Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

As I told you a week ago, I needed to bake something for my boss's birthday. He absolutely loves peanut butter--much to his wife's dismay. So, in order to please them both, I tried to find a healthy dessert that had a strong peanut presence.

Ladies and gents, after much deliberation, I present to you a no-bake peanut butter pie. I got the recipe from one of my favorite dessert blogs: Sally's Baking Addiction. Her recipe used a lot of low-fat and fat-free versions of ingredients to make it "skinny", but to be honest, "reduced fat" doesn't mean it's healthier. It just means that the manufacturer uses a more obscure chemical ingredient to make the fat content go down. I'm not really comfortable with eating a lot of food with mystery ingredients, so I eat the real stuff as much as possible. Hey, it's not like I eat dessert all the time, right?

There was a major heatwave in New England over the holiday weekend, but today the temperature hovered right around 70˚ all day. Feasibly, I could have used the oven and been totally fine, but I really, really wanted to make this lil' frozen pie. Just look at it!

You will need:
 -24 Oreos (the only time I will recommend regular, not Double Stuf)
 -1/2 stick of melted butter
 -1/2 cup + 2 tbps creamy peanut butter
 -1/2 cup granulated sugar
 -1/4 cup milk
 -8 oz room temperature Neufchatel cheese (healthier alternative to cream cheese, and tastes almost identical)
 -8 oz thawed Cool Whip (Fun fact: I had to call my mom to find this in the supermarket)
 -3/4 cup of crushed Reese's Pieces
 -1/2 bar of dark chocolate

Wrangle your food processor out from the depths of its cabinet. Throw your Oreos inside. (and take an extra from the packet for yourself, clearly) Process until the Oreos are fine crumbs. It kind of really resembles soil... there's actually a dessert for kids that is essentially ground-up Oreos with a gummy worm sticking up from the middle. Sounds charming, right?

Add your melted butter to the crumbs and process until it all comes together. It should seem pretty dry still, but that's fine. Also, just to note that the original recipe calls for the oreo crumbs and the butter to be mixed by hand, but I was feeling lazy... and my mother is terrified of me touching the processor blade. Thanks for watching out for my fingers, mama. And remember; it's your pie, so it's up to you how you mix the butter and the crumbs!

Press the crumbs into a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Pack it down into an even layer, and try to make the crust go as far up the sides of the pan as possible.

That's it! You're done with the crust now! Stick that sucker in the freezer while you make the filling.

Well, this looks vaguely phallic and disturbing.

Combine the peanut butter, sugar, Neufchatel, and milk in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. I highly recommend using an electric mixer--I used a wooden spoon and it took way longer than I thought it would. I also tried (and failed) to use my left hand because my right was so sore.

It will look like this. Seriously, spare yourself the trouble and use the electric mixer.

Now, fold the Cool Whip into the mixture, using about a third of the container at a time. If you're not sure about your folding capabilities, check this tutorial out. Once the Cool Whip is incorporated, the filling is done!

It's time to assemble! Get your crust out of the freezer and dollop half of the filling in. Smooth it out with a knife, then add half of the crushed Reese's Pieces.

Then, add the other half of the filling and top with the remaining candies. See? Isn't that easy!?

For the chocolate drizzle: Coarsely chop up the chocolate bar, then put it into a microwave-safe dish. Nuke it for thirty seconds, then take out and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is all melted. As soon as it's fully liquid, drizzle it on top of the pie. I had thought about writing "Happy Birthday" on top, but I thought that may be a little too ambitious.

Pop this bad boy back in the freezer for at least four hours before serving. Let it thaw for twenty minutes before serving.

My boss has yet to see/consume his pie, but I'm eagerly anticipating his reaction. His wife seemed okay with the idea of a "lighter" peanut butter dessert, so I say mission accomplished!

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