Peanut Butter Cheesecake & Chocolate Brownie Mousse Dessert “Boats”

Ahh, spring is in the air in MN which means the Gopher Football spring game is right around the corner.  To celebrate and take advantage of the great weather our fabulous Gopher tailgate crew got together for a mid-season tailgate BBQ!


In true MN sports fashion the last few months have been a roller coaster for Gopher fans.  Our team boycotted their bowl game over a horrible assault incident, our new coach was fired for backing the team, then we hired the crazy coach that is Mr. PJ Fleck!

PJ seems to be bringing positive attention to Minnesota, and Gopher fans (like myself) have a new enthusiasm for the 2017 season.  However you can’t help but laugh at some of his puns.  I mean the guy literally said he “eats difficult conversations for breakfast!”


Alright you are wondering how this all relates to desserts – so back to our tailgate party.  I offered to bring a dessert and knowing two of his most common phrases are “oars in the water” and “row the boat” I decided I needed to somehow figure out a way to make a boat-shaped dessert.  Challenge accepted (let’s be clear almost 100% of the time I am competing with myself).

My Google and Pinterest searches kept bringing me back to this site using Old El Paso mini soft shell tortilla boats as the base.  I didn’t want to do ice cream, so I brought back the peanut butter cheesecake and chocolate brownie mousse desserts I made for one of my engagement parties!

They received comments like “flecking fantastic” and “elite” so I’m calling it a success!  See the recipe below – of course you could fill the boats with any of your favorite dessert fillings 🙂

Cheers, and Go Gophers!

Dessert Boats

“Boat” Base:


  • 20 (roughly two and a half packages) of Old El Paso regular or whole wheat soft shell mini taco boats *I found these at Super Target
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • One package chocolate almond bark
  • Optional: one cup chopped peanuts


  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil
  • Brush melted butter over each soft shell “boat” and place on the cookie sheet
  • Bake 5-8 minutes until “boats” are a bit crispy and the edges browned
  • Let stand to cool 10-15 minutes
  • Melt almond bark according to instructions and spread chopped peanuts on a plate
  • Once the “boats” are cooled, grab them carefully and dip the top edges into the almond bark then into the peanuts
  • Set upright and allow to set (10-15 minutes)

Boats are now ready for their filling!!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling:


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional: chopped peanuts & melted chocolate for garnish


  • Beat whipping cream with a mixer until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form
  • fold-in peanut butter and cream cheese, mixing until combined
  • Add powdered sugar and finally vanilla, mixing until combined
  • Place filling in a piping bag or large plastic Ziplock bag
  • Pipe the filling into the “boats” (batch makes 8 to 10)
  • Top with crushed peanuts and drizzle melted chocolate (I used the leftover almond bark from dipping!)

Chocolate Mousse and Brownie Filling:


  • 1 Box of your favorite brownie mix, baked and cooled (you will need oil, eggs, etc. to bake it)
  • One box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 Cups 2% milk
  • 1 Cup heavy whipping cream
  • Optional: top with melted chocolate


  • Bake the brownie mix according to package directions, set aside to cool
  • Beat the pudding mix and milk on medium speed until it is a pudding consistency
  • In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until it thickens and soft peaks form
  • Fold the whipping cream with the pudding mixture and put into a piping bag or large Ziplock bag
  • Crumble the brownies into “chunks” and place in the bottom of the boats (makes 8-10)
  • Pipe the mousse over/in between the brownie chunks
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate (again I used the left over almond bark)

*This recipe is also really good if you add 2-4 ounces of cream cheese!

Now you have your two types of boats!

For the “Oars”:


  • Pretzel sticks (32 – 40, two per “boat”)
  • Gummies (I used spiced gummies, 32-40 two per “boat”)
  • Almond Bark, melted according to package directions


  • Stick the pretzel into the gummy
  • Then dip the gummy into the almond bark until covered

Set on the the sides of the “boats” and you are ready!

**Note, these don’t taste very good – spiced gummies dipped in chocolate – my husband recommended using rolos instead and I would do that for future “boats”!

For the Sail:


  • Toothpicks
  • Paper
  • Hot glue or left over almond bark


  • Cut the paper into triangle or “sail” shapes
  • Hot glue (or I just used left over almond bark!) to stick the toothpick to the sail
  • Stick into the boats and you are good to go!

Dessert Boats



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