A Pie for Mikey

I don’t know Jennifer Perillo personally, I just read her blog and follow her tweets. But that did not make her devastating loss any less real for me. My heart ached for her and her girls, and still does.

The food blogging community is an incredibly generous and compassionate group of people, and as a tribute to Jennifer and her family we come together to make Peanut Butter Cream Pie for Mikey.

Even if you are not able to make the pie with us, please stop for a moment and tell the ones you love just how much you love them. Hug them tight and don’t let go for as long as they will let you. Forgive past transgressions, because in the long run, they really don’t matter.  Have a friend you haven’t talked to for awhile because of something silly? Call them. Grab your children, hold them tight and tell them you will always love them. . . no matter what.

Tomorrow is not promised, so live your life now.

 

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Peanut Butter Cream Pie
This is a pie for Mikey and a call to live your life like there is no tomorrow. This recipe is adapted from and dedicated to Jennifer Perillo.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
In a food processor, pulse the cookies until you have fine crumbsPour the crumbs into a small bowl, then mix the melted butter into the crumbs until all are moistened with butter. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.Press the crust into the bottom and partially up the sides of a springform pan. Place the crust into the refrigerator while you make the filling.
In a mixer on high speed, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Place the cream into the refrigerator while you finish the rest of the filling.
On medium high speed, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter in a mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the confectioners sugar. Scrape down the bowl as needed.Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, beating just until everything is well incorporated.Fold in about 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream. Carefully fold in the remaining cream, until no streaks of cream remain.Pour the filling into the springform pan and chill for at least three hours.
Details

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: Total time: 3 hour 30 mins Yield: 1 pie

Garnish your pie with melted chocolate drizzles, chocolate chips or more whipped cream if you would like. Just be sure to share it with people you love.

 

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Sweet Potato Pie Gooey Bars Recipe

Sweet Potato Gooey Bars
Sweet Potato Pie Gooey Bars

I’m a cereal fan.  I can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Although Captain Crunch will always hold a place deep in my heart, I have tried to find cereals more suited to my adult needs. But that does not mean I want to eat a cereal that I feel is better suited to the horses in the stable down the street.

I recently got a new cereal from Nature’s Path Organic called Flax Plus Maple Pecan Crunch, and as soon as I took the first bite I started thinking  of what I could make with it.  The maple, cinnamon and pecan flavor reminded me of something, but I could not put my finger on it. Then I realized it would pair well with sweet potatoes.

A sweet potato pie! But I don’t really like sweet potato pie.  Next!

A sweet potato pudding with a cereal crust.  I don’t know… kind of strange.

Sweet potato cheesecake… no sweet potato cheesecake bars!  That’s it!  Well, that wasn’t quite it.  Somewhere along the way my cheesecake bars turned into gooey bars.  But the flavor was so good, and the creamy, gooey texture was nice too.  Not cheesecake, but I liked it.

The great thing about this dessert is that you can use leftover roasted sweet potatoes, if you have them.  In fact, I would recommend roasting your potatoes instead of boiling them for better flavor when making these.

Sweet Potato Pie Gooey Bars

1 1/2 cups Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Maple Pecan Crunch

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 stick of butter, melted

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, slightly softened

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

3 cups cooked sweet potato, about 4 small

2 TB light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

pecan halves (optional)

Crust

Graham cracker crumbs and maple-pecan cereal
Graham cracker crumbs and maple-pecan cereal

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the cereal into a thick plastic zip top bag.  Crush the cereal with a rolling pin, or other heavy object.  Do not make the crumbs as fine as the graham cracker crumbs, but leave them a little bigger for added texture in the crust.

Maple-Pecan cereal ready to be crushed
Maple-Pecan cereal ready to be crushed

In a medium bowl combine the cereal, graham cracker crumbs and sugar.

Graham cracker crumbs, maple-pecan cereal and sugar
Graham cracker crumbs, maple-pecan cereal and sugar

Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and mix well until moistened.  The crumbs should hold together when you pinch them.  Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Press the crumbs into the pan, making an even crust.  Bake the crust for 6-8 minutes, until crisp and slightly browned.  Let the crust cool completely.

