Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

I had planned to make cake pops this weekend for Emily's teachers but as I was doing my usual pursuing of the internet instead of laundry, I came across blog called In Jennie's Kitchen.  Her husband passed away unexpectedly last week.  She shared some of her last memories and her pain with the blogging world.  I was in tears watching this video of Mikey and his daughter dancing shortly before he died.  Last Friday she requested that everyone make a creamy peanut butter pie for someone they love.  Peanut butter pie was Mikey's favorite.  I googled Mikey's Peanut Butter Pie and was AMAZED at what came up. It seems Jennie's story has touched the heart of many and the internet community has responded and offered up hundreds if not thousands of peanut butter pies in honor of Mikey.  Myself included.
I think this story has resonated with so many people because it reminds us of how fragile life is.  We always think something like that won't happen to us or at least won't happen to us while we are so young.  No one knows what God's plan is and sometimes life takes us down paths that aren't expected and frankly we don't like.  I lost my own father seven years ago and I pray for Jennifer and Mikey's girls.  There will be many tough days for them ahead and I know the pain they will feel when there father is not there for those big moments in their lives - marriage, children, holidays.  My heart goes out to them and I will hug my own girls a little tighter tonight and give Matt extra kisses.  I wish for everyone to continue showing Mikey and Jennifer love by making your own peanut butter pie.  Give those you love a hug and tell them how much you love them.    

I tweaked Jennie's Creamy Peanut Butter Pie recipe to fit what I had in the pantry.  It is now Matt's favorite pie:

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

prepared chocolate pie crust
3 ounces chopped unsweetened Baker's chocolate
20 caramel candies
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup chunky-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Melt chocolate in a double broiler or microwave.  Pour over bottom of cookie crust making sure it goes all the way to the edges.  Melt caramels according to bag in microwave (I usually add milk instead of cream).  Pour melted caramel on top of chocolate over cookie crust.   Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice.  Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.  Drizzle extra semi-sweet chocolate or caramel on top if you wish for garnish.  Refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.  

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