Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart with Caramel Drizzle

by cakeduchess on March 10, 2011 · 71 comments


It’s time to get back to business! Serious baking business! Peanut butter cream on top of a pretzel crust. That’s what kind of business I mean!

I’m sure you can imagine, It was very difficult to write my last post. Do I share with people I’ve never even met what is really going on in my life? Do I talk about cancer on this public forum? Do I do what I’ve been taught to do my whole life in a Sicilian household: Keep it a secret. What will people think? Should I just pretend every thing is ok. Keep smiling. I went against every thing I’ve been taught and just was brutally honest. I don’t regret it. Why should I be embarrassed.  I didn’t invite this cancer into my life. It is a very unwelcome guest.
One good thing about being sick is that every one wants to feed you. I maybe gained 5 lbs. this last week. My neighbors have spoiled me. My mom has been spoiling me. My dear friend Ilaria invited me over for pizza last night. She’s from Bari, Italy. She makes AMAZING pizza. No matter what I’m doing, when she calls for us to come by for pizza, I’m there! Ilaria always tells me NOT to bring any thing. I know she’s lying and wants me to bake a cake.
I was counting down the minutes until we were going to her house. Kept watching the clock. To make the time go quicker, I threw this fun dessert together. Luca and I go to the library almost every week. As I was walking by the magazines in the front of the library,  the February issue of Rachel Ray Magazine caught my eye!  There was Rachel eating a huge burger on the cover. I was intrigued and had to read more and then this yumminess caught my eye. The next think you know, I was making it. Funny how cravings work like that.

It is very easy to make. Let me repeat it: VERY EASYSmile.

The crust is made with PRETZELS!!!Winking smile It’s like a candy bar. An irresistible low-cal candy bar. I’m kidding on the low-cal. It does have a stick of butter in the crust and whipped cream in the filling.


Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart with Caramel Drizzle

recipe from: Rachel Ray Magazine
serves approx.: 8

  • 2 cups broken salted pretzel sticks (I used salted pretzels-yum!)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter—6 tablespoons melted and cooled, 3 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons chilled
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a food processor, finely grind the pretzels, 1/4 cup brown sugar. DSCN6521
Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the melted butter.

DSCN6522Press evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

Bake until light brown around the edges, about 18 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and softened butter at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup heavy cream with the vanilla until soft peaks form.


Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture.
Doesn’t this look so good! It almost didn’t make it into the tart!


With a spatula spread this gorgeous peanut butter mixture in the tart shell.
Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours. I popped the bottom out of the sides of the tart pan. I left it the bottom on the tart pan and it was very messy when cutting. But DELICIOUS! All the salty yumminess from the pretzels mixed with the peanut butter/whipped cream mixture. Crazy GOODWinking smile

I used Dulce de Leche and drizzled it on top. If you want to use Rachel’s caramel recipe to drizzle on, here it is:
Caramel Drizzle
In a small, heavy skillet, bring the granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved (wash down any sugar crystals from the sides with a wet pastry brush). Boil without stirring, but swirling the pan occasionally, until golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes, then whisk in the chilled butter, the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer the caramel to a bowl and let cool completely. Rewarm gently before drizzling over the sliced tart; serve the remainder on the side.
recipe from: Rachel Ray Magazine

Fabrizio was off the other night and he made a quick penne with fresh mozzarella, Japanese eggplant, fresh tomatoes,fresh basil, and Pecorino Romano grated on top. Simple but delizioso!Winking smileLove when my hubby cooks!

While I was concentrating so much on my worries, I feel bad that I didn’t really rave about the fabulous Fat Witch Brownies I made. I was working on that post for almost 5 days. Writing, deleting. Writing and more deleting. Not sure just how much to divulge of my situation. The brownie part was the easiest part. The Fat Witch founder even left me a sweet comment and I just want her to know how much I LOVE her book and the brownies. I had to just get that out there. Who would’ve thought she’d pay me a visit!? Thank you so much, PatSmile
Thank you to all of you for your love, friendship, and support. Truly I am blessed. I know I’ll beat this stupid cancer. Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts. I hope you all are doing wonderful and are having a great week! I will try not to make my blog be all about this cancer. When something is happening, I am sure I will write about it. Most likely, something delicious will be included with my thoughts and feelings. Because baking makes me feel good. Smile

