Peanut Butter Pie in Chocolate Cookie Crust–Yum!

The week after Halloween is not a time of inspiration for me.  I think I’m just overwhelmed with candy.  Usually I don’t bake anything sweet for a while at this time–just too much for me to process.  However, we have a friend who was celebrating a special birthday, so I was asked to make something just for him.  Not having any idea–I asked him what would be the best birthday treat.  Interestingly, he doesn’t particularly like cake but he loves pies.  OK, I’m good with that.  Then he told me about a pie he had enjoyed several years ago on a trip.  It was peanut butter a pie in chocolate cookie crust.  That sent my brain on overdrive!

Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favorite flavor combinations.  I already had the cookie crust recipe and have made several pies using different cookies: shortbread, vanilla and graham crackers all make great pie crusts.  Why not chocolate?  That was easy.  Then I sought out cream fillings that I could flavor with peanut butter.   The idea of making peanut butter nuggets comes from a parfait that I saw at a gluten-full bakery.  Fortunately, the baker described how he did it and I quickly realized that his recipe was gluten-free!  I was on my way to creating this special dessert for our friend.  Here is the recipe–I hope you will give it a try!

Peanut Butter Pie in Chocolate Cookie Crust
 
Ingredients
Cookie Pie Crust
  • 30 Gluten-free chocolate cookies (I used Double Chocolate cookies)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Filling
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • ½ cup g-f cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsaltedbutter
  • ⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • Whipped cream and chocolate chips for topping
Instructions
Cookie Pie Crust
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cookies in the bowl of food processor and process until pieces are the size of peas. Stop processor and add melted butter. Continue processing until the crumbs are fine.
  2. Pour crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate and using your fingers, press firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
Filling
  1. In medium sized bowl, whisk together 1 cup cold milk, cornstarch, kosher salt, vanilla and egg yolks. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized pot, stir together the remaining 3 cups cold milk, butter and sugar. Whisk constantly until the mixture is scalding--you will see small bubbles on the edge of the pot but milk should NOT boil. Keep whisking. Gradually whisk in the milk/cornstarch mixture and continue to heat until mixture thickens (keep whisking!) You don't want to boil this but you do want it to thicken--like pudding. Remove from heat and stir every ten minutes. It should continue to thicken off the heat.
  3. While the pudding is cooling, make your peanut butter nuggets. In the bowl of an electric mixer add powdered sugar and peanut better. Mix on medium until small peanut butter nuggets start to come together. You may need to add drops of water to achieve this--one drop at a time!
  4. Once the pudding has cooled, you can assemble the pie. Place half of the peanut butter nuggets in the bottom of the pie crust. Top with half of the pudding. Repeat and the pie crust should be full. Let the pie cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours before topping with whipped cream or cool whip and sprinkle with chocolate chips--if desired. Pie should cool at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.
Notes
I used this recipe to make my own g-f chocolate cookies  https://gfbakingfree.com/double-chocolate-slice-bake-cookies/.

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