Baked crust
Baked crust

Sweet Potato Pie Topping

While the crust is cooling, beat the cream cheese until smooth in a food processor.  I used a food processor because sweet potatoes often are stringy, and wanted to make sure my batter was smooth.

Cream cheese, sweet potato and sweetened condensed milk
Cream cheese, sweet potato and sweetened condensed milk

Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the sweet potato, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Beat until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

Sweet potato topping
Sweet potato topping

Pour the topping onto the cooled crust. Using a spatula spread the topping out to the edges of the crust.

Sweet potato topping on crust
Sweet potato topping on crust
Sweet potato topping swirled on crust
Sweet potato topping swirled on crust

At this point you can place it in the refrigerator to firm up, or decorate it with the pecan halves.  I used the pecan halves to mark the area to cut the bars.  These are very rich, so I made decided to make them small.

Pecan halves on topping
Pecan halves on topping

These bars need to chill for at least 8 hours to overnight.  Once completely chilled the topping is still soft, but will hold it’s shape when cut.  But don’t attempt to pick them up with your fingers to eat them. Which is what my sister Karen called to inform me after I gave her some.

Karen: “They taste really good, but they don’t seem very cheesecakey to me. When I picked it up it broke apart, so I had to lick my fingers.”

Me:  “That’s why they are called gooey bars, not cheesecake bars.”

Whatever they are, I hope you make them and enjoy them.

Sweet Potato Pie Gooey Bars
Sweet Potato Pie Gooey Bars

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Banana Split Pie with Chocolate-Rum Sauce Recipe

Banana Split Pie
Banana Split Pie

I really enjoy dessert, but don’t always want to put in the effort of making it.  Which is good, because with my inherited sweet tooth (thanks mom) I’d be big as a house!  I actually do like to bake, but for the previously mentioned reason, won’t do it very often.  But this easy to make dessert is an exception, and a show stopper at the same time.

The Banana Split is an American classic; rich vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream topped with ripe banana, hot fudge or chocolate sauce, crushed pineapple or pineapple ice cream topping, whipped cream, wet walnuts and maraschino cherries.  Yeah baby!  After eating one of those you usually went into a sugar coma, but it was worth it.  I’ve taken the basic idea of that banana split and turned it into a pie.

Banana Split Pie still life
Banana Split Pie still life

Banana Split Pie

2 cups Nilla Wafer cookie crumbs

6 TB melted butter

1 pkg (5.1 oz) Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding

4 cups heavy cream, divided

2 ripe bananas, sliced

1 jar (16 oz) Mrs. Richardson’s Hot Fudge Sauce

3 TB dark rum

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple

sliced almonds for garnish (I’m not a huge walnut fan, so I used almonds instead)

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In 10″ pie pan, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter until all crumbs are moistened.  Press the crumbs into and up the sides of the pan to form crust.  Bake for 10 minutes in the oven to set the crust.  Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack.

In a medium bowl mix the instant pudding and 3 cups of heavy cream.  Stir in the banana slices, set aside.

Adding sliced bananas to custard
Adding sliced bananas to custard

In small bowl, stir together the hot fudge and rum, until well mixed.

Chocolate-Rum sauce
Chocolate-Rum sauce

Spread half of the banana filling into the cooled crust.  Pour half of the rum sauce over filling, and gently spread fudge sauce to the edges.  Spread remaining banana filling on top of fudge sauce, then repeat with remaining fudge sauce.  Place pie into refrigerator to chill and set for at least one hour.

Banana filling in baked crust
Banana filling in baked crust
Chocolate-Rum sauce spread on banana custard
Chocolate-Rum sauce spread on banana custard

Drain the can of crushed pineapple well, then top the chilled pie with a layer of pineapple.

Crushed pineapple layer
Crushed pineapple layer

Whip the remaining cup of cream into soft peaks with a whisk or electric mixer. Do not add any sugar to sweeten the cream, as there is more than enough sweetness to this pie already.

Whipped cream with soft peaks
Whipped cream with soft peaks

Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the top of the pie.  Garnish the pie with sliced almonds and cherries.

Banana Split Pie
Banana Split Pie

Although there are a lot of assembly steps to this pie, it really comes together easily.  The richness of the heavy cream almost makes the instant pudding taste like you slaved over the stove and made a cooked custard.  And no one has to know but you…

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista