Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Creamy, Dreamy Peanut Butter Pie

Creamy, Dreamy Peanut Butter Pie

As you may know, today is Ash Wednesday which marks the official start of Lent. As a tradition, many people give up some vice for the 40 days between Lent and Easter, such as television, Facebook, soda, etc. Last year, I gave up sweets, which was hell on earth not exactly easy, but I survived and the challenge was extremely rewarding in the end. This year, I’m attempting once again to give up sweets. Now, you may wonder how somebody who writes a baking blog expects to give up sweets, but fear not sweet baby reader for:
1. I can (and will) still bake for other people so that I can creepily live vicariously through watching them eat sweets still bring joy to their lives and
2. I have enough recipes and photos stockpiled that I could probably post a different recipe every day and still not run out until long after Easter.
Still, the impending temporary loss of sweets from my life is a loss that must be mourned, and how better to do so than with a decadent, amazing dessert?

Me and chocolate saying goodbye for now…


The winner: Peanut Butter Pie.

I have wanted to make a peanut butter pie ever since a few weeks ago when my sorority little and grand-little and I went to a restaurant here in Nashville called Cabana. For dessert, we ordered a brownie napoleon and a peanut butter pie, and I was quite impressed by the pie. The creamy, fluffy texture combined with the delicious flavors of peanut butter and chocolate was absolutely incredible. Probably a bit too incredible because we ate almost the whole thing…Can you really blame us though? Just look at it!

Cabana’s Peanut Butter Pie (http://www.cabananashville.com)

Inspired, I knew that I must try to make a pie of my own. About a week ago, Dena and I hosted a get-together with a couple of friends on Valentine’s Day that featured a plethora of baked goods. I had originally planned to make a peanut butter pie for the party, but after we were already 6 types of baked goods deep (more on that another day), the idea of the pie sort of fell by the wayside. For the last week, the still-wrapped crust and unopened peanut butter have been haunting me from the pantry, begging to be combined into delicious bliss. So, before going without sweets for what I assure you will feel like an eternity to me, I knew I had to make the pie.
Being the stickler that I am, I could not find a single recipe online that looked satisfactory. I even found an entire website devoted to peanut butter pie, but I did not love any of the ideas. Many seemed too rich, too store-bought, or just too boring. I didn’t want to use cream cheese if I could help it, nor did I want to simply combine Cool Whip and peanut butter. Finally, I gave up searching and decided to do what I do best (or sometimes worst):
Completely make stuff up.


Yes, that’s right. Like a bright-eyed soldier armed with nothing but a jar of peanut butter, a graham cracker crust, and a working knowledge of what tastes yummy (a.k.a. my taste buds), I set forth and conquered the peanut butter pie. And the result was absolutely a victory. The pie was fluffy and satisfying and had the exact Reese’s-like taste that I was going for, not to mention it was relatively easy and quick to make! I would venture to say that my recipe, besides being absolutely one-of-a-kind, is better than any other recipe that I’ve seen in my semi-extensive research on the subject. Trust me on this one :).

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie:
1 graham cracker crust (I shudder to say this, but I used store-bought…you can’t always win)
Hershey’s chocolate syrup
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup smooth peanut butter
7 ounces (2 individual snack-cups) vanilla pudding (I used sugar free, but really any vanilla pudding will work)
1 cup chocolate chips
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)
13 miniature Reese’s cups (the really small ones) (optional)
7 Large marshmallows (optional)
1. Drizzle chocolate syrup over crust and spread with a spoon to create thin, even layer. Let crust sit in freezer while preparing filling so that syrup sets a bit.


2. In a large mixing bowl, beat heavy cream on high until medium peaks form. Beat in powdered sugar. Then, beat in flour. Next, beat in peanut butter until mixture is creamy and fluffy. Finally, beat in vanilla pudding until well-mixed. Be sure to beat in each ingredient one at a time and in this order! To give you an idea of how things should change in appearance:

 
(From left to right, top to bottom after blending cream, adding sugar and flour, adding peanut butter, and adding pudding)

3. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly incorporated (don’t over-stir). Remove crust from freezer and spoon peanut butter mixture into crust. Spread evenly.


4. Topping (if desired): Liberally apply chocolate sprinkles to top of pie as desired. Drizzle chocolate syrup over pie in a snaking pattern first horizontally, then vertically in order to create a checkerboard-like appearance. Cut marshmallows into halves, and alternate around crust with mini Reese’s cup and marshmallows (as shown).

5. Refrigerate overnight and serve!

The end result is a creamy, delicious, decadent peanut butter pie that the mere memory of right now is making me cry. Excuse me for a second…
-Lauren


2 comments:

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. I want one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me too. And by one, I mean one entire pie.

    ReplyDelete