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Peanut butter brownie pie with a pretzel crust


The combination is a winning one: a rich, chewy chocolate brownie baked inside a crushed-pretzel crust.

To make “teeny” pies — as in, the baker’s name — see the variation below.

Peanut butter brownie pie with a pretzel crust

Serves: 8 to 10 (makes one 9-inch pie)

Make ahead: The baked, cooled crust needs to be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes and up to a day in advance. The pie can be kept at room temperature, covered, for 2 to 3 days.

Adapted from “Teeny’s Tour of Pie: Mastering the Art of Pie in 67 Recipes,” by Teeny Lamothe (Workman, 2014).

Ingredients

For the crust

1 1/4 cups pretzel crumbs (from about 4 1/2 cups pretzels)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, preferably the individually swrapped 1-ounce pieces for baking

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9-inch pie plate at hand.

Place the crumbs in a mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter over them and stir until evenly coated. Spoon three-quarters of the mixture into the pie plate; press it against the sides to build a 1/4-inch-thick wall all around. Spoon the remaining mixture into the center/bottom of the pie plate and press to form a solid bottom, making sure the bottom and sides are joined.

Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water over medium heat.

Combine the butter, chocolate and 1/4 cup of the peanut butter in a heatproof bowl that’s wide enough to cover the saucepan. Set the bowl on the saucepan; once the ingredients have melted, stir until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Whisk in the cocoa powder. Cool.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes; it will be a little runny. Remove from the heat.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a separate mixing bowl. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture, whisking until well incorporated.

Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, then add to the chocolate batter; stir until smooth and well incorporated. Pour into the chilled pretzel pie shell, smoothing the surface.

Drizzle or spoon the runny peanut butter into the filling; use a toothpick or round-edged knife to swirl or work it in. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted 2 inches from the edge of the crust comes out clean.

Cool before serving.

Variation: Prepare, pre-bake and chill the crusts in four 5-inch pie tins. Divide the filling among the crusts; proceed with the recipe as directed. The filling mixture might sink a bit as it cools.

Nutrition information per serving (based on 10): 490 calories, 8 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 30 g fat, 16 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 340 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 29 g sugar