This is definitely one of those sorry/not sorry situations. I’m sorry if you’re trying to avoid sweets lately. I’m sorry if you were planning to wear a bathing suit this weekend. I’m sorry if you find the combination of peanut butter and chocolate as irresistible as I do. But then, I’m not at all sorry for creating this glorious dessert and I’m definitely not sorry for sharing it with you. There are times for the healthiest of meals and there are times when you just need to splurge. This is clearly the latter.

This is truly a perfect dessert splurge. It’s salty and sweet. It’s cool and creamy peanut butter ice cream on top of a fudge brownie base. How can you possibly go wrong with that? Since it’s an ice cream pie, this is just the dessert to contribute to any hot and sunny summer gathering (provided you have a way to keep it cold – it’s worth it!) It’s especially ideal for sharing with friends so that you don’t have the whole thing tempting you from the freezer. But of course, since it is a frozen dessert, it keeps for quite some time so you can enjoy a sliver whenever you wish.

  • Yield 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients

For the brownie base: 

  • 8 tbsp. (4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

To finish:

  • 2½-3 cups peanut butter ice cream, slightly softened
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Peanut butter sauce

Directions

  • 01

    To make the brownie base, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the bottom of a springform pan* with parchment paper.  Lightly grease the inside edges of the pan and coat with flour, shaking away the excess. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar and eggs. Whisk in the vanilla, salt and espresso powder. Stir in the flour just until incorporated and no dry streaks remain.

  • 02

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake, rotating halfway through the baking time, until the center is just set, about 22-24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Then cover and transfer to the freezer to chill thoroughly.

  • 03

    When you are ready to assemble, remove the chilled brownie layer from the freezer. Add the peanut butter ice cream over the brownie layer and smooth with a spatula. Return to the freezer while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and whisk or whip with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form. Blend in the vanilla. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (I used Ateco #845) and pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edge of the pie. Return to the freezer.

  • 04

    Just before serving, drizzle chocolate syrup and peanut butter sauce over the top of the pie. Run a knife around the edge of the pan before removing the sides of the springform. Slice and serve immediately. Store covered in the freezer.

  • 05

    *If you do not have a springform pan, you can use any pan of a similar size. I like the springform here because it allows for easy removal and slicing, but it’s not an absolute necessity.

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