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Pretend Chef March 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Why do I not have vanilla extract in my pantry?!? AHHH! I’m kicking myself right now. That’s all I need….why oh why? Haha!


claudia lamascolo March 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Yep keep smiling, but talk about it, it helps, thats what blogging is all about sharing your feeling and helping other cope with the same problems, it good to know we are not alone :). We are all out there praying for you… Besides that who would bake these lovely confections for us? Your going to be fine I just know it! Keep the Sicilian faith.. mom always said keep the faith…


ravienomnoms March 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Love this idea! I am digging that pretzel crust that is so genius! I am known to dip my pretzels in peanut butter so this is just calling my name


Angela@RecipesFromMyMom March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I miss taking my daughter to the library for story time or to pick out the tallest stack of books ever. Good memories! Pretzel crusts are great. I use one for my Margarita bars.

Lora, I’m always so happy to see a new post from you. You have a fab rest of the week.


Rosie @ Sweetapolita March 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

This looks so amazing, Lora! I really will be making this yumminess soon. Love the pretzel idea! Big hugs from Canada–you’re a strong and gorgeous woman, and thank you for sharing your story and thoughts. Thinking of you! xo


Susan March 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Lora! What a moment of kismet when you saw that magazine … this tart is just beautiful to look at and I am betting so light and fluffy delicious too. I did not give up sweets for Lent … ;-)

Blessings as you confront your medical issues .. be strong, dear… and don’t worry about divulging too much. Like you said, sometimes you just have to get it out there …


A SPICY PERSPECTIVE March 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I just can’t resist that sweet and salty combo! It looks amazing, Lora!


Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm

This tart looks fantastic! I actually made peanut butter cheesecakes on pretzel crust and they were delicious. It is so nice that there are so many people coming out to support you! I also think that food is one of the best ways to show someone love.


Maria March 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Wow, this looks amazing!


Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow March 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Yum! What an amazing sweet and salty combo! This looks so delicious!


Evan @swEEts March 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Absolutely delicious! I love peanut butter and with a pretzel crust?! In true Rach: Yum-O! :)


Spicie Foodie March 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

When I say Pretzels in the title I had to come over. OMG this is such a great tart recipe, it is going on my list to make soon. We are all here for you and if you need to write about what is going on, do so. Not keeping your feelings or thoughts in is great therapy. Keeping you in my thoughts, best wishes sweetie:) Love the tart!


Fresh and Foodie March 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

OMG! YUM! This is amazing! Kind of like a Take 5 candy bar, which is one of my favorites. Awesome!


Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

this looks beautiful! i love the pretzel peanut butter combination. i’ve seen that pop up a few places and need to give it a try!


Elizabeth Ann (Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box March 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Oh wow. . . peanut butter and PRETZELS. . . AND cream cheese. . . heavenly! ;-) This is a MUST for this weekend! :-)


Sara @ Saucy Dipper March 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

If only I could get paid for this kind of business…

The best part of the pie, I think, is the crust. And the idea of a sweet and salty crust has me salivating. Can’t wait to try it.


Carolyn March 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm

This. Is. Incredible!


Jessica @ How Sweet March 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

OH goodness… this is sweet and salty heaven.


Ken│hungry rabbit March 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Please adopt me so I can have delicious comfort home-cook meal 24/7. I promise I’ll do the dishes everyday.


egrace March 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Pretzel are always a good idea! I love the salty sweet combination!


Kate @ March 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Ah this tart is amazing! How do you make that crust look so pretty – I could probably be satisfied just with that!

You’re in my prayers, Lora… hugs … you will beat this!


EatLiveRun March 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

love love love this!!


A Thought For Food March 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Ok… who are you feeding over there? Because I can’t imagine you’re the one eating all of this. :-)

Another fun dessert… love it!


Steph March 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

This is my kind of pie!! I’d be all over this in 2 seconds


Wilde in the Kitchen March 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I think its great that you are sharing what you’re going through. It not only helps you, but it helps everyone else who is going through something similar. As for this tart, brilliant. Love the pretzel crust. Now I’m trying to think what else would be good with a pretzel crust!


Amy Bakes Everything March 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

How beautiful! I love sweet and salty – this sounds so yummy! Great job!


