Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Salty Pretzel Crust

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Salty Pretzel Crust

When it comes to cream pies I’m always reminded of the slapstick comedies of the 1920 to 50s. Whether it was the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers, you were always guaranteed that at some point or other someone was going to end up with a pie in the face. As a food blogger, I can’t help but wonder why you’d waste a good pie like that. Maybe the pies weren’t that good and people were so pissed off with the quality that they decided they made for the ideal weapon.

Whatever the reason, this is NOT the case with my Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.

It’s so easy anyone can make it and it’s so good no one will want to waste it! It requires no baking, just a fridge and a little elbow grease. Though I use salted pretzels as the base for my crust, feel free to use a regular store bought graham cracker crust if you’re feeling extra lazy.

Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep: About 20 Minutes
Serves 3-6 depending on your crowd


Ingredients

PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE

¼ Cup of Smooth Peanut Butter

¼ Cup Cream Cheese, left out of the fridge until it softens to room temperature, about 15 minutes

1 Tablespoon Softened Butter or Margarine

3/4 Cup Whipping Cream

½ Cup Granulated Sugar

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

¼ Cup Chocolate, Melted and cooled for 1 minute + If ya wanna get fancy, extra for decoration
I prefer to use a plain milk or dark chocolate bar (Aero bars work well) over bakers’ chocolate as it’s already sweet and gives tons of flavor to the mousse but use whatever variety of chocolate you like. To melt the chocolate, cut it up and put in a microwave safe bowl nuking for 30 second intervals, stirring between intervals until it’s completely melted. No microwave? No problem! You can melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl seated over a pot of simmering water, just be sure to wear oven mitts and stir the chocolate to ensure it melts evenly.

 3/4 Cup Whipping Cream


CRUST

2 Cups of Salted Pretzels

½ Cup of very soft Butter
If you live in a well heated or overheated home, leave the butter on the counter for an hour and it will be plenty soft. Or if you’re feeling extra lazy and own a microwave, pop the butter in a bowl and nuke it for 15 seconds.

1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon (Optional)

Equipment

2 Mixing Bowls

1 Whisk

1 Zip top baggie

1 Rolling Pin, Meat Mallet, or Wine Bottle
Something you can bash things with.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

1 Round Cake Pan, Pie Plate, or Glass Bowl

1 Rubber or Silicone Spatula


Put the pretzels, butter, sugar, and cinnamon (if using) in your zip top bag, seal it, and bash the contents until everything is coarsely ground and sticking together slightly. This would be a good job to give any kitchen helper with anger management problems.

Pour the contents of the baggie into the pie plate or cake pan and press it in with your fingers, making sure to build little walls with it on the inner sides of the pan.

Stick the pan in the fridge and get to work on your filling.

For the peanut butter mousse, whisk the cream cheese, tablespoon of butter or margarine, and peanut butter together until you can’t tell them apart in the bowl.

Clean your whisk and in a separate bowl use it to beat the heck out of the whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. 

Carefully, using vertical circular motions with the rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.

Whip the remaining cream until stiff peaks form and then carefully fold in the melted chocolate.

You are now ready to assemble the pie.

Pour the peanut butter mousse into your crust and carefully spread it around using your rubber spatula.

Clean your spatula.

Pour the chocolate mousse on top of the peanut butter one and spread it carefully around so it covers everything.

If ya wanna get fancy, drizzle with a little melted chocolate.

Enjoy!

And stay tuned for next time when I'll show you the first of many holiday classics: Potato Pancakes!

 -Samantha R. Gold


Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.


















Thursday, November 12, 2015

Easy As Apple Pie

Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: As American as Apple Pie.

I say: Why should the Americans have a monopoly on good apple pie? With all the delicious and inexpensive varieties of apples available in Canada, we can do it just as well as our noisy neighbors south of the border and I say, we can do it easier, too.

This is not your typical pie recipe. While I do have an amazing recipe for crust, it’s still a pain in the butt to make, so I’m going to show you an easy speedy version that takes a fraction of the time and effort. For those of you who are feeling ambitious, click here for my family’s signature cheddar cheese crust.

Now on to the easy pie!

Here’s How You Do It

Sammy’s Easy as Apple Pie
Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep: About 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 6


Ingredients
2 Pre-made Pie Crusts OR 1 Batch of Homemade Cheddar Crust
The latter will turn your pie from great to outstanding, but as I said, it’s a pain the ass to make.

3 Cups of Peeled and Sliced Apples
The variety doesn’t matter that much. Buy whatever you can get for cheap in large amounts and don’t be afraid of the slightly ugly apples that have a dent in ‘em. They’ll taste just fine.

Juice of 1 Lemon
This keeps the apples from browning and enhances their flavor.

1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

¼ Teaspoon of Nutmeg (Optional)
My mother doesn’t like nutmeg so I often leave it out even though it adds a delightful spiciness. Just be sure to use no more than a ¼ teaspoon at a time as a little does a lot.

1 ½ Tablespoons of Butter

1 Tablespoon of All Purpose Flour
This keeps the filling from getting too soupy


Equipment

1 Knife and Cutting Board

1 Mixing Bowl

1 Peeler

1 Pot

Measuring Cups and Spoons

1 Wooden Spoon

1 Fork

1 Pie Plate or Round Cake Pan


Put the apples in the bowl with the brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and nutmeg, and stir everything to coat.

Melt the butter in your pot on medium high heat and dump in the coated apples.

Cook everything together, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until the apples start to fall apart and then add the flour.

Cook it all together for another 5 minutes, and then dump everything back in the bowl.

Pop the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool down the apples quickly.

Preheat the oven to 400 0F and unroll the first pie crust into your pan, pressing the edges into the top rim of the pan with your fingers or a fork.

Using a fork, stab (aka score) the crust all over. This will keep it from poofing up too much while the pie bakes.

Dump the cooled apples into the crust, spread them out, and roll the second pie crust over the top, pressing the outer edges of the top crust into the edges of the bottom one with a fork or your fingers.

Using your trusty knife, cut slits into the top crust all over to allow steam to escape while baking.

Lower the oven’s heat to 375 0F and bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden around the edges.

Cool for at least 15 minutes or the inside of the pie will be napalm in your mouth.

Enjoy!

And stay tuned for next time when I will show you the ultimate no bake dessert: CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PIE!

-Samantha R. Gold


Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.