So I had a family dessert request for pie. A chocolatey creamy kind of pie, and so I consulted my cookbooks since I am not a spur-of-the-moment baker type and decided on a standard recipe from the Betty Crocker's New Cookbook (1996 printing).
I had my trusty kitchen hound beside me:
I had an apron on, Martha had the chef hat. Note her stunning new white eyelashes now that she's an older lady. We sallied forth in the kitchen.
This pie is a type of icebox pie, which was OK with me, since it is now summery around here and I don't feel like firing up the oven much. I adapted the recipe to be gluten-free and combined a couple of Betty's variations on Caramel-Peanut Butter Pie Supreme and came up with this version of:
1 chocolate cookie crumb crust: (next time I would use a peanut butter cookie crumb base to go better with the flavors in this insanely sweet confection)
I smashed up most of one (6.3 oz.) box of Enjoy Life (GF) Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies (used 11 of the 14 cookies inside) mixed with 3 Tbsp. melted butter and pressed that into 9 inch glass pie plate. Baked 10 mins. at 350 degrees F. Let it cool.
1 (11 oz.) bag vanilla caramels, the soft chewy kind. Check that they are GF (Kraft brand was). Reward the person who unwraps 30 of them with the extras left in the bag (about 5 or 6)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted briefly in a frying pan until the smell of the nuts hits you. Don't let burn!
2 T. butter
2 T. water
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 c. heavy cream, whipped and lightly sweetened
While crust is cooling, melt caramels in a sauce pan with butter and water, stirring constantly. As soon as they are completely melted, pour over cooled crust. Sprinkle on toasted pecans. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until hardened, about 1 hour.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and peanut butter together until smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup whipped cream and spoon over caramel layer. Cover again with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Slather remaining whipped cream over the top of the pie.
A super-sweet candy pie, which I was not so keen on, but the rest of my family raved about and snuck slices of for the next couple of days. It's sort of like those Seven Layer Bars in a pie plate. Next time I would leave out the caramel layer and make a peanut butter cookie crust instead.
Martha got excited by the task of licking the peanut butter jar clean after we had used up its contents. She lost her toque in the frenzy.
And then the grand finale of the pie.
Verdict: Pretty easy to make, but ridiculously, over-the-top sweet, so I wouldn't make this version instead. I think a simpler Icebox Peanut Butter Pie would be better. I think my dentist would concur.
Still, I am sending a slice over to Beth Fish Reads, a marvelous blog combo of books and cooking, and her weekly blog event, Weekend Cooking. Head on over to see what other clever and creative cooks made in their kitchens this past weekend.