July 5, 2012

Frozen Mudslide Pies from Shaina Olmanson’s Desserts in Jars {Tales from the Trenches}

Mudslide Pies from Desserts in Jars via The Naptime Chef

Last week a copy of my friend Shaina’s new book, Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine (Harvard Common Press), arrived. I first met Shaina through blogging together at Babble’s The Family Kitchen and have come to love her personal blog, Food for My Family. Her new book instantly drew me in since, as you might remember, I’ve baked a few desserts in jars myself. In fact, baking food in jars is becoming something of a trend and I am so excited someone finally wrote a whole book on the subject.

Shaina is an extremely skilled photographer and each page in her new book showcases enticing photographs of juicy pies, smooth puddings, and chocolatey indulgences. I was instantly besotted with everything I saw! Her recipes will please every palate from the most sophisticated (Orange-White Chocolate Cheesecakes with Cranberry Sauce, Peach-Raspberry Verrines with Lemon-Thyme Cream), to the more traditional (Strawberry Shortcakes, Lemon-Blueberry Bread Pudding). I also loved the thoughtful chapter at the end with recipe ideas for all sorts of baking mixes in jars that make ideal homemade gifts.

Desserts in Jars cookbook by Shaina Olmanson

Coincidentally, the day the book arrived we were voluntarily housebound while waiting out the 100F heatwave. I knew a little baking project from Shaina’s book would be just the thing to pass the time. Since I couldn’t decide where to start I took a risk – I just never know what she’ll choose – and let my daughter leaf through the book. Within about thirty seconds of perusing the photos she landed on the recipe for frozen mudslide pies. Those, she declared, “look awesome.” We started the pies after lunch so they would set for dessert after dinner.

One of the best things about this book is that it is just plain fun to whip up food in jars no matter what you are making. We had such a blast whipping up the cream, making the smooth ganache, and trying our hand at making a perfectly smooth chocolate filling the pouring it all into simple glass jars I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant to serve her all that espresso in the evening so I made one pie with less of the heavy ganache than the rest and it worked out fine.

Our dessert treat in a jar was a huge hit after dinner. Smooth, creamy, with just the right amount of mocha flavors, it was a winner through and through. It even proved slightly refreshing in the unbearable heat! To read more about Shaina, check out Aimee’s interview with her! In the mean time, treat yourself to a copy of this book. I guarantee it will draw you in and quickly become the favorite new dessert cookbook in your kitchen.

Recipe

Frozen Mudslide Pies

adapted from Shaina Olmason’s Desserts in Jars

Ingredients

Crust:

1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ganache:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Filling:

1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Whipped Cream:

½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

1. To make the crust mix the cookie crumbs and butter in a small bowl until they are evenly coated. Press 2 tablespoons of the crumbs into the bottom of each of eight 8-ounce jars and set aside.

2 Make the ganache by placing the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Warm the heavy cream in a saucepan until it just begins to boil, then remove it from the heat and stir it into the chopped chocolate pieces until completely  smooth. Whisk in the espresso powder and vanilla extract. Divide the ganache evenly over the chocolate crusts. Refrigerate all of the jars until the ganache is firm, about 30 minutes

3. To make the chocolate filling beat together the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa in a medium-size bowl until stiff peaks form. Using a pastry bag or a tablespoon pipe the filling over the espresso ganache layer. Cover the jars loosely and freeze for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

4. Make the whipped cream by beating together the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar. Pipe a small dollop onto the top of each pie and serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

These would be so awesome to serve at a summer party!

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes prep time, 3 hours wait time (for freezing)

Naptime Reviews

This decadent dessert was a huge hit.

 

More Naptime Recipes