If you are like me, you are already planning ways to make candy disappear next week. The classic technique of eating candy once your children are in bed works fine for small amounts. We’ve also bagged and distributed candy to people that pass by our house before! This Peanut Butter Tart is my latest attempt to find ways to use leftover Halloween Candy!
This tart is sort of a half cheesecake and half cream pie situation that, luckily, requires no baking besides the crust so it’s really easy to make and the flavors are wonderful.
While you might think of a peanut butter tart as being dense, it’s actually a light and fluffy, almost whipped cream, filling so it’s not as heavy or overly sweet as you might think. Then, of course, you pile on leftover candy and it becomes an entirely different thing.
So, hide away a few pieces of candy for this tart! It’s a great dessert!
Important Equipment for this tart
There are two important things you will need to make this tart.
Most importantly, you’ll need a springform pan for it to work well. These pans are great and allow you to easily release the tart so it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan. Could you make this in a traditional pie pan? YES. But, just know that getting the first piece out will be a bit messy. After that they should come out okay.
Second, you’ll want either a hand mixer or a stand mixer to mix up the filling for this tart. The more you can whip the filling, the lighter and fluffier it will be so have a good mixer helps. I used my old hand mixer for the version I made and it worked great.
Making a Homemade Graham Cracker Crust
If I’m being honest, you could just purchase a graham cracker crust and make this recipe even easier to make. I think it would work fine.
But, a homemade graham cracker crust is a good skill to have and it’s not terribly hard to make.
Crush up some graham crackers until you have about 1 1/2 cups. You can also buy ground graham crackers but I always just have the full cookies in my pantry. Stir that together with melted butter, sugar, salt, and cinnamon and press it into your pan.
The easiest way to press it in the pan is with a measuring cup which allows you to get into the circle shape of the pan.
Once you have the crust pressed in the pan evenly, bake it for about 10 minutes at 350˚F just to set the crust and then let it cool before filling it.
My Favorite No-Bake Peanut Butter Filling
This filling is very easy to make and requires no baking like a traditional cheesecake. WOOHOO!
Start by combining the softened cream cheese and peanut butter in a bowl and whip it together until combined.
Then add the heavy whipping cream slowly and continue to mix until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar and pinch of salt and continue to mix the filling until it holds its shape. It should be pretty stiff.
If the filling is too runny, you can continue to beat it and it should thicken up.
Once it is ready, transfer it to your baked tart crust and smooth it out in an even layer.
What candy works on this tart?
I went with mostly chocolate candy for my tart: snickers, twix, M&Ms, etc. But, I think almost any candy could work in this tart. You could try it with crunchy candies like nerds or smarties or even gummy candies like skittles or gummy bears!
Because the filling is so creamy, it does help to have some candy with texture though so candy with nuts or crunchy elements do work well in my opinion.
Obviously, also chocolate and peanut butter go well together!
Storing this tart for later
Once you have this peanut butter tart put together, it’ll need to set up in the fridge for a few hours before you slice and serve it.
The good news is that it keeps really well in the fridge for probably five days or so. Good luck making it last that long, but it’ll be fine in the fridge!
Leftover Candy Peanut Butter Tart
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ teas ground cinnamon
Peanut Butter Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- Various Halloween Candy, chopped
Making the Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Crush up graham crackers and add to a small bowl with melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
- Press the graham cracker crust mixture into your springform pan, working the crust up about 1/2 inch in the pan. Try to get the crust thin and even. A small measuring cup works well for pressing the crust mixture into the pan.
- Bake the graham cracker crust for 10-12 minutes, rotating it halfway through. The finished crust should be golden brown. Let it cool before filling it.
Making the Peanut Butter Filling
- In a medium bowl with a hand mixer (or a stand mixture with the paddle attachment), add softened cream cheese and peanut butter. Beat until combined.
- Slowly add in whipping cream, continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. The filling should hold its shape. If it's too runny, continue to beat and it should firm up as the cream firms up.
Finishing the Tart
- When the crust is cool and the filling done, spoon the filling into the crust and spread it evenly in the tart. Chop up a few bars of various halloween candy and dot the top of the tart with the candy.
- Chill the tart for at least two hours so it sets up completely.
- Remove the tart from the springform pan, carefully, and slice into wedges for serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Here are some other great easy dessert ideas!
I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I do like to make sweets for others. Desserts for the holidays like these fun peppermint snow peaks and this no cook banana chocolate pudding are SO easy to make and always a hit.
For a few reach ideas for desserts, learning how to make fresh sopapillas was a wonderful experiment I did with my young daughter and a classic Halloween recipe idea is this no-bake dirt pie from Kids Activity Zone blog!