Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Frozen Cheesecake Pie

Chocolate and peanut butter. Peanut butter and chocolate.  No matter the order, it will always be a delightful and genius combination. I have fond memories of overeating...ehem...enjoying many chocolate peanut butter cups as a child.  When I came across this recipe, I knew I just had to have it!  It is a grown-up version of the childhood candy we all love. Recently here in So. CA we have had temperatures in mid-90s, so when I needed to bring a dessert to a pot-luck, this one instantly came to mind because it is NO bake! Whip it up, then freeze it. It's that easy.

Let's get started...

The line-up showing up for role call

Add the softened (or room temp) cream cheese, powdered sugar and peanut butter in your mixing bowl

Whip, whip and away

Your whipped mixture will resemble the filling of that childhood candy we all love. You have 2 major decisions at this point.
You could:
1. Proceed with the recipe
2. Grab your favorite piece of dark or milk chocolate (or both) and dig in!

We will choose option 1 today but I encourage you to try option 2 sometime

In your stand mixer, pour in the heavy cream. If you don't have a stand mixer, pour your heavy cream in another bowl and clean out the beaters. For best results, and if you have room in your freezer, put your bowl and beater in the freezer for about 10 min. When the cream and the bowl with beater are really cold, the cream whips up better. You could freeze it before you start on your peanut butter mixture.

Add 1/4 C powdered sugar

Start the mixture on LOW to incorporate the sugar then SLOWLY crank it up to HIGH. The cream will take at least 2-4 min, depending on your mixer and how cold your bowl is. Mine took approximately 4 min. 

You want stiff peaks like this

Add your beautifully whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture

Using a rubber spatula, begin to gently fold in the cream to the peanut butter mixture. You won't be able to see much of the peanut butter mixture at first -kind of like the time I couldn't find my white car in the parking lot when we got a blanket of snow while I was in class...

See, there it is!

Once the mixture is uniformly incorporated, add the chocolate chips

Pour the mixture into the pie shells

Top with some chocolate chips for garnish. You could use peanut butter chips also.
Freeze for 4 hours then enjoy! You will be rewarded for your patience, I promise.

Makes 2 9 inch pies
2 9 inch chocolate cookie pie crusts (See note below to make crust from scratch)
2 8oz blocks of Cream Cheese (room temp or softened slightly in the microwave)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 16oz jar (equiv to 1 1/2 C) Smooth/ Creamy Peanut Butter (not chunky)
2 Cups (1 Pint) Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips (more or less to suite your taste) 
Plus more mini chocolate chips for garnish

Items needed: 2 mixing bowls + Hand mixer/beater

Put one mixing bowl in the freezer. If you have a stand mixer, put that mixing bowl and ball-whisk in the freezer. When the mixing bowl is cold the cream will whip up better. Make sure to not take the cream out until you are IMMEDIATELY ready to use it. It has to be as cold as can be.

For the pie:
Combine the softened cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla and peanut butter in the mixing bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Set aside.

Remove the mixing bowl from the freezer and add the cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Mix on a low speed for a few seconds to incorporate the sugar then crank to high. To achieve the desired whipping cream (stiff peaks) texture it will take at the very least 2 minutes to approximately 4 minutes. Carefully watch over it. There is a very fine line from beautiful whipped cream to when it starts breaking down and turning into butter. (which is wonderful, but that's not what we want here)

Pour the whipped cream mixture into the bowl that has the peanut butter mixture. Carefully and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula. It will take a while and will require some arm muscle. If you are too rough, the whipped cream will break down. Once incorporated, add the chocolate chips and gently fold until incorporated.

Pour into the pie shells and garnish with more chocolate chips. Or peanut butter chips. Or chopped peanuts. Or all three!

Freeze for 4 hours. 

When you are ready to eat it, let it sit out for 10-15 minutes or so.

Adapted from a Food Network recipe

The day I made my own crust
I wanted to make this pie for Mother's Day and I went to FOUR different grocery stores in my area looking for premade chocolate cookie pie shells only to be told that it was on a nationwide back order! Can you believe such a thing?! I was determined that I wanted chocolate. I didn't want any other flavored shell.  It had to be chocolate.  Since it had to be chocolate, I had no choice but to make my own (sigh). Don't get me wrong, making it from scratch tastes great, but find the time. Anyways, I got 48 chocolate sandwich cookies (I used OREO brand) and used a food processor and pulsed them into fine crumbs. Then I incorporated 1/2 Cup MELTED butter (1 stick) into the food processor and pulsed some more until it was all incorporated.  Press into two 9" pie plates. Freeze for about 15 minutes so that it sets. By doing this, the pie crust won't crumble when it's time to cut and serve. Remove from freezer and fill with your desired filling and refrigerate or freeze according to your recipe's specifications. 
To make one 9" pie shell, use 24 chocolate sandwich cookies and 1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) butter.