Category Archives: Pie

Girl Scouts Thin Mint Chocolate Mousse Pie

Girl Scouts Thin Mint Chocolate Mousse Pie

This Girl Scouts thin mint chocolate mousse pie is absolutely delicious!  The oh so chocolaty mousse is light and lucious and melts in your mouth. The texture’s of the pie are undenialbly one of my favorite aspects of the pie. It goes from the cool, silky mousse to the crunchy cookie crumble in the crust with subtle hints of mint.

Although you do bake the thin mint crust for a mere 8 minutes, this is a no-bake, no fuss, chocolate mousse filling. The crunchie crust is made with puréed Girl Scout Cookies, butter and sugar. In the same food processor that the thin mint cookies were just puréed, the chocolate mousse starts off with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  Then boiling heavy cream is streamed into the opening at the top to melt the chips as they spin into a smooth and creamy chocolate delight. This chocolate is cooled to room temperature and folded into whipped heavy cream for the finale. It’s one of those special dessert’s that’s so uncomplicated you’ll find yourself making it more than just once.

Having my daughter’s Girl Scout troop in my kitchen making this thin mint chocolate mousse pie was so much fun! We are very fortunate for our wonderful leader, Jen Swenson, who is generous with her efforts and time with the troop. It’s one of those precious things in life that the girls will treasure always.

Those of you who love the good ole mint-chocolate flavors will go crazy for this dessert. Those of you who aren’t partial to that flavor combo might be surprised how suble and sweet the thin mint crust is …tamed by the butter maybe! And like I told Maisy in the show, you can always just eat the chocolate mousse middle!

If you are looking for some appetizer’s to start off this Girl Scouts Thin Mint Chocolate Mousse Pie extravaganza you should try my Salsa 101 or Best Guacamole Ever!  Maybe you are more in the mood for Zucchini Torta or a main dish like one of my all time favorite’s Stuffed Peppers or Chicken Piccata…both dishes you’ll add to your week day meals once you have your first bite! Enjoy! 🙂

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Ingredients for Girl Scouts Thin Mint Crust Pre-Heat oven to 350º :

  • 28 Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies – 1 3/4 sleeve …(a few left over for nibbling on)
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 10″ pie plate, or 9″ spring form pan, OR 9″ pie plate & cups for the extra chocolate mousse you will have

Directions for the Girl Scouts Thin Mint Crust:

  1. Melt 5 tbsp butter, set aside
  2. Add 28 cookies to the food processor and pulse 3-4 times until they are a fine crumb
  3. Pour in melted butter and 2 tbsp sugar and pulse 10 seconds to combine
  4. Turn out crumb mixture into a 10″ pie plate, or 9″ spring form pan
  5. NOTE: If you only have a 9″ pie plate NO WORRIES just add the excess chocolate mousse to cups or glasses, topping with cookies crumble and set the same in the frig for 4-6 hours or even freeze for a later date!
  6. Press cookie crumb mixture all along the bottom and up the edges of the pie dish forming the crust
  7. Put the pie crust into a 350º oven for 8 minutes
  8. Take out and completely cool

Ingredients for Chocolate Mousse:

  • 3 cups heavy cream – 2 cups for whipping the heavy cream/ 1 cup for melting the chocolate chips in the food processor
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions for the Chocolate Mousse:

  1. Wipe thin mint cookie crumbs out of food processor and add mini chocolate chips
  2. Add vanilla and pinch of salt
  3. Add 1 cup heavy cream to small sauce pan and bring to a boil
  4. Place cover on food processor, turn on and slowly add hot cream thru opening at top
  5. Keep it running for about 20-30 seconds until chips are melted and creamy
  6. Empty out into a bowl to cool, only cool to room temperature NOT COLD because the chocolate will solidify and it will be difficult to fold into the whipped cream
  7. When chocolate is close to room temp add 2 cups heavy cream to a large glass bowl with 1/4 cup sugar and begin to whisk with electric beater
  8. Whisk the cream until stiff peaks, 3-5 minutes
  9. Fold 1/2 cup at a time of the room temp chocolate into the whipped cream until there’s none left
  10. Pour out chocolate mousse into the COMPLETELY cooled baked pie crust and smooth out top with a offset spatula
  11. Sprinkle thin mint cookie crumble over the top and place into the frig for 4-6 hours
  12. Slice and serve with whipped cream…yum!

Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie!


Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie

“Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie” is the perfect title for this recent cooking show taped at my foodie friend’s, David and Eileen’s house. When you taste this most chocolatey mousse-like filling topped with fluffy peaks of meringue you will think you have died and gone to heaven! This wonderful chocolate meringue pie recipe came from David’s mother, Alice, and has always been a family favorite for the holidays! With four boys in his family growing up, David said his mother was always welcome to the idea of having more cooks in the kitchen. You could only imagine that with four boys you’re going to need more then just one pie. David and his brothers happily learned at an early age how to pitch in and get this task done.

David uses the “chocolate fudge” flavor of Jello brand, the cook and serve, not the instant. Come to find out, this “chocolate fudge” flavor can be a difficult category to find. But using Jello brand’s “chocolate” flavor is the next best thing, so don’t fret. Make sure to keep an eye out for the “chocolate fudge” flavor next time you are at the store and shoot me an email if you strike “fudge”!

What takes this Jello cook and serve chocolate fudge pudding to a completely different universe, into a rich, chocolate mousse-like texture is the addtion of egg yolks, sugar, butter and pure vanilla extract. You will find yourself eating each bite of chocolate meringue pie very slowly just to savour every luscious bite. Part of this decadence comes from the rich, flaky crust made with a special lard David gets from Firefly Farmers in Stonington, CT. You can purchase their products at the Stonington, Waterford and Bozrah Farmers Markets. It definitely makes a difference in your pie crust to use both butter and lard like in my Perfect Pie Crust in 5 Minutes but using this lard that David use’s really puts the crust over the top!

Last but not least is the meringue that tops this incredible chocolatey filling and brings the whole pie together. Whipping the egg whites to soft peaks is important to achieve the elegant curly cues you can create when dipping a spatula gently into the surface of the meringue. Then off to the oven briefly until those beautiful peaks turn golden.

This wonderful chocolate meringue pie recipe could have easily remained a family secret but David and his mother were gracious enough to share it with us. The only option I see here is for you to get busy and make this luscious dessert for your next holiday! Don’t forget to share the YouTube link to the show 🙂 ENJOY xxoo

You should check out David and Eileen’s Lobster Mac & Cheese show if you are looking for an amazing entré, Pulled Beef Taco’s or Salmon B.L.T. Sliders at Marco’s would make for very tasty dishes also. Try my Guacamole or Homemade Salsa 101 to start everything off!

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Ingredients for David’s Pie Crust – 1 Crust for lg Deep Dish Pie Plate (measurements below are 3/4 of full recipe):

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup lard frozen, grated
  • 1/4 cup butter refigerated, grated
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • approx. 2-3 tbsp ice cold water

FULL PIE CRUST RECIPE – 2 Crusts:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup lard or crisco
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp ice cold water

Directions for Pie Crust – Pre-Heat Oven to 400º :

  1. Measure lard or crisco and put into freezer
  2. Grate lard or crisco and butter and place in separate bowls back in the frig til you are ready
  3. Add flour, salt, lard or crisco, and butter to food processor or mixer and begin to mix with paddle attachment slowly
  4. Then slowly add in 1 tbsp at a time while mixing, you may need to add another tbsp of water to have dough come together
  5. When dough comes together in 1-2 minutes turn dough onto wax paper forming into a disc shape and place into the freezer for 15 minutes
  6. Begin to roll out dough between wax paper until its large enough to fit pie plate
  7. Gently peel over top layer of wax paper flipping over into pie dish
  8. Gently push edges in all around and remove the other piece of wax paper
  9. Scallop the edges of pie crust
  10. Prick inside walls and bottom of crust with a fork
  11. Place into a 400º oven and bake 10-15 minutes until slightly golden around the edges
  12. Let pie crust cool and begin to make the chocolate filling

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Ingredients for Chocolate Filling:

  • 2 boxes COOK and SERVE Jello brand “chocoate fudge” or “chocolate” pudding – NOT INSTANT
  • NOTE: I can only find “chocolate” so I mix “bittersweet chocolate chips & semi sweet chocolate chips heaping 1/4 cup of each and this tastes exactly like “chocolate fudge” brand of Jello 🙂
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 cups WHOLE milk
  • 1/2 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp pure extract vanilla
  • 1 pre-baked pie crust cooled

Directions for Chocolate Filling:

  1. Separate 4 egg yolks from whites and place into separate bowls (yolks for filling and whites for meringue)
  2. Add 2 boxes of chocolate fudge pudding mix to medium size sauce pan
  3. Add in chocolate chips, 4 egg yolks, sugar, 3 1/2 cups of milk over medium heat
  4. Continue to whisk while bringing ingredients to a boil, it will thicken quickly
  5. When it thickens take off of heat
  6. Whisk in 3 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp vanilla
  7. Pour into the cooled pre-baked pie crust and let cool just a bit to a warm TEMP but NOT COLD– DO NOT put into the fridge because you DON’T want to put whipped meringue on a COLD pie, it will cause meringue to weep 🙂

Ingredients for Meringue:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 tbsp sugar – 2 tbsp per egg white
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Directions for Meringue – Pre-Heat Oven to 375º :

  1. Whisk egg whites until soft peak begin to form then start to add sugar 1 tbsp at a time
  2. Keep whisking unitl you get soft – stiff peaks – in between peaks – NOT STIFF
  3. Pour onto WARM chocolate pie filling
  4. Begin to smooth meringue over to touch edges of the pie crust making sure meringue seals all along the edge of the pie crust
  5. Once the meringue completely covers the chocolate filling begin to dip spatula in and out of meringue creating curly cue peaks
  6. Place chocolate meringue pie into 375º oven until peaks are golden approx 10-15 minutes – if the meringue is undercooked the it will weep
  7. Take out and let meringue cool, slice and mangia mangia!

MERINGUE TIP: Do not put whipped meringue on a COLD pie, a warm filling is better than COLD. Be sure to cook meringue through because undercooked meringue will weep 🙂

Best Blueberry Pie!

Best Blueberry Pie!

There’s nothing like fresh blueberries simmering in a buttery, flaky pie crust with aromatic fruit juices getting bubbly and syrupy. It’s tough to let this mouth watering concoction cool for three hours when all you really want to do is scoop some vanilla ice cream over a slice letting the cream melt onto the crispy crust and gooey berries submerging oneself into pie heaven! This might just be the perfect dessert bite!

There are recipes out there that have you use flour as a thickener in some fruit pies but with this best blueberry pie recipe I think it’s important to use cornstarch. Blueberries release so much juice the best one for the job is cornstarch. You can add orange zest or lemon zest to brighten up the flavors and then there’s always cinnamon or nutmeg. Blueberries happen to be one of my favorite fruits and I feel that they are already flavorful enough so I only add one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to balance everything out. Blueberries are also considered to be one of the healthiest fruits out there offering up one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits and vegetables so I think it’s a win-win here!

Cutting out decorative leaf shapes (or what ever shape you like) from the top sheet of pie crust is a no brainer for me because it’s so gosh darn easy to do, it looks like you spent all day on it and it’s very forgiving. When it bakes in the oven getting golden, crispy and slightly shiny from brushing on the egg wash it’s going to look and taste amazing no matter what!

This best blueberry pie recipe might just become your decadent dessert ritual for your holiday dinners! Making the “perfect pie crust in 5 minutes” a week or two ahead of time and popping it into the freezer until you need it is a great way to cut down on some of the work that’s involved in throwing a Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday feast for that matter. If you get ambitious you iphone pictures 2419can always add a chocolate pecan pie into the mix. To help save some time with the side dishes you might try these roasted brussel spouts. They are so delicious roasted like this you’ll never eat them any other way. Have fun and enjoy 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 1/2 cups blueberries (that’s after you have sorted thru bad berries…start with 5 cups to have enough)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 corn starch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cut up cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • “Perfect Pie Crust in 5 Minutes!” recipe
  • Parchment paper for rolling out pie dough
  • 1 1/2 ” – 2″ pie leaf cut outs or what ever shape cookie cutter you want to dress the top of the pie with instead of using a whole sheet of pie crust dough

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Trace the edge of the pie plate onto both pieces of parchment paper
  2. Roll out 1/2 of the pie crust at a time in between two pieces of parchment with circle drawing on the outside
  3. When the dough is rolled out to approx 1/8″ thick and the proper circle size flip pie dough over with parchment paper into pie plate
  4. Gently fit pie dough into dish without pushing down hard and place into the fridge
  5. Wash and dry blueberries, picking through them to remove any under and over ripe berries and stems
  6. Place berries in a large bowl and add 1/4 cup corn starch, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and juice from 1/2 lemon and toss until coated
  7. Put the bowl of blueberries into the fridge
  8. Roll out the other pie dough disc and cut out leaf shapes or what ever shape you want to be the top layer of the pie
  9. Lay down a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet with a sprinkle of flour and place leaf cut outs onto the cookie sheet
  10. Put leaf cut outs into the fridge
  11. Take out pie dish with pie dough from fridge and crimp edges
  12. Pour the blueberries into the pie dish and back into the fridge
  13. Whisk 1 egg with 1 tbsp of heavy cream
  14. Take the leaf cut-outs on the cookie sheet from the fridge and brush with the egg wash
  15. Take the blueberries in the pie dish out of the fridge and dot the pie with 1  1/2 tbsp of cut up cold butter
  16. Begin to place leaf cut-outs on top of the blueberries. Go along the edge of pie all around and then work your way in (you only need to gently push a couple of the edges of the leaf to crimped edges of the pie and to each leaf
  17. Put the pie back into the fridge for 15 minutes while you pre-heat oven to 400º
  18. