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A Stress-Free Yet Delicious Dessert? Yes, Please.

Author: 
Holly Herrick
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Thanksgiving is all about tradition, but let's face it, not everyone loves apple, pumpkin, or pecan pie, and not everyone loves to bake or get involved with making or rolling out pie pastry.

That's where this decadent tart comes into your Thanksgving day—it's a stress-free dessert plan. Except for a quick bake to set the butter and chocolate Graham cracker crust, it's completely oven-free. The filling, a blend of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff is blended together and chilled, something that can be done a few days ahead. Just before serving, top it off with a thick layer of freshly whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate chips. It's a Reese's lover's dream, with whipped cream on top that's sure to please.

 


Peanut Butter Fluff & Chocolate Tart. 

Adapted from Tart Love: Sassy, Savory and Sweet by Holly Herrick (Gibbs Smith, October 1, 2011). 

Photo by Helene Dujardin.

 

Peanut Butter Fluff & Chocolate Tart
Equipment Needed: One 9"x1" round tart pan with removable bottom
 

INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate crust:
1 stick soft, unsalted butter
3 cups crumbled chocolate Graham Cracker Crust (about 1 1/2 of the individually wrapped plastic packets)
 

For the filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese
3/4 cup marshmallow cream (suggest Kraft's Jet-Puffed brand)
1/4 cup light brown sugar

For the topping:
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare the crust. To crumble the Graham Crackers, crush the packets with a rolling pin and continue smashing them (this part is fun!) until they resemble the size of tiny peas. Combine the cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Using your hands, combine the butter and the crumbs until they're evenly mixed. Press the crust into the bottom of the tart pan forming an even thickness and pressing the crumbs into the edges of the tart pan. It's o.k. if it looks a little rough and rustic. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights and continue baking until the crust starts to dry out and crisp, another 20  minutes or so. Remove from the oven and set aside for 20 minutes to cool. Chill to refrigerate. (Note: The crust can chill, covered with plastic wrap overnight or for several hours).

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine the peanut butter, cream cheese, marshmallow cream and light brown sugar in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine, or blend with a hand held mixer utnil very fluffy and smooth.

When the crust is completely chilled, add the filling.  Smooth with a spatula to meet the edges of the tart. Refrigerate at this point for several hours or overnight, if desired. Within one or two hours of serving, prepare the whipped cream. Combine the cold cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium sized, cold bowl and beat with a whisk or blender until firm peaks have formed. All at once, place the whipped cream on top of the filled tart. Spread with a spatula to level it out, leaving a 1/2" visible border of the peanut butter filling. Drizzle the chocolate chunks over the whipped cream. Chill for at least one hour and up to three hours before serving.

Bon appetit and Happy Thanksgiving!