Can we talk about peanut butter for a minute?
It’s an honest-to-goodness magical food product.
Sweet, salty, thick, satisfying…it’s the first thing I turn to for breakfast and lunch (and occasionally dinner on busy days, especially when I have a research paper due the next morning). Paired with blackberry jam between a couple slices of white bread, it is comfort food like no other.
Slather some on Granny Smith apple slices and you’ve got yourself a perfect snack. Dad always thought that was the weirdest thing. I got the idea from the TV show “Blues Clues” when I was five and never looked back.
About a year ago I made homemade caramel sauce to drizzle over an apple pie, and I had so much left over. I thought, “What would go nicely with salted caramel sauce?” I put on my thinking cap and opened the pantry, looking for inspiration. It was as if the light from heaven beamed down on the jar of peanut butter.
Half a spoonful of caramel sauce + half a spoonful of peanut butter = heaven on earth
It’s like butterscotch times 10000000.
That caused Matthew and I to literally make a blueprint of a pie…a Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Pie.
It took me until last Christmas to make it, but it was as good as we hoped it would be. Very, very rich but still delicious.
This week I wanted something a little more traditional.
In comes the classic peanut butter pie, which can be as simple or as involved as you choose.
This is literally “easy as pie.”
I made a homemade graham cracker crust, but by all means, if you want to use a store-bought one then go for it! Go by the directions on the crust, load it with the filling, and you’re good to go.
Since I think peanut butter pies can tend to be a little one-note and heavy with peanut butter flavor, I added a chocolate ganache bottom layer that makes it reminiscent of a Reese’s cup. Don’t have chocolate chips or heavy cream? No problem, just skip that step.
For the filling, if you don’t have heavy whipping cream you can use 1 cup of Cool Whip and use the rest of it to spread over the filling. I personally don’t think it needs the extra whipped cream on top, but it’s up to you!
I like this filling because I’m not a big fan of peanut butter pies made with cream cheese. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still amazing, but I think it takes on a tangy flavor.
Instead, the vanilla pudding mix gives it a more mild flavor and causes the mixture to thicken when combined with the milk, while the peanut butter gives it a warm, brown color. Then when you fold in the whipped cream it becomes light and fluffy. Yum!
Plus you won’t feel like you need to take a nap after eating it 🙂
Top with anything your heart desires. Reese’s cups, chocolate drizzle, whipped cream, roasted peanuts, or even a heavenly salted caramel sauce.
*Note: For the filling, if you like a fluffier pie you can increase it to 1 cup of whipping cream instead of 1/2 cup. Either way, it’s delicious!
Graham cracker crust: Back in the Day Bakery | Peanut butter filling: adapted from The Baking Chocolatess