Welcome to Crap I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You About, 9th Edition. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Justin Bieber was arrested this week, which, for some reason, reminded me of an exchange that happened between two of my ballet students last year.
Kid 1: (pointing to a mark on her face) What is this? (pausing to run her fingers over it) Oh my god. Maybe I have a terminal disease! Do you think I have a terminal disease?
Kid 2: If you do, and you get a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, will you take me to a Justin Bieber concert?
I wish I could say conversations like that weren’t common in my line of work, but alas…
Recently, I confessed to my pal, Melissa, that for the longest time when people used the expression: my bad, I thought they were saying “my bag.” I couldn’t find the connection between bags and mistakes, but figured there was a lot about thug lingo that I couldn’t grasp. I also thought people were saying Lincolned, when they were actually saying “LinkedIn.” Again, I was having some trouble making the connection between my online resumé and some random dude named Lincoln… I think this says a lot about how people enunciate/don’t enunciate when they speak.
This year, 2.0 would like to give ebony-the-cat a small, live fish for her birthday, as she’s been feeling under the weather as of late. He figures the hunt would lift her spirits. It’s not the first time he’s made this sort of suggestion. And it’s not the first time I’ve suggested that we refrain from that sort of gift giving.
I invented a drinking game over the holidays. Originally, every time Jamie Oliver used the word literally on one of his shows, we were to take a drink. (He says it a lot.) However, because I like to say literally in my best Jamie Oliver accent as often as possible, the game quickly switched in focus, and every time time I uttered the word literally, my sister took a swig. Come to think of it, she doesn’t seem to remember much of anything from December 23-29th…
I’m starting a new feature on this here blog! It’s a series in which you get to pick the next epic tale to be told by yours truly. It’s a Reader’s Choice sort of thing, except I didn’t want to call it Reader’s Choice, as that is totally overused. Instead, I’m calling it: Peruser’s Druthers*. You can cast your vote below!
Before you cast your vote, let’s talk pie, shall we? This is a decadent frozen pie, and though the recipe might appear long and complicated, I can assure you it’s not. It has a chocolate crumb crust (because I loathe graham cracker crusts), and is topped with what I can only describe as a peanut butter mousse filling. It contains cream cheese, which adds a tiny bit of tang to its peanutty sweetness. Atop the peanut butter filling sits a chocolate glaze which crackles under your fork. Next comes the salted peanut layer and topping of caramel sauce. (Because we’re livin’ large in 2014.) The recipe makes enough caramel sauce to top the pie, with extra to warm up and spoon overtop each slice when serving. Because it’s a frozen dessert, it’s a great make-ahead option. The extra sauce takes only minutes to re-heat as a garnish, and will make you look like a superstar with your guests.
Alright, before you go, cast your your vote in the inaugural Peruser’s Druthers Feature poll below:
I’ve set it up so you can vote every 12 hours, because I have a feeling you’ll be passionate about your choice. I’ll keep the poll open until Tuesday, January 28th @ 8 am (AST).
*Shout out to thesaurus.com.
. . .
Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
recipe: adapted slightly from a family recipe, with adjustment to the notes and method – print and make
Yields one 10-inch pie.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate glaze:
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
For the topping:
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped shelled, salted peanuts
For the caramel sauce*:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*note: this makes enough caramel sauce to both cover the pie and serve spooned over each slice. Halve the recipe if you want only enough to cover the pie. Leftover sauce is also lovely when warmed and served over ice cream.
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe. This pie requires several hours of freezing – be sure you’ve allotted time for this. I make the crust and filling on day one, the glaze and caramel sauce on day two. Measure out all of your ingredients – some won’t be needed until day two of preparation. Be sure you’ve got room in your freezer for the pie to lay flat during storage.
Lightly grease a 10-inch pie plate – be sure it is deep enough to hold about two inches of pie. If using a 9-inch plate, the layers will be even higher.
Make the crust: in a medium sized bowl, use a fork to combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, melted butter and salt. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pie plate. Chill until ready to use.
Make the filling: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and smooth. Add the sugar, peanut butter and butter, beating until light, smooth and well combined.
In a separate bowl, with clean attachments, whip the heavy cream and vanilla extract (in a stand mixer/whip attachment, with a hand mixer, or by hand) on medium high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture – be gentle, but thorough – you want the mixture to be evenly blended.
Spread the filling over the prepared pie crust, right out to the edges of the pan, and smooth the top evenly with your spatula or a bowl scraper. Freeze for at least two hours or until very firm. (I like to freeze overnight.)
Make the glaze: in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the chocolate chips, canola oil and butter, stirring until the butter and chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and allow to cool (stirring occasionally). Once the mixture is just warm to the touch – spread evenly over the frozen pie and return to the freezer for at least an hour.
Make the caramel sauce: in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the cream, sugars and corn syrup, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil for about 8 minutes – the mixture will be very bubbly and frothy, but not thick. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract and then allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (The sauce will thicken considerably as it cools.)
Remove the pie from the freezer, top evenly with the peanuts, and then pour/drizzle about 1/2 of the sauce over the pie and return to the freezer to set – this doesn’t take long at all, but is safe to leave in the freezer well ahead of serving time. Store remainder of sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Before serving, gently warm the remaining caramel sauce in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan. Remove the pie from the freezer a few minutes before serving time. To slice, run a knife under hot water and dry – the hot knife will cut through the frozen pie more easily. Be sure to cut right down into the crust. Top each slice with the warmed caramel sauce (if using).