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Monday, March 14, 2016

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie with Chocolate Coconut Crust


If you like peanut butter, chocolate and coconut, do I have a pie for you!  Save this pie for a special occasion or share with family and friends.  The rich no-bake peanut cheesecake filling sits atop a fudgy coconut base which serves as the crust.  Topped with whipped cream and chocolate covered peanuts, this pie is a delightful and delectable dessert for your family celebrations or dinner parties.

I never made plans to post a pie recipe on "pi" day, but here I am doing just that.  Do you remember pi?  I have foggy memories of using pi in high school geometry class and possibly in a college astronomy class. . . something to do with circles???  With Google to the rescue and a refresher course at Wonderopolis, the memories were dusted off and A=πr2 (Area of circle = pi (3.14) x radius squared) was no longer a mystery.  Back in the 1960s and early 70s we had to do all calculations with our brains and a pencil.  What a chore that was.  As my life's work did not take a mathematical route I have never needed to find the area of a circle since those far off school days. . .  I leave that to the experts.  

You won't need a geometric equation to enjoy this Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie.  Just use a knife to cut a wedge (oh, no, that's a geometric solid!) and a fork or spoon to get it into your mouth and this will be the only "pi"e you'll want today.  

This Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie is a recipe from one of Mom's old cookbooks (Family Favorite Recipes).  I've had it for years and had it checked off as a recipe I'd like to try someday.   Well, "someday" came on Friday.  I made it and shared it with family and friends over the weekend.  It was well received by everyone and one or two people even had seconds.  Peter, who hates coconut, ate the filling and left the fudgy coconut crust on his plate.  Strangely, the crust disappeared off his plate before the dishes were washed.   (I'm not pointing my finger at anyone, but a couple of grandmothers had tell-tale chocolate on their fingers and around their mouths.)

I would recommend you share this pie if you make it.  It is so rich and creamy good, a small piece is more than sufficient. 

Happy "Pi Day" to you all.  


 
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie with Chocolate Coconut Crust

Crust:
2 tablespoons butter
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (2 ounces/60grams)
½ cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons hot water
1½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

Melt butter and chocolate over low heat.  Mix icing sugar with hot water and combine with chocolate.  Stir in coconut.  Press the mixture into and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate or use a 9-inch springform pan.  Refrigerate while making the filling.


Filling:
1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups whipping cream, whipped and divided OR 3 cups whipped topping, divided

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter and cream cheese.  Beat until fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until the sugar is well combined and no longer gritty.  Beat in the vanilla.  Take two-thirds (2 cups) of the whipped cream and fold into the peanut butter mixture. Reserve the remaining whipped cream for garnish. Spoon the peanut butter filling into the chilled pie crust.


Garnish:
1 cup reserved whipped cream from above
1 snack size package chocolate covered peanuts, chopped

Pile remaining whipped cream (1 cup) onto the filling.  Sprinkle chopped chocolate covered peanuts over the cream.  Chill at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.  The pie may also be frozen and slightly thawed before serving.  

Makes 10-12 servings or 6-8 larger pieces.


Unsweetened baking chocolate comes in 1 ounce/28 gram squares or pieces.

Melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter together over low heat.  I used a heat proof bowl sitting over a simmering saucepan of water.

Pour 3 tablespoon hot water into the icing sugar and mix until well dissolved with no lumps remaining.  Pour the sugar into the melted chocolate and butter mixture and stir until smooth.

Stir the sweetened coconut into the chocolate mixture.  Press into a 9-inch pie plate or springform pan.  Chill while making the filling. The coconut crust will not be crisp but more like a chocolate fudge texture.  The crust is reminiscent of the much loved Newfoundland Snowball cookies/

Whip the peanut butter, butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together.  Beat until light and fluffy and the sugar is no longer gritty.

Fold in the whipped cream.  You will need 2 cups of whipped cream or whipped topping.
 
Keep folding.  You will not want any streaks of cream showing through.  This is almost ready for the pie shell but I still needed to fold a little more.

Pile the filling into the chilled crust.  The filling recipe makes for a very full pie. 

Chocolate covered peanuts can be found in most grocery stores in the candy section.  Chop as many as you'd like to garnish the top of the pie.

Garnish the top of the pie with the remaining 1 cup of whipped cream and the chopped chocolate covered peanuts.  As you can see I also used a little ganache as a garnish.

Mmmmm....doesn't that look creamy and delicious!

A celebration dessert for a special occasion.



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