The Pie Notes

A celebration of life with a touch of sweetness

Tag: Peanut butter

Perfect Peanut Butter Pie for the Win!

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Can we talk about peanut butter for a minute?

It’s an honest-to-goodness magical food product.

Sweet, salty, thick, satisfying…it’s the first thing I turn to for breakfast and lunch (and occasionally dinner on busy days, especially when I have a research paper due the next morning). Paired with blackberry jam between a couple slices of white bread, it is comfort food like no other.

Slather some on Granny Smith apple slices and you’ve got yourself a perfect snack. Dad always thought that was the weirdest thing. I got the idea from the TV show “Blues Clues” when I was five and never looked back.

About a year ago I made homemade caramel sauce to drizzle over an apple pie, and I had so much left over. I thought, “What would go nicely with salted caramel sauce?” I put on my thinking cap and opened the pantry, looking for inspiration. It was as if the light from heaven beamed down on the jar of peanut butter.

Half a spoonful of caramel sauce + half a spoonful of peanut butter = heaven on earth

It’s like butterscotch times 10000000.

Try it.

That caused Matthew and I to literally make a blueprint of a pie…a Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Pie.

It took me until last Christmas to make it, but it was as good as we hoped it would be. Very, very rich but still delicious.

This week I wanted something a little more traditional.

In comes the classic peanut butter pie, which can be as simple or as involved as you choose.

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This is literally “easy as pie.”

I made a homemade graham cracker crust, but by all means, if you want to use a store-bought one then go for it! Go by the directions on the crust, load it with the filling, and you’re good to go.

Since I think peanut butter pies can tend to be a little one-note and heavy with peanut butter flavor, I added a chocolate ganache bottom layer that makes it reminiscent of a Reese’s cup. Don’t have chocolate chips or heavy cream? No problem, just skip that step.

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For the filling, if you don’t have heavy whipping cream you can use 1 cup of Cool Whip and use the rest of it to spread over the filling. I personally don’t think it needs the extra whipped cream on top, but it’s up to you!

I like this filling because I’m not a big fan of peanut butter pies made with cream cheese. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still amazing, but I think it takes on a tangy flavor.

Instead, the vanilla pudding mix gives it a more mild flavor and causes the mixture to thicken when combined with the milk, while the peanut butter gives it a warm, brown color. Then when you fold in the whipped cream it becomes light and fluffy. Yum!

Plus you won’t feel like you need to take a nap after eating it 🙂

Top with anything your heart desires. Reese’s cups, chocolate drizzle, whipped cream, roasted peanuts, or even a heavenly salted caramel sauce.

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*Note: For the filling, if you like a fluffier pie you can increase it to 1 cup of whipping cream instead of 1/2 cup. Either way, it’s delicious!

Graham cracker crust: Back in the Day Bakery | Peanut butter filling: adapted from The Baking Chocolatess

Bark: A Bite of Delight!

It was a chocolate kind of day.

I felt I deserved to reward myself after a long, hard week. And (hopefully) passing a long, hard test this morning.

So, I decided to experiment with bark.

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My goodness, this stuff is delicious.

Basically all you do is melt chocolate, spread over a baking sheet covered with parchment, and sprinkle wonderful things over the top…or mix it in the chocolate, too. Then refrigerate it for a while to let it harden.

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This is white chocolate with crushed candy canes mixed in, then sprinkled with more. This is probably the most traditional version, and for good reason! It’s so refreshing and peppermint-y.

And a wonderful little sneak peek of the holiday season!

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This is where I had fun. Actually, I just dug through the pantry and found toppings.

Turns out they were all a success!

Now we break into pieces:

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Can you tell where I taste tested?

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Mmmm, chocolate.

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This is milk chocolate with peppermint and a white chocolate drizzle.

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Some with a peanut butter swirl, some with a Nutella peanut butter swirl, some topped with just granola.

I, of course, liked the Nutella with PB. Sarah liked the peanut butter with granola.

But we’ll save the inevitable Nutella discussion for another day.

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And then we have s’mores. I chopped up some mini marshmallows and graham crackers and there you have it! S’mores on a chocolate vehicle. Hmm, like an inside-out s’more.

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Tower o’ Bark.

The best kind of tower, in my humble opinion.

As you can see, I have a lot of this stuff.

Someone take it from me.

But if you want to make your own, here’s the incredibly easy recipe!

Basic Bark

Ingredients:

1 pound of chocolate (any kind you prefer)

Cooking spray

Toppings (whatever your heart desires)

Directions:

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on ends.

In a double boiler (a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), melt the chocolate slowly, stirring frequently. Once completely melted, pour chocolate onto parchment lined baking sheet. Spread in an even layer. (You can also microwave the chocolate–heat for 1 minute, then in 15 second intervals, stirring each time.)

Immediately sprinkle over toppings. Lightly press down to ensure they will stick. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until hardened. Break bark into pieces. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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