Erin March 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm

This looks amazing! Take care of yourself! =o)


Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook March 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Incredible, my dear! You always make something out of this world. It is funny how food brings people together and also is a source of comfort. Wishing you the best and take care.


briarrose March 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Incredible tart…I’m going to have to make this. The combination of the salty pretzels, peanut butter, and caramel is just irresistible.

You’ll be in my thoughts. :)


Sandra March 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Holy deliciousness..that is so good! Do you have any tricks to get hubby into kitchen..mine is doing it only if I have migraine LOL!!!


Danielle March 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Pretzels + peanut butter? Swoon! Love it!


Katrina March 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Lora- First: You are awesome and cancer IS stupid. You are going to beat it to a pulp! Second: Oh My WORD!!!! I want a piece. Scratch that. I want 2 pieces! ♥- Katrina


Lizzy March 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

SO beautiful! And how could it not be delicious! And how sweet of you to return and thank the Fat Witch founder…I’m certain she knew how preoccupied you were. It just reflects your true goodness :)


whatsfordinneracrossstatelines March 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Amazing tart, but even more is your courage. I know how that can be with family and wanting to break away from that and doing something different. We are here to cheer you up !


Claudia March 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm

There are no rules for fighting cancer. There are no rules for your content on your blog. In Brighton Beach Memoirs, Neil Simon has the character Eugene speak a wonderful monologue about his family and every time he says “cancer” he whispers it. Nobody talked about it. Don’t whisper.

And keep baking. The sweet and salty and your artistry are spun gold.


megan @ whatmegansmaking March 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I saw this in Rachael Ray too and I can’t wait to make it! It’s on my list :)


Happy When Not Hungry March 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm

This tart looks amazing! I love the pretzels and the peanut butter in there. Yum! You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers too!


Our Eyes Eat First March 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm

beautiful – your pictures and this are to ddiiiee fooorr!! im making something salty and sweet as well! thanks for sharing : j

Jas at


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 11, 2011 at 12:12 am

Do you know that this is like a giant version of a Take 5 bar? Oh my goodness, I’m in serious trouble, that’s one of my favorite candy bars! This sounds soooo much better. I’m going to be making this very soon that’s for sure!


Cookin' Canuck March 11, 2011 at 1:21 am

This tart is beyond wonderful, Lora! The salty/sweet combination is one of my favorites.

As for sharing your news, that’s always a personal decision. But know this – you have a huge “family” in this food blogging world that cares about you and is thinking of you every day.


Aggie March 11, 2011 at 1:42 am

I agree with Dara, you really do have a huge other family out here. We all really care about you. I know it took lots to write that post…I know exactly what you mean about the secrets in a Sicilian household. You are always in my thoughts and prayers my friend…

On a lighter note. holy cow this tart looks amazing! Pretzel crust???? Peanut butter???? Pretzels and peanut butter are my favorite!!!


Sandra March 11, 2011 at 2:21 am

The pretzel crust is a real treat, and yummy caramel drizzle. What a treat!


Christina March 11, 2011 at 3:58 am

I love Rachael’s magazine. Your tart looks amazing.


A little bit of everything March 11, 2011 at 4:22 am

i’ve been meaning to write something on your last post, i had tears on my face. You’re a strong woman Lora, you’re a fighter, you’ll show that cancer who’s the boss. Keep your faith, laugh, love and bake goodies. you’ll be around not just for the 1st book your baby reads but for the 10000th.

this tart sounds so good. love the pretzel crust. and the caramel on top, such a show stopper.


Diana's Cocina March 11, 2011 at 4:33 am

Lora ~ Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts. I read on Twitter when you said you had cancer. I was speechless. I know you don’t know me, but, if you ever need someone to talk to look me up on my blog, twitter or facebook. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Tamar1973 March 11, 2011 at 6:34 am

Pretzel crust, how clever with that salty/sweet combo!


Firefly March 11, 2011 at 6:56 am

Love the combination :) it looks yummy!


marla March 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Very glad to see you are living life to it’s fullest and sharing these sweet treats with us! xo
Enjoy those extra feel good calories :)


Elle March 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm

You do have a huge family out here in the internet. The food blogging community is one of the most supportive I know. Hugs to you today.

This tart looks dangerously good!


Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking March 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Oh my goodness, Lora, this tart looks so delicious and decadent… I love the flavors that you used, and especially the peanut butter crust. I hope you are feeling well, physically and emotionally. :)


BakingWithoutaBox March 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Look at you and the uber cute hubs cooking up a storm in that kitchen. A candy bar in a pie. Now that’s all kind of goodness in a quickie dessert on the way to a-maz-ing pizza.
You’re so strong and brave for talking about that battle against cancer that you’re going to win. Be glad I’m not closer. The Southern in me would just have to keep feedin’ ya. Take care sweetie!


Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels March 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I was raised the same way, to keep things a secret. My mama looked upset when I told her that I told the whole world about what was going on with me! She thought I had just told you. I’m so glad you shared your feelings with everyone. It’s so great for you to get it all out. Everyone loves and supports you. :)

I just adore how you and Luca go to the library together, so sweet. You truly are an incredible mother to your kids.

That tart looks insane!! But insane is a very good thing according to me. I love pretzels and the crust is just calling my name. Actually the whole thing is! I wish you could bake for me everyday.


Dina @ The Dish and The Dirt March 11, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I am sending you my good wishes. I’m glad to hear that you are surrounded by loved ones…who incidentally, get to enjoy your amazing food. Be well.


Chef Dennis March 12, 2011 at 1:11 am

that tart sounds insanely delicious!! I have to make this for my girls, they will shriek with joy!!
have a good weekend, get outside and enjoy the weather


Dionne Baldwin @ Try Anything Once March 12, 2011 at 1:32 am

It’s a risk sharing personal details with your readers but we love you so much hopefully it encourages you a bit to hear sweet nothings and comment hugs from us!

I guess it COULD be low cal if you just look. :) Or maybe chew and not swallow? This looks so good I don’t care if I gain a few…

I hope you have an amazing weekend.




Rebecca from Chow and Chatter March 12, 2011 at 5:20 am

wow looks great and homemade pizza now thats a good friend to have

big hugs love your blog



Sue March 12, 2011 at 6:17 am

I’ve never heard of a pretzel crust, but I’m sold! This tart looks amazing! I really need to make it.
Hang in there, Lora; I’m praying for you:) XOXO


Cakewhiz March 12, 2011 at 11:03 am

Congrats on the top 9! It’s well deserved!
Imagine me running over to give you a big hug now,,, i will be keeping you in my prayers :)


Angie's Recipes March 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Congratulations on Top 1!! This looks simply decadent and delicious!
I wish you and yours a peaceful weekend!


Adele Forbes March 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

This looks and sounds divine! Thank you so much for sharing.


kitchenarian March 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Congratulations on Top 9! This looks amazing. The pretzels just take it over the top. And that dulce de leche…oh goodness.


Kim - Liv Life March 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I can imagine the saltiness of the crust meshes perfectly with the peanut butter! Wow!! My girl scouts would have loved this one!!


Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } March 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Lora – I had not read your previous post until now. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I know that you will beat the cancer! It was very brave of you to put it out to the world what you are going through and you have to know that everyone is pushing positive thoughts your way!!! The blog-a-shere, especially the food community is extremely supportive. Congrats on the Top 9 today!! Very well deserved for this delicious tart – this is a must make! Have a divine weekend!!!

Reply March 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm

What a beautiful tart, Lora :)


Magic of Spice March 12, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Goodness that looks delicious, reminds me of candy bar flavors as well :)
Keep your spirits up and good thoughts!


Hilary March 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I read that issue of RR and saw this recipe…want to make it SOOOO bad! Even more so after seeing this post! :)


Cara March 13, 2011 at 12:18 am

Pretzel crust! WOW that sounds great!


scrambledhenfruit March 13, 2011 at 12:35 am

Pretzels and peanut butter make this tart irresistible! I can’t wait to try it. :)


Sprinkled with Flour March 13, 2011 at 1:03 am

I love pretzel cruts, and the peanut butter filling in this sounds to die for! When you get a chance, stop by and pick up a couple of awards at my blog:)


kita March 13, 2011 at 2:02 am

I was eying up this recipe the other day while flipping through my magazines. This looks great and congrats on the Top 9!
And I say its your blog – you talk about whatever you need to talk about. People will read if they want to or wont – but this is yours and those of us that <3 you even if you wrote about boogers and french fries would still be here to support you. :)


Lael Hazan @educatedpalate March 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Sweet, salty, and lovely! I understand why the filling almost didn’t make it to the tart!


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