S’mores Pie

Yes, I am fully aware that we are on the cusp of Winter.  Yes, I realize that s’mores are usually something you make in the Summertime over a campfire.  But I don’t care, I was craving s’mores!  So I wanted to find a quick and easy way to enjoy those same flavors from inside my warm and cozy house.  The recipe I came up with is adapted from Sunny Anderson’s “Magical No-Bake S’mores”, and it really hit the spot.  I shared this with my family, but I am telling you, in all honesty, I could probably make one of these just for me.  It’s that good.

I figured it was a no-brainer to put chocolate pudding in a graham cracker crust, but I also knew that marshmallow creme can be a bit tricky to spread.  So when I found Sunny’s recipe, her solution of mixing the marshmallow creme with some whipped topping was exactly what I was looking for.

Now, I have to add a note here:  I wanted to add an ooey-gooey layer to this pie because my favorite part of s’mores is the melty chocolate you get from the heat of the toasted marshmallow.  I tried this twice in different ways, neither of which was perfect, but I think I have a solution.  The first thing I tried was melting some chocolate chips and topping the pudding layer with the chocolate.  That didn’t work because the chocolate set back up and created a hard chocolate layer that was nearly impossible to cut through, which resulted in really messy (although still very tasty) slices of pie.

So on my second pie, I decided to use jarred fudge sauce to top the pudding layer.  This was AMAZING.  The flavor and texture were perfect, but as soon as I cut the pie into pieces, the marshmallow topping slid right off the fudge layer, which again resulted in really messy but tasty slices of pie.  This is why I do not have a tantalizing picture of a beautiful slice of pie.  However, I am not one to give up, so on my next pie, I will try drizzling the fudge over the top of the marshmallow in place of the shaved chocolate.  I’m pretty sure that will work.  But if you’re not worried about how the slices look on the plate, you can add that fudge to any layer you wish.  Or omit this additional layer altogether.  It will still be an amazingly good pie.

This pie can be made any time of year, and I promise you, you will be making it at all times of the year.  I would say I hope you enjoy it, but I know you will.  And if you don’t, can I have the leftovers?

smores-pie-2

S’mores Pie

Serves: 6 – 8 people

Ingredients:
1 ready-made graham cracker crust
1 box Hershey’s instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 graham cracker squares
1 Tbsp chocolate chips or 2 squares of a Hershey chocolate bar

Directions:
1. Take plastic cover off of graham cracker crust and remove the label along with any of the remaining sticky stuff. Keep the lid.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk. Pour into the crust, turn the plastic lid over so that it sticks up above the pie and secure by pushing down in a couple of places to hold it on. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.

3. In a medium to large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the marshmallow creme and whipped topping together until smooth.

4. Remove pie from fridge, remove the plastic top and set aside. Top the pudding layer with the marshmallow creme mixture and spread to edges.

5. Place the graham cracker squares in a sandwich bag and seal it shut. Use a heavy glass to break up the crackers into fine crumbs. Sprinkle over top of pie.

6. If using chocolate chips: place chocolate chips in a sandwich bag and seal it shut. Use a heavy glass to break up the chips into smaller pieces. Sprinkle over top of pie.
If using a chocolate bar: grate the chocolate squares over a microplane to create chocolate crumbs on top of pie.

7. Replace plastic lid and leave on counter until ready to eat.

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Chocolate Walnut Brownie Bites

I found this recipe over on The Lemon Bowl and really wanted to try it.  I had made a pie crust from walnuts and dates before, and it was so good I couldn’t stop eating the mixture while I was pressing it into my pie plate.  So when I saw this recipe, I knew I simply had to try them!

These are delicious little bites of heaven!  They are moist and chocolaty just like a good walnut brownie, sweet enough to tame your cravings, and rich enough that you won’t need more than 1 or 2 of them to be satisfied.  And at around 70 calories each, a couple of these make for a healthy, light snack that is easy to grab on the go.

Chocolate Walnut Brownie Bites

Original author:  Liz DellaCroce from The Lemon Bowl
Serves:  16 – 20 (depending on size)

Ingredients:
1 cup dates
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Place dates in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak for 5 minutes to soften, then drain.

2. Add drained dates and all remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse until mixture turns into the consistency of clumped sand.

3. Remove blade from the unit. To form balls, you may use a stainless steel scoop or just roll enough of the mixture between your hands to make about 1″ balls. Continue until mixture is gone.

4. You can enjoy at room temperature or let chill for 30 minutes before enjoying.

(Check out the original recipe over on The Lemon Bowl by clicking here.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tarts

Ingredients:

Base

  • 2 cups (8 oz.) pecan halves
  • 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp butter at room temperature

Peanut butter filling

  • ½ stick butter, softened
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Mousse topping

  • 1 cup whipping or heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp packed soft brown sugar
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Chop nuts, sugar and cinnamon in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and blend until well combined.

3. Press nut mix into bottom and up sides of 9” pie plate or springform pan. Bake for 15-20  minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool.

4. In a bowl with an electric mixer or in a food processor, mix peanut butter, butter and vanilla essence.

5. Mix in powdered sugar until well blended. Add milk, if necessary, to make it more spreadable.

6. Spread into cooled nut crust.

7. Heat cream, sugar and vanilla in sauce pan or microwave until nearly boiling.

8. Add chocolate, leave for a few minutes and then stir until totally smooth. Let cool.

9. Pour 2/3 of chocolate mix over peanut butter layer and leave in fridge to chill and set.  The mix will not harden like a bar of chocolate, but will be firm enough to cut.

10. Once the remaining sauce has cooled (at least 1 hour in fridge, quicker in freezer; don’t attempt to whisk if it is not cold), whisk with an electric mixer until thickened like whipped cream. This will happen very quickly.

11. Pipe the stiffened chocolate mix around the edge of the pie and serve.

For presentation, reserve 2 Tbsp of the peanut butter mix. Add some milk to make it thinner and pour into a snack size Ziploc bag. Snip a corner off the bag and pipe a continuous circle of peanut butter mix radiating out from the center of the dish. Take a toothpick, knife or skewer and gently drag the tip through circle from outside to the center to form a pattern. Refrigerate to set.

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering