a whole box when I never use them for anything else. Also, I don’t really love them. Do you think this shortbread crust would work for the bottom layer? And, if so, would you par-bake it first or just go ahead and pile all the stuff on top of the unbaked crust and bake it all together? Thanks!

  24. Having just baked Cook’s Illustrated French Apple Tart (Nov/Dec 2014 pg 15), I will happily give the easiest tart pastry recipe ever, that is home made.

    For one 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom:
    1 1/2 cups (6 2/3 ounces) all purpose flour
    5 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) sugar
    1/2 teaspoons salt
    10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    Heat oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven rack to lowest position. Whisk flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Using your hands, press two thirds of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Press the rest into fluted sides of pan. Press and smooth dough to even thickness. Place pan on wire rack set on baking sheet and bake on lowest oven rack until crust is a deep golden brown and firm to touch, 30-35 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking. Set aside until ready to fill.

  25. Oh man, this went up the day AFTER my (peanut-butter-and-chocolate-loving) husband’s birthday! Lucky for him, I promised a weekendlong celebration.

  26. ha! so funny; i’m making a chocolate peanut butter pie TONIGHT for pi(e) day — but this version is a chocolate graham crust, whipped peanut butter cream filling, and chocolate ganache on top. it’s a vegan recipe (coconut cream and coconut oil) that i made last year for vegan friends but it’s so amazing i’m making it again just for us! (i might cheat and put butter in the crust instead of coconut oil, though. as you say, because BUTTER)

  27. Okay – this looks amazing and I will be making it. Two things came up in my mind that may be due to my age or Canadianism. One is that I lived in Colorado Springs in the early 60’s -dad in R.C.A.F.so we were posted. I was briefly a girl scout (in Canada we are girl guides) and l remember a peanut butter cookie that I later found in the shopping aisles called a pirate cookie. It had a top and bottom of crunchy oatmealy stuff and then a peanut butter filling? Guides, back in Canada were still only selling boring oreo type cookies in my memory. So that is something I’d like to know. The other thing is that here in Canada it would be extremely rare to find a school that allows any peanut products on xite due to allergies. Is this not so much an issue in the states?

  28. ohmygosh. I just made the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for a friend as a birthday request. It was amazing, it was over the top, everyone loved it. But…if this had been available…I think I know which way I would have gone. The way that didn’t involve five separate recipes. This looks incredible, minus the chilling, freezing, water bath, stand mixer, etc. The next time her birthday rolls around…

  29. Tagalongs are my forever favorite!!! Samoas a close second. Can’t wait to try this!

    My dad only ever remembered that my favorites were “the peanut butter ones” and bought me Do-si-dos. Every. Year. Whomp whomp :D

  30. Deb–my tart pan is 11 inches, I think. Do you have a suggestion for up-sizing this, or should I use a pie plate instead? I think I also have 4 mini tart pans, but I’m not sure of the size. Maybe 4 inches?

  31. I follow a low carb diet for 6, 8, then 12 day sessions. 7, 9, and 13 have become my favorite numbers. Thanks for this new treat.

  32. I don’t think Deb said that this was going to go to school with Jacob! Yes, most schools here ban PB because of fears of allergies.

  33. This is one of the funniest things I have read all day:
    ” in my current sleep-deprived fugue while also filing the vast peanut butter pie-shaped hole in the archives”
    I, too, have a “vast peanut butter pie-shaped hole”.
    LOL!!!!

  34. Sad beyond belief to learn that Pi Day died when my boy passed to Middle School. I emailed his teacher yesterday to ask what kind of pie she needed for Monday. She was devastated to tell me that, for the first time in 18 years, she has been told they are not “allowed” to celebrate Pi Day as Pi is no longer a sixth grade standard (she had very grand plans with every teacher in every subject). I’m sending pie anyway in protest and commiseration.

  35. I made something similar to this years ago, but with a layer of bananas between the pb & chocolate. It was heaven. This one, in its tart pan, looks so very elegant: can hardly wait to try it!

  36. oooooh, help me ! This looks like the absolute decadence! Oh oh oh.
    Actually my eyes and brain can not think of any better ingredient. Thank you for your recipe but I will try to resist as long possible before trying this out since I know I will eat it whole and probably make many more soon after :)))
    yum yum yum

    http://potsofsmiles.blogspot.com/
    xxxx

  37. Made this tonight! Very yummy! I only had milk chocolate chips on hand and the topping did not set up. It was sludgy even after time in the freezer. My people do not appreciate dark chocolate (sigh) so if there’s a way to make this happen with milk, I am in!

  38. Unless I miss my guess, those are homemade shortbread cookies in the picture. Yet when I search the archives, I don’t find a shortbread recipe that makes sense in a crust. Are you holding out on us??

  39. My wife created this particular the other day.She told me she found the recipe here – THANK YOU.

    I’ve a brand new preferred dessert…at minimum with this 7 days.

  40. Looks delicious! I can vouch for Samoas and Tagalongs being part of the Cookie Trinity (with Thin Mints, obviously) since my early girl scout days in the late 90s…cookies were also $3/box then, which I try to forget every time I fork over the cash at a booth sale.

  41. i too, was all about thin mints and only thin mints for a long time, although samoas (“caramel delites”) usually made an appearance in second place. but these days, while i still love both, i’m all about the pb patties and also the thanks-a-lot (shortbread dipped in chocolate)…and also the lemonades! yum, lemonades. (shortbread in lemon.) but now i have to suffer the self-imposed embarrassment of essentially ordering one of each, haha!

    anyway, bookmarking this pie for sure! (and the bunny picture is the best :))

  42. I hate to be the downer here, but any recommendations for those of us with peanut allergies? Almond butter? Other ideas? Thanks!

  43. I made this last night. I think I followed the recipe exactly (but I did have a 4 year old “helper”, so who knows). It was delicious, but when I sliced the tart the crust completely pulverized and the filling didn’t stick to the crust at all. I used Lorna Doone shortbread cookies — did you use another brand? Is it because I brought the tart to room temperature before serving? Suggestions?

  44. We made this tonight for dinner with friends. It was wonderful but I thought that the chocolate layer was too strong. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips as suggested, but was wondering if using milk chocolate chips or a combination of semi-sweet and milk would work.

  45. Can the crust be made ahead? I assume so but thought I’d check…Any suggestions for making any part of this in advance? I am a first time mom with an infant and can’t guarantee I can finish this all in one go – so I’d like to know how to conquer this in segments if possible…

  46. Could not find Walker’s shortbread on short notice. I did find a tin of those Danish butter cookies and they worked fine – although just one T of sugar would have been fine for anyone else making that substitution, and I did need the 4T of butter to hold the crust together.
    Anyway, the pie was, as expected, delicious, and Deb’s notes make it basically foolproof. My kids loved it, and I’ll be taking leftovers to work.

  47. I made this today and had the same issues as a previous poster. The crust crumbled, the filling did not adhere to the crust and the sprinkling of ses salt was overpowering. I used Maldon sea salt but all we could taste was salt. Ive made countless recipes from the website and most of the recipes from the cookbook with no problems but this did not turn out well. I might try it a second time just to be sure i didnt make any mistakes but im certain i was careful to follow the recipe exactly. Im interested to see what everyone else experiences.

  48. Okay made it all in one session. Turns out, this is a pretty fast recipe. My favorite part was the crust. I’d make this again, but I’d try it with he following changes: 1) a thinner layer of chocolate on the top (weird coming from me, a chocolate lover); 2) half milk/half dark chocolate like another commenter suggested; 3) I’d try to make the PB layer denser and less fluffy–maybe this means I would whip it less? Not sure.

  49. I had the same problem as a few other commenters with the crust. I used Lorna Doones, and had to add another tablespoon of butter to get it clumpy. The crust seemed fine after its 10 minute bake, but when I served it, the crust disintegrated into a pile of crumbs. That certainly didn’t stop us from devouring it, but I wonder if either more butter or sugar (or both) would help it hold together better.

  50. I made two of these last night and they tastes very salty. I didn’t even put any salt flakes on top. I think this may be because I used natural peanut butter. I would suggest adding a little more powdered sugar if you are using natural peanut butter and reduce the salt in the recipe. I’m going to add a little caramel drizzle on top of the pie we haven’t cut and serve with ice cream. Still a great recipe!

  51. I made this over the weekend to rave reviews. I didn’t have a tart pan and easily used a 8-inch cake pan, the edges of the crust even stayed up. I also used Gluten Free shortbread cookies for a GF guest. And it turned out really well. Just added a bit more butter and the crust was perfect. Also, added a tablespoon or so of chunky peanut butter, which added a nice crunch.

  52. Long time follower, first time comment-er. I followed the recipe and WOW. This turned out delicious. I can’t report any problems with the crust, it stuck together very well and did not crumble. We put whipped cream on top when serving, which was a hit for folks who love whipped cream…though I left my slice bare and enjoyed the rich taste and texture. Thank you Deb!

  53. This looks delicious! A local restaurant serves a tasty PB pie, but with a saltine cracker crumb crust. The little bits of salt really add a lot. I might have to try it both ways!

  54. Made this yesterday, exactly as posted, and served at a dinner party last night. Dispite being very rich, the 6 of us managed to polish it off one small sliver at a time. Will make this again.

  55. Happy pi day! Unfortunately, we can’t buy peanut butter in our household cuz I eat most of it in one sitting, sigh…

  56. I made over the weekend, and while good, the PB filling was dense and seemed to pack slightly less punch than your Buckeye candy recipe, which had a creamier. more ethereal texture and seemed sweeter as well. I compared the recipes and realized that while most of the ingredients are the same, the proportions of butter, PB, cream cheese and sugar are really different, plus the Buckeyes use graham crackers in the mixture as opposed to using them in the crust (for my crust I combined leftover graham crackers/assorted stray cookies/cake ends/pop tarts that were in our freezer, and it was delicious!) I’d like to try again using the Buckeye recipe for filling. Oh darn–another chocolate and PB tart assignment! :-)

  57. I wanted it NOW and didn’t have shortbread cookies around. I did, however, have Oreos. They’re a good bit sweeter, so I skipped the sugar in the shell. The rest I did just as instructed, and it was good. Really good. I ate a third of a pie for dinner good.

    I’m not proud of myself. Just reporting.

  58. I made it yesterday. Word of caution-I used the shortbread recipe in the comments, and my audience reports it’s a little thick and too crunchy (I’m hoping it softens over time as it sits in the fridge). Otherwise, perfectly delicious and appropriate for Pi Day. Except that I used a square pan-I don’t get geometry!

  59. I did not follow Deb’s recipe because I had everything but the shortbread cookies in the house-and that is a win!

  60. Updated note: This tastes better the next day… I had put it in the fridge for an hour before eating it… and I found the PB layer too fluffy and airy…Just had a sliver the next day, after it’s been in the fridge overnight and it’s so much better. All the layers hold together much more nicely and the whole tart is more firm.

  61. The perfect pie for Pi(e) Day! Quickest pie I’ve ever made and tasted fabulous. I skipped the sea salt on top but otherwise followed the recipe and it was a big hit. I will forever love the chocolate peanut butter cake, but this was a nice stand in.

  62. I made this with Trefoils in the crust, and 10 oz cookies (1 box plus four cookies) made too many crumbs for a 9″ pan. So, we had a really thick crust! I agree with the previous commenter that a slightly thinner chocolate layer might be less overwhelming to the peanut butter. My husband found it a bit rich over all, but the rest of us liked it a lot. Two other crust options I’m going to try: a regular pâte sucrée (less crumbly and less sweet), and a crumb crust made with DoSiDos (to up the PB level). I will also try it in an 11″ pan with the same amount of chocolate topping. I will probably increase the PB filling with the pâte sucrée, and keep it the same with the DoSiDos.

  63. Learn from my mistakes, people! First, a success: I used Walkers shortbread cookies and 3 TBSP butter and the crust didn’t disintegrate. Maybe Lorna Doone cookies have substantially less butter and thus a crust made from them needs an extra TBSP or two of butter to keep from crumbling. I second the comments from Sumeera (#83) about natural peanut butter making the pie really salty, even though I had skipped the sea salt sprinkle on the topping. I also used light whipped cream cheese because that’s all I had. I thought it might give the filling a more mousse-like texture, but it actually turned into paste. I added a bit more cream cheese (about 1/4 cup extra) to make up for the volume of air in my initial 1/2 cup since my cream cheese was whipped. I thought this might help the texture, but it didn’t. It also made the pie approach cheesecake-flavor territory, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I was going for. The pie was a bit of a disappointment, but salvageable served with ice cream to cut the salt. I almost threw the leftovers away. I’m glad I didn’t because it was much better after a night in the fridge. Still a bit too salty, but more peanut-y than last night. I used Deb’s freezer method in making it, so there was probably a total of 25 minutes between starting the filling and serving the pie. I say make it in advance if you can and let those flavors deepen.

  64. The shortbread I used — Was indeed Walkers. A little luxurious, but my god, the taste is probably the best I’ve ever had from a package. All it contains is flour, butter, sugar and salt, just like you’d make at home. I mention this because…

    Lorna Doone — I didn’t get a chance to respond here yesterday, but was reading your comments while at the grocery store and decided to give the tart a go with a 10-ounce box of these. It yielded just over 2 cups of crumbs and required four tablespoons of butter to come together. Once baked, the crust was indeed as a few of you have mentioned still very sandy. It’s fine from the fridge, not a total mess, but definitely not as firm of a crust. I do not mean to be sanctimonious about ingredients but to compare with the four above, these contain no butter, but canola oil, palm oil, high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, baking soda, artificial flavor and a bunch of other stuff. This is a peanut butter tart. We are not eating it for our health. But I am pretty sure this mess of ingredients threw things more than a simpler cookie would have. (Don’t worry, ours will not go to waste!)

    Shortbread recipe — I do not have a classic one on the site. I should get to that, as I love shortbread. Too much. This might be why I avoid making them. :)

    Saltiness in the peanut butter layer — Does this seem to be happening mostly from people using natural peanut butter? If so, I would never have guessed. I thought natural PB had little to no salt. Is it just that it has less sugar so saltiness is more pronounced? And everyone is using coarse or kosher salt, right? A finer salt would be twice as salty for the same volume.

    The only other thing I’m wondering if it could have thrown the saltiness off is the cream cheese used. I usually use Philadelphia but used Organic Valley this time; it has sliiiightly less salt (very slight) but it might have made the salt level seem more okay. Of interest, the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt — good thing I halved it on instinct.

    Serve this — Cold! Think of it like a cheesecake. It would definitely be mush when warm.

    To make a homemade crust — Use this! It’s Pâte Sablée-style, i.e. a cookie crust.

  65. I hope you are able to get more sleep soon. It is so tough, but only a season, right (what we need to tell ourselves so we have hope)? Since you are tackling girl scout cookies, why not a Thin Mint (chocolate wafer crust, minty layer, ganache) and Samoa (shortbread crust, coconut/caramel layer, ganache) take on the tart? One more thought – why not just make a fresh shortbread crust? Probably too much work. Or I guess we could just be lazy and spread peanut butter and chocolate on the cookie straight from the box. Not that I am admitting to doing that.

  66. Made this yesterday with Lorna Doones (only shortbread cookies I could readily find at my usual grocery store!) and 3 tbsp of butter, plus a couple handfuls of coconut–an improvisation when I remembered at the last minute that my tart pan is 11-inch while the recipe calls for a 9-inch. Whoops. Came together well enough, though a bit crumbly. I’ll have to seek out some Walkers next time.

    As for the peanut butter, I actually found the mixture a bit sweet for my tastes, not salty. That might be because my family eats the natural stuff, but I use Skippy for baking. It was still unquestionably delicious, but I’ll reduce the sugar to maybe 1/4 cup next time.

    And there will definitely be a next time.

  67. I haven’t read through every comment, but there was mention of saltiness above and I’d like to add that I found it too salty too. The whole thing just had a salty flavor that I found unpleasant (my guests did not complain and even took some home). I make almost everything you post, Deb, but this one just didn’t do it for me. If I ever made this again I would definitely omit the salt on top as that didn’t help, and probably not add any additional salt that was called for. (For the record, I used Skippy PB and the Walkers shortbread.)

