Monthly Archives: January 2019

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Valentine’s Day is next month and I like to cook a special dinner and make a special dessert for the day.  This year I’m making a favorite chocolate and peanut butter pie.  I’ve been making it for holiday dinners for a few years now.

This pie has three delicious layers: a chocolate cookie crust, a no-bake peanut butter filling, and a chocolate ganache topping.  This is an amazingly decadent and rich pie.  If you love peanut butter and chocolate, this is the pie for you.

The recipe is adapted from a favorite food blogger and cookbook author Jennifer Segal (once upon a chef).  Please visit her web site for beautiful photos of the preparation process.  In April 2018, her first cookbook, Once Upon a Chef, The Cookbook:  100 Tested, Perfected, and Family-Approved Recipes was released.

I bought my hardcover copy from Amazon for $17.58.  It is also available for the Kindle.  My local library has it available in hardcover and electronic resource format.  Perhaps, your library does also.  I can recommend this cookbook.  It has amazing recipes and beautiful photos of the food.  I hope you get a chance to read it.

This is an easy recipe to make even with the three steps required to make it.  It is almost a no-bake recipe, except for the quick 10 minute bake of the crust.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the Crust

4  tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
2 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies, such as Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (see note)

For the Peanut Butter Filling

1 cup cold heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Topping

4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.  Add the chocolate and stir until melted.  Add the cookie crumbs and stir until evenly combined.  Press the cookie crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the rim of an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then cool on a rack.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.  Set aside in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the filling.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the sugar and mix until well blended.  Add peanut butter and vanilla, beating until combined.  Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl as needed to ensure that the ingredients are fully combined.    

Add one-third of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and beat on low speed to combine.

Add the remaining whipped cream and using a large rubber spatula, fold until evenly combined.  Spoon the filling into the crust, smoothing the surface.  Refrigerate uncovered for about 1 hour.

Place chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on low heat for 20-30 second intervals.  Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir with a spatula and repeat in 20-30 seconds intervals until the chocolate is completely melted.  Stir until well blended, then let cool to just warm, stirring occasionally.  Spread the chocolate topping over the chilled peanut butter filling.  Return to the refrigerator and chill uncovered for an additional 3 hours.

When ready to serve, carefully remove the rim from the pan by gently pressing upwards on the bottom while holding the rim in place.  Slice and serve cold, garnished with chopped peanuts if desired.

It takes about 40 cookies from a 9-ounce package to make 2 cups ground cookie crumbs.

Since it is a cold and snowy day as I write this post, I’m including a cute snowman from my photo archives.  The upside down snowman was spotted in my neighborhood a couple of years ago.


Winter Citrus Salad

Do you want to brighten up the gloomy days of January?  If so, make a Winter Citrus Salad.  I’ve been making a version of this salad for a few years now and really look forward to the winter citrus fruit.

Speaking of gloomy, Grand Rapids is the sixth cloudiest city in the US.   (According to our local TV station, WoodTV.)  When we do have a beautiful sunshiny day, we almost feel the need to celebrate it.

I was able to find oranges and grapefruit from Florida.  The blood oranges were from California.  Since I’m from Florida, I’m always happy to find Florida citrus.

You really don’t need a recipe for this salad.  Wash, peel, and slice some of your favorite citrus and drizzle with a salad dressing, if desired.  It is equally good served plain.

Winter Citrus Salad

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 navel oranges
2 Cara Cara oranges
2 blood oranges
1 pink grapefruit
Spring Mix Salad Greens
slivers of red onion
pomegranate seeds

Salad Dressing (optional)

Wash and dry the citrus.  Cut off the top and bottom and set upright on a cutting board.  With a sharp knife cut off the peel and as much of the pith as possible.  Slice the citrus into rounds and set aside.  Arrange a thin layer of the spring mix salad greens on a serving plate.  Layer the slices of the citrus on the lettuce.  Add the red onion.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.  Serve plain or with a favorite salad dressing.  

Here is a picture of a sunset over my neighborhood from a few days ago.  It was after one of our rare days of beautiful sunshine.

After i purchased a fresh pomegranate, I discovered that POM now markets the pomegranate fresh arils in  a 4.3 ounce size.  I used some of them for the salad in this post.  They were sweet, tart, and as crunchy as the ones from the fresh pomegranate.


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