Sunday, August 14, 2011

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie - A Pie for Mikey

Some things in life just go together: Sunday mornings and a New York Times, summer and campfires, plaid shorts and golf, chocolate and peanut butter, me and the husband. 

I could tell you all about how I held my hand to my chest and fought back tears as I read Jennie's latest post and how much it made me stop and realize how very blessed I've been. Instead I'm just going to tell you to enjoy dessert tonight and forget about the two loads of laundry that are waiting to be folded and put away. And don't worry if you have little piles of brown dog hair resting against the woodwork in your living room.

Love one another; linger over dessert. Be thankful for the day you were just given - even if your dessert comes out looking like this.

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie
Inspired by Jennifer Perillo, Adapted From Cooking Light

1 2/3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 8 1/2 cookie sheets)
8 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
cooking spray
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
10 tablespoons (just under 2/3 cup) natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) container frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Get a plastic bag and mash the graham crackers (with your fists, rolling pin, whatever) until you've got crumbs. Mix the crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and the egg whites; toss with a fork until moist. 

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Prick the crust with a fork before baking. 

I can't lie: I should have used less sugar in the crust and more in the milk mixture, but I messed up. See the original recipe to see how it should have been done, if you'd like to avoid the mistake I made.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack.

Combine milk and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly; transfer mixture to a bowl. Add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring with a whisk until combined. 

Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Place cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. 

Letting the cream cheese soften a bit will help you beat it to a fluffy consistency.
Add milk mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Fold in whipped topping.

You may want to use a stand mixture instead of beaters, as I did.
A few items on my counter got a bit messier than I'd anticipated during this step.
Pour mixture into prepared piecrust. Freeze, uncovered, 8 hours or overnight or until hard. 

I was extremely nervous at this point as to whether things would firm up or not.
I just had to cross my fingers and throw it into the freezer.
Transfer pie to refrigerator 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with someone you love.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

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