So, about that frozen pie ...
I had a request to bake something for a friend. Something involving chocolate and peanut butter, perhaps. I thought about returning to some Twice Baked favorites — crispy peanut butter bars, maybe, or peanut butter cookies — but I thought I'd take one more spin through the Baked books just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Surely I'd made all the chocolate and peanut butter recipes by now, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong. Because there sat Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust and Easy Hot Fudge Sauce, and I was at the store faster than you could say "no-bake pie."
That's right. No baking in this one. Not even for the crust, which is a divine mixture of chocolate wafer cookies and butter, chilled in the fridge to set. The filling is delightful: peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla, heavy cream (hey, why not, right?) with a rich taste but a chiffon-y feel. And the most surprising thing, and the piece of this recipe that I'll certainly make again, is the hot fudge sauce. It's just melted chocolate chips, corn syrup, and some warmed-up cream — in fact, I was running low on cream, so part of it was nonfat milk — and yet it tastes complex and delicious. The recipe also makes a ton, so use a little on the pie and save the rest for other purposes: I've poured it over ice cream, dipped pretzels in it, and (not gonna lie) eaten it off the spoon.
The only part that didn't work for me was the "chocolate bottom," a layer of melted and cooled chocolate sitting between the crust and the peanut butter filling. My chocolate didn't spread evenly on the chilled crust; I kept glopping it around and eventually got it to fill a small circle in the center of the crust, but ultimately, I don't think it was worth the hassle.
I gave the pie to my friends, so they've got the final word on the finished product. But because I ended up with extra peanut butter filling, hot fudge, and chocolate wafers, I made myself some low-rent "pie bowls," and honestly? I'm a little sad every day now that this isn't my dessert.