Someone in our family had a birthday over the weekend, and I figured, why not Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie Pie with Peanut Butter Cheesecake? I know there’s quite a gap between “birthday cake” and “chocolate brownie pie.” Let’s just suffice it to say I feel a kindred spirit with Robert Frost; there were two divergent roads before me, and I took the one less traveled…and it made all the difference!
I don’t often wax poetic about a recipe, but sometimes a recipe is more than a thought in your head; words on a page; ingredients on the counter.
To me, this recipe was symbolic of life. Why? Because it was messy. In fact, it was so messy I hesitated to even to share it with you. I thought I would scrap it and start over. This one was not going to work.
My family urged me to reconsider…because it tasted so good.
Isn’t that the goal of a good recipe?
Yes, but it’s still hard to deny our desire for things to look a certain way.
This dilemma reminds me of the song, “Leave it Like it Is” by one of my favorite artists, David Wilcox.
Most folks suffer in sorrow, thinking they’re just no good. They don’t match the magazine model as close as they think they should. They live just like the “paint by numbers.” The teacher would be impressed. A life-time of follow the lines…so it’s just like all of the rest.” — David Wilcox
Maybe it’s ok to paint outside the lines? Bake outside of the pan? Live a little larger than life!
Why I Love This Recipe
Shawn and I were walking the dogs this morning; the remnants of tree buds were littered throughout the streets after a late night rain shower. The theme of today’s recipe heavy on my mind I said, “Spring is messy.” He responded, “Fall is messy too.”
Two of our favorite seasons.
And it made me think, maybe we need a little messiness in life in order to achieve real beauty.
So, that’s one of the reasons I love this Chocolate Brownie Pie. I also love the fact that it has layers of delicious flavors, all of them vegan and gluten-free! What’s not to love about that!
And just like life, this pie does dress up nicely. Add a little bit of vegan whipped cream to cover up the cracks and there is a certain rugged beauty to it.
It will be messy, but it will be good!
Gluten-free Brownie Pie with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 ¼ cups Gluten-Free Baking Mix 12 1/2 ounces
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 6 tablespoons cold margarine cut into slices
- 4 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening cut into slices
- 1/8 cup cold vodka
- 1/8 cup cold water
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
- 1 container vegan cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 ripe banana optional
- 1 Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Fudge Brownie Mix
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
To make the crust:
- Place 1 cup of gluten-free baking mix and salt in a food processor and pulse until mixed. Add the sliced margarine and shortening and process until the dough begins to collect in uneven clumps (about 15 seconds). Add the remaining cup of flour and pulse until the dough is evenly distributed (4 to 6 quick pulses). Place the the pie dough mix in a medium bowl.
- You can place the vodka and water on ice to chill them. Remember, it’s for the crust, not your afternoon drink! Pour cold vodka and water over the pie dough mixture and stir until it is well incorporated. Press the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. If you’re in a hurry, you can place it in the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
To make the peanut butter cream cheese filling:
- Place dairy-free cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, corn starch, banana (optional) and water in your food processor bowl. Note: I didn’t even wash it out from the pie crust recipe above because I figured the ingredients there wouldn’t hurt the filling…and it saves a step and some water to boot. Pulse for several seconds until the ingredients are nice and smooth. Set aside.
To make the fudge brownie layer:
- Pour the gluten-free brownie mix, vegetable oil, water, ground flax seed, and corn starch in a medium-size mixing bowl and stir until just combined.
To make the pie:
- Heat your oven to 350F.
- Tear off two pieces of large plastic wrap and spray one side of each with vegetable spray. Place the ball of pie crust dough on the sprayed side of the plastic wrap. Top with the other plastic wrap, sprayed side down. Now use a rolling pin to roll out the dough so it just larger than a 9″ pie pan. Place the dough in the pie pan and crimp the edges.
- Spread some of the brownie mixture over the bottom of the pie crust, reserving the majority of the brownie mixture for the top layer.
- Next, carefully spoon the cream cheese layer over the brownie mixture, spreading it evenly across the pie.
- Now, layer the remaining brownie mixture on top of the cream cheese layer, being careful to spread it evenly. You may need to wet the spoon from time to time to get the thick brownie mixture to spread.
- Place in the heated oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely before refrigerating. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.