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No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is quick and fluffy

Dec. 27, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

I've left everything related to Christmas to the last minute -- for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I have a few projects I'm juggling that just happened to fall on the biggest season of the year.

I did not plan it that way, but then again who makes plans anymore? I heard someone say a good way to make God laugh is tell him your plans.

So in the interest of a good attitude, I move forward with a glad heart and enter my kitchen to throw down some ideas because for me, nothing pounds away at stress like a killer recipe that produces something I can gnaw on during the few days surrounding Christmas.

Plus, I need some energy since I'm about to head out to do my Christmas shopping.

At Thanksgiving my son told me I couldn't make a chocolate pie worth serving. Of course, he was smiling when he said it. I think the little brat has figured out what gets me moving (Don't tell me I can't do something!).

In the spirit of continuing with that sentiment, I give you my version of the pie he says I can't make. I made a chocolate pie that might have proved his statement correct and served it a month ago. At least I thought it wasn't the best. It was so rich, and I wasn't proud of the crust. My family will argue otherwise, evidenced by the record time in which they devoured it. In fact, I believe I saw my sister dancing as she went back for seconds.

But this little pie has everything I am looking for in a rich, velvety pie. It's quick, delicious, fluffy and it requires no baking. You decide for yourself and while you're at it, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PIE

1 chocolate graham cracker or cookie pie crust (homemade or store-bought)

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. chocolate fudge ice cream topping softened in the microwave

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

whipped cream and grated chocolate; optional garnishes

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in peanut butter, fudge and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkling of grated chocolate. Refrigerate for about an hour. Keep refrigerated.

I made my own graham cracker crust by using 13/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs mixed with 11/2 sticks of melted butter. I pressed it to the pie plate and then refrigerated for about 1/2 hour.

Janet McCormick is the author of "10-Minute Meals." She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.

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