I had a mini pie-a-palooza over the last couple of weeks and this seems to be the winner of them all. This pie is most famous for belonging to In Jennie’s Kitchen. If you haven’t heard the story of Jennie and her husband Mikey, then you should go to her blog. In this season of giving thanks and being with loved ones, what has happened to them serves as a reminder that everything is temporary and we need to savor the good times while they last.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie(adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen blog)
Serves 10 to 12
9 ounces chocolate animal crackers
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Chocolate Layer:
4 ounces finely chopped milk chocolate
1/4 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Whipped cream topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts

Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour 1 cup of the heavy cream into a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in a scoop of the whipped cream into the filling mixture and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Put in the refrigerator to cool for one hour.

Chop of semisweet chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Warm ½ cup cream in a saucepan on medium heat until small bubbles start to form. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let it sit for about two minutes. Stir the chocolate until it is smooth and melted. Pour over your pie to cover the top. Place the pie back in the refrigerator and let it set overnight.

When you are ready to present, whip the last one cup of cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a mixer until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream on top of the pie and garnish with more chopped peanuts if desired.

You can also drizzle the plate with melted peanut butter and chocolate to decorate. It’s best to let the drizzle harden in the refrigerator before placing the pie on top or serving.