Peanut Butter Pie – Oh My!

IMG_4372I came across the BEST no-bake peanut butter pie recipe. The blend of cream cheese and peanut butter makes it super creamy, and the whipped topping adds a fluffiness to it that gives this pie a great texture.  It’s just plain delicious.

June was designated by me to be a “catching up with friends” month.  At the end of April, I was laid off from my consulting job, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise, because May was dedicated to catching up with family.  My oldest daughter graduated from college, so we had family in town.  And, Graduation Weekend happened to fall on Mother’s Day weekend, so we had plenty to celebrate.  Being off work made the whole week so much easier because I was able to focus my attention on the family.

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The drinks and tapas were so good, this was all that was left!

Sometime life gets in the way of staying connected with friends.  Between work and family and trying to have time for yourself, months can go by when you suddenly realize that you’ve been missing someone important.  Catching Up With Friends Month is now in full swing.  It started with having a lovely lunch at Salt Factory in Woodstock with my good friend Melanie. I’ve known Mel for over 17 years and we always have plenty to talk about.  Next up was a crawfish boil at my friend Dana’s house.  Dana hosts our book club each time we meet, so several of the Book Club Gals were in attendance at the party.  Dana and her husband are hilarious, so the party was lots of fun.  I also met up with my buddy David to get caught up on life, laugh, and gossip at Eclipse di Luna for happy hour tapas and cocktails.

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Next up was a lunch and pool day with a couple of my favorite gals, Teri & Michelle.  For lunch I made a delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad from Chelsea’s Messy Apron blog.  It was so good!  You can get the recipe HERE.  For dessert I whipped up a No Bake Peanut Butter Pie.  Teri’s daughter LOVES peanut butter pie (Teri does, too!) so I made this for our dessert, and then forced Teri to take the rest of it home to her daughter.  I used the No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie recipe from Mother Thyme, with a few modifications.  Below are the instructions for how I made it, but you can go here for the original recipe.  The only change-ups I did were to use reduced fat cream cheese (neufchâtel), I only used 1 1/2 containers of whipped topping instead of 2 (a whole tub in the peanut butter part, but only 1/2 tub on top), and I skipped the chocolate sauce drizzle.  Even with the reduced fat cream cheese, the consistency was still just right and held its shape fine.  I used a pre-made Oreo cookie crust I purchased from my local super market, but it is super easy to make your own using crushed Oreos and butter.

About neufchâtel cheese (Wikipedia):
In 1872, William Lawrence, a New York dairyman of the township of Chester, created the first American cream cheese as the result of adding cream to the recipe for Neufchâtel.[2] This American Neufchâtel is softer than regular cream cheese due to its approximately 33% lower fat and higher moisture content.[3][4] Due to this reduced fat content, it is found in most grocery stores as a reduced-fat option to cream cheese. In the United States, this Neufchâtel is sometimes called farmers’ cheese.

Natural Peanut Butter vs. The Regular Stuff

This recipe calls for a cup of creamy peanut butter.  I know these days most folks (myself included) keep all natural peanut butter on hand – the kind you have to stir because the oils separate out.  This stuff does not work well in recipes like this one, nor does it work well in my Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing recipe.  You really need to use the regular stuff.  I prefer either Jiff or Skippy because the flavor and consistency is just right for creamy, sweet desserts.  Trust me on this one!

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use all natural peanut butter!)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 8 ounce tubs of frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed
1 Chocolate cookie pie crust, 9″ (I used Oreo pre-made crust)
*Peanut butter chips and chocolate for garnish optional

In a mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter and cream cheese until blended together. Next, add the powdered sugar and milk, and beat on low until mixed in, then on high for 2 minutes until smooth.  Add in the vanilla and beat again for 20-30 seconds.  Add half of one container of whipped topping, mixing on low until incorporated, then add the remaining half, mixing again until incorporated.  The peanut butter filling should be of uniform color and consistency.  Spread the mixture in the chocolate cookie crust, smoothing evenly to the edges, then top with half of the remaining container of whipped topping, spreading almost to the edge, but allowing some of the peanut butter to be visible around the edges.  Carefully sprinkle with peanut butter and chocolate chips, then chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.  This will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for several days, however it’s so good, it won’t last that long!

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*Nestle Tollhouse sells a bag of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips mixed together – this is what I used.

 

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