No-Bake Deep-Dish Peanut Butter Snickers Pie with Salted Caramel
I really don’t care about pie crust that much, unless it’s a chocolate cookie crust.
Then I want double. So I doubled it and now I care about it.
In the current sea of apple and pumpkin pies, I figured that peanut butter, chocolate, Snickers, and caramel would be refreshing. Let’s face it, those ingredients never go out of season.
If you’re looking for an easy pie that’s extremely satisfying, look no further. It’s rich, decadent, and has so many textures and flavors going on, that it’s bound to have something for everyone.
The crust is extra thick and because of that, you’re going to want to make this in a springform pan rather than a traditional pie dish. You could probably make it in a 9-inch square pan, but I went with my 9-inch springform pan. Plus, it’s easier to get the slices of pie out when you can remove the other ring.
To make the crust, I pulverized one 20-ounce package of Trader Joe’s version of Oreo cookies in my food processor. I used chocolate-filled rather than vanilla-filled, but most any chocolate sandwich cookies will work. I believe there were 43 cookies in the package in case you’re counting cookies based on package sizes.
Combine the crumbs with butter and press the thick, sludgy and fudgy mixture into the pan.
No need to even bake it for the crust to set up. I love no-bake desserts.
For the filling, I combined 8 ounces of light spreadable cream cheese (Trader Joe’s), one 8-ounce container of Fat Free Cool Whip, with peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and dash of vanilla.
I used lighter and fat free products so I know they work. When cooking and baking, it’s never safe to assume that lighter ingredients will work the same as their full fat counterparts, but in this case, you’re safe.
I know I’ll be asked about substitutions for the Cool Whip from international readers or for people who don’t have access to or like storebought whipped topping. Whipping your own cream and adding sugar is very iffy. The stabilizers in Cool Whip prevent the pie from deflating and give it some structure. You’re welcome to try using homemade sweetened whipped cream, but I don’t really recommend it, and this may not be the recipe for you.
Also use classic storebought peanut butter, like Jif or Skippy, not homemade or natural peanut butter. You don’t want the oil separating out. Having the oil rise to the top of your pie wouldn’t be pretty.
After mixing together the filling, turn it out onto the prepared crust and then top it with diced Snickers, or your favorite candy.
I used the new Peanut Butter Squared Snickers. They’re like the classic, but with a pop of peanut butter flavor, and in a square shape rather than logs. They’re more peanut buttery than the classic, but don’t blow me away with peanut butter flavor. In this recipe, they’re a nice complement to the peanut butter filling, but use what you can find.
If you have extra or leftover Halloween candy (or Easter, birthday party, etc.) to use, mix-and-match and use that instead of Snickers.
Drizzle with salted caramel sauce, and then freeze your 8 pound creation for at least a couple hours, or overnight. I froze it for 3 days before I sliced into it because I was waiting for the perfect sunny day to photograph it.
Meaning, you can make this well in advance of an event, even a week or so, freeze it, and serve when you’re ready. It does make a big ole pie, but since it freezes perfectly and lasts for a good month in the freezer (we’ve been chipping away at it for awhile), I view it like having a big tub of ice cream in the freezer.
The cookie crust is thick, firm and chocolaty, and the perfect crunchy contrast to the smooth, soft, creamy peanut buttery filling.
The cream cheese in the filling adds a slight tanginess and is a flavor undertone, which takes a backseat to the intensity of the nicely pronounced peanut butter.
The abundance of diced Snickers on top add so much texture and flavor. I love Snickers and love Snickers Cookies, so it was about time I used them again in a recipe.
I’ve happily been plucking them off the top to the point that part of the pie is naked. Whoops.
The salted caramel drizzle is really the icing on the cake. Or pie. Make your own or use storebought. I used Trader Joe’s. The slight saltiness helps to cut some of the sweetness from the Snickers and Oreo crust.
And everything is better with drippy, luscious caramel sauce.
