Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Tart

I have to admit I actually made this recipe last month and I have been going back and forth about whether or not to post it.  You see the thing is I really didn't like the way the pictures came out, BUT the tart was so rich and delicious I feel like the recipe deserves to be shared.  I mean seriously all starts with an Oreo crust, followed by a thick layer of salted caramel and chopped peanuts.  Then there is a layer of peanut butter pie filling and its all topped off with chocolate ganache!  I mean its part peanut butter pie, part Snickers.  Creamy and crunchy with the smooth chocolate ganache; this tart has serious texture and flavor.  It is definitely worth giving a try sometime!

So let's talk about the more recent...

Where oh where did the summer go? It's already mid-August and I just last Friday finally made it to a Jazz in the Sculpture Garden.  It was so nice to get to hangout with Courtney (who took this awesome picture of our picnic set-up) and Dusty.  Can we also talk about how mild it has been this's been pretty awesome and I have been seriously loving it for exercise purposes.

But seriously where has the summer gone?  I am starting to be able to count the weeks by quotes in front of one of the houses in my neighborhood...the first one I saw was meant for said "If you fall, I will catch you." - The Ground.  Let's me real, I am a total clutz and sadly trip and fall while running a few times a year. The quote from two weeks ago was on my last blog post. Last weeks is above, and I am waiting for my run this week in DC to see what the words of wisdom are for the week.  

I can tell the summer is coming along though, as my long runs are getting a little easier.  However, I am supposed to be at a higher distance than I currently am for training for the fall...oops.  Oh well, just got to keep going, so I can keep eating desserts like this tart.   

Seriously though, check out the layers, and I just had to top it with some cut up peanut butter cups.  Some may say over the top...I say just right for what the birthday boy wanted.

Ultimate Peanut Butter Tart
Tart Crust:
1 package of Oreos scrapped of their filling
4 - 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Almost Burnt Salted Caramel Sauce: (recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker adapted to make a smaller quantity)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
3 tablespoons good-quality salted butter
1⁄4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Tart Filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 package (8 Ounce) 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 package (8 Ounce) Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

4 ounces semisweet
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/16 teaspoon coarse salt

For the caramel sauce:
1.  First the day before, if you want you can make the caramel sauce.  Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.  Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to the warming pan. Whisk the sugar occasionally as it begins to heat, to ensure that the sugar cooks evenly.

2.  Cook the sugar to a nice dark copper color. The sugar will go from golden to dark copper fairly quickly. To help control the sugar, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cool burner just before you reach the dark color you’d like. The bottom of the pan will still be hot enough to continue to cook the sugar.

3.  Over low heat, whisk butter, all at once, into the copper-colored sugar. When butter is melted, pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble and froth, but keep mixing. When bubbling subsides, add vanilla extract. Stir. The caramel might feel too loose. Don’t worry; it will thicken as it cools.  While cakes 

4.  Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To thin, warm in the microwave for a few seconds until you reach the desired consistency.  

For the tart:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Crush the chocolate wafers until they’re fine crumbs. I used a food processor, but you could get your aggression out and put them in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.

3.  Pour melted butter over the top of the wafer crumbs and stir with a fork to combine. Press into tart pan, covering the bottom and have it go half way up the sides, and bake in preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  

4.  Once the crust has cooled, pour a nice thick layer of caramel on the bottom of the prepared crust.  It should be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.  Top the caramel with the chopped peanuts and gently press them into the caramel using your hand.  Place in the refrigerator to harden for 30 minutes.  While the caramel is chilling prepare the tart filling.

5.  Beat the peanut butter with the softened cream cheese until smooth. 

6.  Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed Cool Whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.  Carefully pour the filling into the chilled tart crust, trying not to move the caramel too much.  Then place the tart in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  While the tart is chilling for the second time, prepare the ganache.

7.  Place chocolate in a medium sized heat resistant bowl.  Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat.  Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don't stir -- doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).

8.  Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate.

9.  Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl.  Scrape dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it. Let cool until mostly thickened, and a consistency not to runny but easy to spoon on the cupcakes with our running everywhere.

10.  Once the tart is done chilling for the hour, pour a nice layer of chocolate ganache on top of the tart, spreading it out using a spatula and top with chopped peanut butter cups if desired.  Serve immediately if you are okay with soft ganache or chill for at least one more hour.  Store in the refrigerator, serve and Enjoy!

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