August 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey and the Power of Friendship {Naptime Everyday}

Peanut Butter Pie

Last Monday began as a normal day for me. I took some food photos at breakfast, walked to the coffee shop with my daughter and made a quick run to the toy store. When it came to jump into my twitter feed around noon I got excited to exchange canning tips with friends. I couldn’t wait to share a new great canning tip and recipe I had just discovered. However, instead of talking about canning summer produce, everyone was talking about our friend, Jennifer Perillo. The night before she had unexpectedly lost her husband, Mikey, to a sudden heart attack. I was stunned. The food blog community was tweeting and retweeting the news, sending Jennie love and support and warm wishes to her and her gorgeous young daughters.

As the news reverberated over the course of the week our hearts bled for Jennie and we sent her all of the virtual strength we could. I am sure we all would have loved to have hugged her in person, but harnessing the power of friendship through our various social networks was the next best thing. I’ve met Jennifer several times and always loved her warmth and kindness. Her incredible talent is evident on her amazing food blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen, she has the ability to inspire nearly anyone to get in the kitchen and cook. I never met her husband and I haven’t met her daughters, but I know they are a close family full of love, happiness and grace. To lose Mikey is devastating, to say the least, and the best thing I can do for her right now is send her strength and be her friend.

Last Friday, a mere five days after saying goodbye to her husband, Jennie posted this on her website, asking people to make this Creamy Peanut Butter Pie, Mikey’s favorite, in honor of him. We were then to share it with our loved ones and take time to hug them and remind them how much we love them because, as Jennie so harshly learned, there is no guarantee of tomorrow. People have been posting gorgeous pies all over their food blogs and posting it on twitter with the hashtag #pieformikey or #apieformikey. I encourage you all to take a look.

My schedule didn’t allow me to post this on Friday so I am posting it today, Sunday, exactly one week after Mikey’s passing. I am doing this to honor Jennie, Mikey, their girls, and the strength of friendship within the food blogging community.  I encourage all of you to make this pie – during naptime, with your children, whenever… – and share it with your loved ones, too.

Recipe

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

from In Jennie’s Kitchen

Ingredients

8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped peanut
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

1. Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Pour over the bottom of the cookie crust and spread to the edges with an offset spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place the pan in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

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

4. Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the pan and drizzle the melted chocolate on top. Refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.

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