No-Bake Deep-Dish Peanut Butter Snickers Pie with Salted Caramel
This rich, decadent pie has so many textures and flavors going on, there’s bound to be something for everyone. The cookie crust is double the thickness of most. It’s firm, chocolaty, and the perfect crunchy contrast to the smooth, soft, creamy peanut buttery filling. The cream cheese in the filling adds a slight tanginess and is another flavor undertone but takes a backseat to the intensity of the peanut butter. The abundance of diced Snickers on top adds more texture and flavor, while the salted caramel helps to cut some of the sweetness, and adds more luscious flavor. The pie is no-bake, fast and easy to assemble, but does need to freeze for at least 3 hours so it can set up. There’s no harm making it well in advance of an event (about 1 week) because it keeps beautifully in the freezer (about 2 months). Let pie come to room temp for about 15 minutes for easier slicing. If you have extra Halloween candy (or Easter, birthday party, etc.) to use, mix-and-match and use that instead of Snickers.
20-ounce package chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed to fine crumbs (I used chocolate-filled Trader Joe’s version of Oreos – 43 cookies in the package; classic Oreos or another chocolate sandwich cookie may be used)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (3/4 of 1 stick)
Filling and Topping
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used Trader Joe’s spreadable light cream cheese; reduced fat or full-fat cream cheese may be used)
8 ounces Cool Whip, at room temperature (I used Fat Free Cool Whip; reduced fat or full-fat whipped topping may be used)
heaping 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter or honey roasted peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy or similar; do not use natural or homemade because it can separate)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
about 1 cup Snickers, diced small (I used Peanut Butter Squared Snickers; or use your favorite candy)
about 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce, for drizzling (I used Trader Joe’s; use your favorite brand or make Homemade Caramel Sauce)
- Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray; set aside. If you don’t have one, a 9-inch square pan would likely work, although I have not tested it. Do not use a 9-inch traditional pie dish because it will be too shallow.
- Crush cookies by placing them in a food processor and processing until they’re a fine dust, noting that the filling may melt a bit which is okay. Using a Vita-Mix is not ideal because it will melt the cookies before it will crush them, and you will have to work in batches, tamping down frequently. Crushing cookies in a large Ziplock and rolling over it with a rolling pin may work, provided you take your time and make sure the cookies are broken down into a fine dust. Set crumbs aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Add the cookie crumbs to the butter, and stir to combine. Mixture will be thick, slugdy, and fudgy.
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan, pressing it down firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top so that crust it flat and even; set pan aside.
- Filling and Topping – In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, Cool Whip, peanut butter, vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. This is a recipe I found it easier to use my handheld mixer than stand mixer.
- Add confectioners’ sugar slowly and mix to incorporate, making sure to start mixing on low speed so sugar doesn’t fly everywhere. Beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
- Turn mixture out onto prepared crust, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Evenly sprinkle with diced Snickers. I used a generous 1 cup; use more or less depending on how thick you want the candy layer.
- Evenly drizzle with caramel sauce; just eyeball it. Use more or less depending on how thick you want the caramel.
- Cover pan with clingwrap or foil to prevent freezer smells, and place pan in freezer for at least 3 hours to set up before slicing, or overnight. I made pie 3 days before slicing it. Recipe can be made well in advance of an event, about 1 week or so, if desired.
- When ready to serve, allow pie to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove springform ring, and slice. The pie slices easily after about 15 minutes at room temp. The filling doesn’t really freeze solid and doesn’t get as hard as ice cream does. Pie will keep covered in freezer for about 2 months or in the refrigerator for about 10 days. I store in the freezer because of the longer shelf life and prefer this pie well-chilled.
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Dark Rum Caramel Sauce (gluten-free) – A step-by-step guide for easy at-home caramel sauce that can be used on everything from ice cream to apples. Can be made with or without rum, add salt to taste
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What’s your favorite pie?