  68. Re: the saltiness… I used natural peanut butter, Organic Valley cream cheese, and kosher salt per the recipe’s measurements (but no sprinkle of salt on top). I had no issue with the saltiness of the pie, nor did others at the table. I wonder if it’s variation in different salt weight/volume?

  69. This recipe looks fabulous! I will definitely be trying it out. I’ve got to say, I felt a little deflated when you mentioned your disdain for peanut butter pies. I grew up obsessively loving my Grandma’s PB pie. It had a perfectly creamy filling, tender graham cracker crust, and billowing toasted meringue top. I’ve made it a few times myself. Have I inspired you yet? :)

  70. I forgot to add to my comment that I used natural peanut butter (365 smooth from WF). I skipped the salt on top, but have had nothing but rave reivews from family and coworkers. These textures work best straight from the fridge.

  71. I am a Philly girl, and grew up loving the Tastykake version of Tagalongs (which are blessedly available year-round). They used to be called TandyTakes but have been renamed KandyKakes. I put them in the freezer for maximum enjoyment. Before Tastykakes were available in NC where I now live, my parents would ship me boxes of them. My mother’s brother moved to London, and we shipped him cases of Tastykakes regularly!

  72. If you would like to make this for a peanut-free classroom or to share with someone who is allergic to peanuts at home, it is easy to use SunButter as a 1:1 substitute. The spread is made from sunflower seeds and peanut-free. It is available at Whole Foods and elsewhere. [FYI, If using as a substitute in recipes with baking soda or baking powder, I decrease the soda amount by half or use an aluminum-free baking powder to avoid a possible greenish tint/metallic taste that is harmless but undesirable.]

  73. Yum, that was delicious. I made one the other day, then hiked to the top of a mountain carrying it to meet friends for a tasty celebration of Pi Day and Daylight Savings Time leaving daylight to hike in after work. It beat the pants of off the Safeway pie someone else brought.

    I was cramped for time, so I didn’t let the crust cool and firm up enough, so I broke it a bit when spreading the peanut layer, and couldn’t smooth that layer quite enough. But the chocolate top covered up any visual imperfections. It was a bit salty, but in a good way.

  74. BREAKING NEWS: If you blend a piece of this pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some milk, you might experience extreme delight.

    You have been warned.

  75. This is addictive! I really, really love it. It has just the right amount of saltiness to offset the richness and sweetness of the filling/topping, but I made the crust with plain digestive biscuits (closest US equivalent would be Graham crackers, I think) as it was sweet enough for me without shortbread. I think the real magic lies in the cream cheese, though. Just YUM!

  76. I am making this now, and was easily able to find gluten free shortbread cookies on Amazon to make it GF for my husb!

  77. I just made this last night, and my only issue is with the crust, but I suspect it is solely user error. I don’t remember the brand of shortbread cookies, but after three TB of butter, more was definitely still needed, so I added one more TB. Maybe I could have even gone with more? After final assembly and tasting (mmmm!), I found that I had unevenly pressed the crust on my pan, so that the bottom had a much thinner crust than the sides. So this meant some bites didn’t get enough crunchy crumb texture, and some had too much. Also, the crust crumbled very easily. Overall verdict? Delicious! But next time I would try the pate sable crust mentioned as an alternative. I had no issue with saltiness, however. After reading others’ issues with saltiness, I made sure to add just a pinch less salt than was recommended each time it was called for, and did not put salt on top. I used JIF natural PB.

  78. I made this for my college classmates last week and they loved it. I did have a few people who suggested I use milk chocolate next time. i will be making this again for our family dinner this Sunday.

  79. Made this tonight for a family dinner party. Made as directed with the exception of the chocolate…used Theo’s milk chocolate. Seved with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious!

  80. Do you know how long in advance I could make this and it would keep in the fridge please? I want to make it for dessert for an Easter Sunday Buffet but I have a lot on that weekend on the run up so will need to do some things ahead of time – so if I could make it a day or even two in advance that would be helpful? I can’t wait to try this :)

  81. I have the same question as Joanna (#122) – I am making it for Easter but traveling by car and want to make it “here” rather than “there” on Thursday evening. Thanks!

  82. I just made this as three smaller 4″ personal tarts. (I couldn’t finish a whole one. Yay! More for tomorrow!). It was sooo delicious. Perfectly pefect perfect. I used some crumbling end of the cookie jar sugar cookies someone made for us for the crust almost as buttery as the short breads. Just perfect. Fluffy pbriffic.

  83. I made this in a square 8×8 pan and it was wayyyy too easy, and way too adored by friends at the potluck I brought it to! Mine was quite salty (I used store bought cookies, and Kraft peanut butter which is like Skippy, ie. has added sugar and salt) but the salty was still a nice contrast to the sweet. The only thing I would change was the amount of chocolate topping – I found it a bit too thick for my liking and would reduce the quantity by at least a 3rd next time. On the 8×8 square pan, I think it would even be sufficient just to do some very generous drizzling with the chocolate.

  84. Hi Deb. I was excited to make this Recipe. I followed it exactly as you stated. When I unmolded the tart and cut into it, the crust disintegrated. I thought I pressed it enough. What do you suggest?

  85. I made this for my staff for a pre-easter treat. I too used the Lorna Doones as that was the only shortbread my grocery store carries. Can you believe the nerve? I mean, there aught to be a revolt!! Despite the sandy crust, this was perfect and the crew raved. Thanks for another winner, Deb!

  86. I love PB a little too much! I made some no bake PB and chocolate slices and they were so good – a little rich but so tasty! I need to put the recipe up soon! The shortbread base is genius – can’t wait to try it out :)

  87. Andrea and others that have had trouble with crumbly crust — I talked about this in Comment 101, but sadly, it sounds like the kind of cookie is the culprit. I used those pricey, lovely, pure ingredient Walker’s but when I tried it with a more processed brand, mine too fell apart. I will add a mention of this in the headnotes.

  88. So the verdict is: ridiculous. Mega return on small effort. Eat this straight from fridge (I feared the ganache would be too firm, but it is not), just as you likely would your Tagalongs. I only had a 12″ tart pan, and I’m happy, as this is a really light but rich dessert; the extra few inches yielded equally thin layers, perfect for the level of decadence. Also, work those crumbs, people… I had to really finesse them in order to spread them out, and create edges, which made them form a solid buttery mass. Not a crack or crumble as a result. All in all, restaurant worthy, but made/eaten in my kitchen. THANKS!!!!

  89. Wow just loved it, but the chocolate i used was an ordinary galaxy milk chocolate bar melted. planning to go for raw dark chocolate bars next time, lets see how it goes

  90. Hello Deb. I made your tart a few days after you posted the recipe; oh my goodness, everyone loved it. You are right, it did not last long at all. I served it after lunch and the remainder went home with guests, all of whom had ‘leftovers’/seconds for dinner and text me telling me so. My brother in law particularly loved the tart and has not stopped talking about it since, seriously!! I do not live locally and my visit ends on the 1st April so I wanted to make the tart one last time before I leave. I was wondering if it would be suitable for freezing, or not. Do you have any experience or knowledge in this area? Thank you so much. Hope you had a Happy Easter. F x

  91. Hi Deb! Made this for a co-worker’s birthday yesterday and it was just great. Got rave reviews throughout our department. I couldn’t find my tart pan, but used a springform, and it came out awesomely. Used Walkers and had no issue with crumbly crust. There was a leftover piece (I can’t believe that either?!) that is calling my name with tea for breakfast! Thanks for another wonderful recipe :)

  92. I made this pie yesterday, store bought cookie crust, bittersweet chocolate on top. Used homemade peanut butter from Lucky’s. The kids were in heaven. I liked the less sweet chocolate on top, contrasted with the filling. Very rich, we only ate a small sliver each, plenty filling.

  93. So it turns out that you can get Thin Mints from your grocery store year-round. Look for the Keebler Grasshopper cookies. $2.50/box and virtually indistinguishable. You’re welcome / sorry.

  94. Hi Deb, missing weights for the tablespoons of sugar here (not sure if it matters since most international cooks do have the tablespoons vs the cups, but if you’re being consistent…)

  95. One of the easiest and most delicious things I’ve made in a long time. I’ve never seen anything I’ve made disappear so fast before.