Saturday, April 27, 2013

Individual Peanut Butter Pies

I can remember a time when I didn't much care for peanut butter, unless it was in a cookie.  A strange thought now, not liking peanut butter.  I didn't like the way it stuck to the roof of my mouth, especially when sandwiched between layers of unsubstantial soft white bread, so I had to make sure that the peanut butter was crunchy and the jelly outweighed the peanut butter at least 2 to 1.  Then I discovered that if the bread was toasted, it melted the peanut butter a little so it wasn't quite such a sticky, soft combination.

There was the phase of marshmallow cream and peanut butter sandwiches - a nauseating thought, now, putting all that sweet marshmallow cream on a sandwich...  My niece used to like her peanut butter sandwiches with lemon curd, something I really enjoy, too.

Eventually, I grew to love just plain, all-natural peanut butter on hearty wheat toast, without the addition of jam, and now it's one of my favorite breakfasts in my weekday breakfast rotation of oatmeal with protein powder, Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries, peanut butter toast or sometimes a smoothie.

Just the other day I made the best smoothie for breakfast by blending 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 frozen banana (a whole one is good too, it just makes it a bit sweeter), 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder.  I put it in the freezer for 30 minutes while I was getting ready for work, and when I took it out, it tasted just like a banana peanut butter milkshake, so creamy and thick and cold.

Last Friday night we went out to eat, which we do rarely, and filled up on raw oysters, tomato salad, halibut for Jamie and mahi for me...  Too full for dessert, we went to a late movie - during which I had to poke Jamie several times to wake him up since the movie was his choice and not mine - and then fell into bed around 1am.  So our usual Friday night dessert was put on hold until Sunday.

I had only planned to make two servings of these individual peanut butter pies, but ended up making four, so that there were a couple left for Jamie later in the week.  These pies have layers of crushed chocolate cookies, homemade chocolate syrup and peanut butter cream, which is a mixture of cream cheese, creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream, topped with a few chocolate chips.  I love the idea of this kind of dessert for company - if you have enough small glasses or jars - since you could make as many of these as you want the day before, and then serving dessert is as easy as handing these out with a spoon.  Or you can double (or triple) the peanut butter filling and spread it into a baked, chocolate graham cracker crust for a whole pie.

I'm so glad I learned to love peanut butter...

Individual Peanut Butter Pies
printable recipe

  • 3/4 cup finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreos or graham crackers)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold coffee, espresso syrup or even melted butter (to moisten the crumbs)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 8 teaspoons chocolate syrup
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • coarse Kosher salt

Drizzle the crushed cookies with the coffee, syrup or melted butter and toss with a fork to moisten.  Set aside.  Set out 4 small glasses or jars.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla for two minutes, until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the cream for 1 minute.  Scoop into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

Spoon half the chocolate cookie crumbs into the jars and gently tamp down with the bottom of a smaller glass (such as the bottom of a shot glass).  Pipe 1/2 of the peanut butter filling over the crumbs.  Drizzle half the chocolate syrup over the filling and sprinkle with half the chocolate chips.  Repeat with the rest of the crumbs, peanut butter filling, chocolate syrup and chocolate chips.  Add a pinch of salt over the top of each.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.  These can be prepared up to 1 day in advance.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen