people pleasers

The secret to happiness?

Some might seek the words of thinkers before our time for wisdom on attaining love and lifelong joy. But you really not need look further than today’s post—I happened upon the universal.

Show up at your next dinner party with the dessert pictured here. Then, in your most humble, casual delivery, mention you brought a chocolate-peanut butter pie. Oh the smiles, the friends-a-flocking, the joyful shouts of glee! 

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie

recipe and awkward hyphen placement by Fresh Flavor Fast, serves 8

prep time: 20 minutes, total time: 2 hours 40 minutes (with chilling)

30 chocolate wafers

4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup cold water

1 envelope (1/4 oz.) unflavored gelatin

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut-butter

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

you will need a food processor and a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom

(the latter of which you will soon agree is an ideal, inexpensive investment. what elegance and sophistication it brings to all your future desserts!)

Pay close attention to the unsalted items here, one may wish to avoid creating Chocolate Salt pie. I happen to buy natural unsalted peanut-butter, and it worked wonderfully. You’ll note my ingredient choices in italics—just to help.

Preheat the oven to 250F. Process cookies (Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers) in a food processor until finely ground (to yield 1 3/4 cups). Add butter, and pulse until evenly moistened.

Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Place pan on a baking skeet; bake crust until set, 15-20 minutes; let cool completely.

Let’s take a brief interlude to discuss Troubleshooting Lessons Learned from this initial step:

  1. my 30 wafer cookies didn’t look like quite enough, so I upped to about 37 (having consumed the remainder in the box) along with some extra butter (1 tbsp.) to accommodate the additional crumbs. was this a good idea? it didn’t seem to hurt.
  2. the crust, upon pressing into the tart pan, was not nearly as cooperative as this tart with a similar press-and-bake shell. using the bottom of a cup, like last time, might have helped spread the crust evenly to the sides.
  3. even with the addition of more melted butter, the crumbly crust did not want to stand against the vertical perimeter. I still have no ideas on how to improve this, but figure with it being both delicious and homemade, one could overlook its rustic appearance.
  4. when a crust is black, a novice baker like myself might ignore the possibility of burning. do. not. overbake. I think the crust will set if left to cool after baking twenty minutes. I wouldn’t know, I let it bake an additional ten resulting in a charred taste—didn’t I learn in elementary school to Read The Directions?

The crust, however crumbly, will bake and set to form a delicate shell. From here on out, we approach The Idiot Proof segment of our no-bake pie program. 

Place the water in a small saucepan, off heat; sprinkle with gelatin (Knox original unflavored). Let stand until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. If you are also unaccustomed to “gelatin”, the extraterrestial appearence means you’ve succeeded.

In a food processor, combine the brown sugar and peanut butter (Trader Joe’s Creamy Unsalted); process until smooth. Add cream; process until mixture is light and holds soft peaks, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Place softened gelatin over very low heat, stirring, just until dissolved. Add to peanut-butter mixture in food processor,  blend to combine. Immediately transfer filling to cooled crust, and smooth top with a flexible or offset spatula. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, and chill until set, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. 

To serve, carefully remove the outer ring of the pan (I left the base in place for crumbly cutting, and always use a long, sharp chef’s knife for cleanest dessert slicing).

Despite my God-I-wanted-to-be-in-bed-an-hour-ago crust frustrations, the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie really came together smoothly. Damn if it’s not gorgeous either.

And my story, like yours will, has a happy ending—the crust came out delightful in all its cookie-butter glory (what a smell to have in the house for days, mmm) and there was an extra piece for the cook 🙂

P.S. This is the 100th post on A Pear to Remember. From the bottom of my peanut-loving heart, thank you for reading.


Filed under dessert

9 responses to “people pleasers

  1. Emily

    This looks so yummy! The other person living in my house does not like peanut butter (crazy, I know!) so I’d have it all to myself. Or, I guess I COULD share with friends 😉 Mmmmm…

    • Is it so naughty that I was really hoping for a peanut-hater among my friends last night? Dang it all, everyone really loved it… I never thought a pie for 8 would be sufficient for six hungry friends, but it fills one just enough. So excited for leftovers tonight!

  2. Alice

    Insanely, I am trying to give up chocolate for Lent–or as long as I can hold out. As soon as I’m done, though, this is on my list of things to try. It looks delicious!

  3. Mom

    It’s a must for our Easter get together at the beach! Looks yummy!

  4. This looks delicious! I love any combination of peanut butter and chocolate, I will have to try this soon.

  5. Nicole

    I promise I will make this one day and I’ll let you know how it turns out without using a tart pan!

  6. Julie

    I can NEVER find those chocolate wafers. Do your grocery stores carry them outside of the holiday season or do you order them online?

    • I found them at Giant, Andrew and I had to tag-team scoping the cookie aisle for a good 10 minutes. Found them at Giant on the very top shelf! I think you should find them off season, I made this just the other week and am making it for my cousin’s birthday this weekend!

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