Special equipment: pop mold with sticks
To make the crust, place graham crackers, pretzels, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix well. Add the cooled melted butter, mix, and set aside.
Place the cream cheese in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to soften the cheese, about 1 minute. Add the peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla paste and mix at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, and then increase the speed to high for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will become light and fluffy. Add the peanuts and mix just enough to incorporate the nuts. Scrape the mix into a bowl and set aside.
Clean the mixing bowl and add the heavy cream. With a whip attachment, whip the cream until slightly firm peaks. Be careful not to over whip. Fold one-third of the soft cream into the mixture. When the cream is folded in, continue with the remaining cream.
Fill a pastry bag with the peanut cream and pipe a small amount into each mold. Tap the mold to ensure the mixture drops to the bottom of the mold. Sprinkle the chocolate balls over the mix. Pipe more mix, making sure to tap again. Sprinkle some crust and repeat with the cream. Continue layering the chocolate balls and crust. Insert the pop sticks into the mixture three-quarters of the way into the pop. Freeze overnight.
Melt the chocolate and keep warm. To unmold the pops, dip the mold into hot water. Gently twist the sticks as you lift the pops out of the mold. Dip the pops one at a time into the warm chocolate allowing the excess chocolate to run back into the bowl. Place the pops on a pan and return to the freezer. The pops can stay for up to 2 weeks wrapped in an airtight container.
Recipe courtesy of Hedy Goldsmith