Peanut butter gooey butter was born out of a Twitter conversation between Rich and some of his colleagues. I’m not sure how it started – I came in on the middle of it. They were talking about peanut butter and somehow the discussion turned to gooey butter cake. That led to talk of peanut butter gooey butter and the gauntlet was thrown down to challenge The Cook’s Life to come up with a recipe.
Long story short, which is probably already too late, Rich and I whipped up a peanut butter gooey butter version that night and the office sampled it the next day. Everyone pronounced it a success.
While we made the original in cake form, I am still enamored with gooey butter tarts. There is something about getting my own little cake that makes me happy. And, with the peanut butter version, it is like eating a peanut butter cup in gooey butter cake form. You can even break out the mini muffin pan and make tiny tarts.
The peanut butter totally changes the filling – roasted peanut butter flavors and aromas harmonize beautifully with the cream cheese sweetness that is gooey butter. And there is no better platform for peanut butter goodness than a dark chocolate crust.
Say what you will about Twitter and its relevancy, but those 140 character posts led to one great recipe. Anyone have an idea for another gooey butter variation?
Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Tarts
From The Cook’s Life
Makes 24 tarts
I prefer to use natural peanut butter in the filling. Mine has just peanuts and salt. You can use regular peanut butter, but the filling will be sweeter and less intensely peanut-flavored.
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 8-oz. block cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter (see headnote)
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 24 muffin cups – do not use cupcake papers.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in melted butter and egg. Press slightly less than 2 tablespoons of crust mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.
In same bowl, beat cream cheese and peanut butter until fluffy and fully combined. Beat in eggs until well blended. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Divide filling evenly among muffin cups, using 2-3 tablespoons per cup.
Bake 13-15 minutes, or until filling is mostly set and slightly puffed. The tops of the tarts will flatten as they cool. Let tarts cool in pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes so they can firm up. Run a knife around the edge of each tart before removing it to the rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for a few days, in a single layer or with parchment or waxed paper between layers, as they tend to stick to each other. Freeze for longer storage. Thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Mini Tart Variation
Makes 72 tarts
You can also bake these as bite-sized mini tarts. They are great party desserts – one bite, no utensils or plates required.
Follow the above directions for mixing. Use about 2 teaspoons of crust mixture per mini muffin cup. Use about a tablespoon of filling. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes before removing to racks to cool.