After taking a break yesterday from baking/cooking–cleaning the basement instead and then napping the late afternoon away–it was back to the grind today. Alright, it’s not “the grind,” not at all in the same category of monotonous labor. But I wasn’t feeling all that inspired today and so it was a little more work than usual to come up with an idea.
My daughter wanted to help me find something special to celebrate today’s so-called national food holiday, Chocolate Chip Day. We perused a half dozen cookbooks, discovering that 3 of them had pretty much the same recipes in them. Darn those TJ Maxx discounts on cookbooks from the UK! In any case, we found a lot of interesting candidates but suffered a pantry shortage on supplies to bring them into existence. How very sad. In the end, we chose Peanut Chocolate Surprise Pie.
This recipe comes from a book I bought a long time ago when I worked for a national well-known mail-order plant nursery. There was a door-to-door salesman who would come by periodically and drop off some books for us to look over. He’d return several days later to take orders for said books. This was pre-amazon.com, before the multitude of super-convenient options we have today to fulfill our reading needs. As weird as it was, I liked that we had the opportunity to sort of try before we bought–see for ourselves what we were putting money out for, without having to travel 30 minutes to an actual book store to do so. And the truth is, these books probably wouldn’t have graced the shelves of a “real” bookstore anyway. Sort of like the straight-to-DVD movie releases, they were never in large demand. Still, a few gems popped up over the years and this was one of them.
Favorite Brand Name Bake Sale Cookbook, published by Publications International, Ltd., has a lot of recipes centered around Dole, Libby’s, Nestle, and Toll House products. But you don’t have to stick with their brands just because they’re recommended. The pictures look delicious and the subjects, appropriately, are the sorts of things you would see at or bring to a bake sale. Peanut Chocolate Surprise Pie comes from the back of the book under “Plentiful Pies.” I used a frozen deep dish pie crust to make it because…well, the recipe called for it so I didn’t feel too guilty using it. You could certainly make your own with your favorite recipe. I also replaced all the all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour to make it slightly healthier. I realize that’s like having a diet soda with your triple cheeseburger, but the little stuff counts. (Though personally, in that scenario, I’d rather skip the burger altogether than have diet soda…yuck!) You can garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if you prefer. Would be pretty tasty with some vanilla bean ice cream, too.
So here it is… my tribute to National Chocolate Chip Day, with only hours to spare. In my book, though, every day is chocolate chip day.
Peanut Chocolate Surprise Pie
adapted from Favorite Brand Name Bake Sale Cookbook
- 1 cup vanilla sugar
- 4 oz (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, lightly salted, chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup bourbon (I used Jim Beam)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 9-inch unbaked deep-dish pie shell
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put your pie shell on a baking sheet and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully-incorporated. Mix in the flour. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the nuts, chocolate chips, bourbon, and vanilla. Pour into the pie shell and spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, waiting to serve until it is completely cooled (otherwise, it falls apart when you cut it).