This past week we were to got to our #23 cookbook, which for me meant Emeril's Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude. I don't remember where this cookbook came from.......maybe my mom gave it to me?? As I looked through it, several recipes vied for my attention, but since I haven't been making many sweets lately, I decided on a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Interestingly, all of the recipes from this book are on Emeril's website!
This pie starts off with a cookie crust, calling for a combination of graham crackers and Oreo cookies with the cream filling removed. Well, why use Oreos if you have Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers available? A lot less work (though my youngest happily volunteered to remove all the cream from the Oreos, if necessary) and I happened to have a package of these that I intended to use last fall for a pumpkin treat but never did. I would have liked to have done an all-chocolate crust (I really don't see the need for the graham crackers - they just get in the way of my chocolate), but I didn't have quite enough for 2 1/2 cups of chocolate crumbs, so I used a 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs.
Once the crust is done, there is no more baking time, making this a great pie to make when you don't want to heat up the kitchen too much. The filling gets creamed together, spread onto the crust and then the pie is chilled for at least 4 hours.
What really struck me about this pie is that the peanut butter flavor REALLY comes through. I find that when I bake with peanut butter, I'm often disappointed that its flavor seems to get lost - I'm almost always left wanting more peanut butter flavor. Since the filling does not get baked, I wonder if NOT baking peanut butter is what helps its flavor shine through? The cream cheese keeps the filling firm and gives the pie a little cheesecake-type tang.
I skipped the chocolate sauce because I usually find that a sauce on a rich pie like this is just too much. (Well, if you didn't make the chocolate sauce, then what's that chocolate stuff drizzled in your photo you say? Shhhh....that's just a little Hershey's syrup put there to add interest to the photo.) I'm thinking that was a mistake. While the peanut butter shouts out, the chocolate gets a little lost and a little drizzle of rich chocolate sauce might be just the thing to send this pie from very good to out of this world.
Game #55 comes with a twist. This time, we are to pick the cookbook with the best looking recipe on the cover. Extra points if you make the cover recipe.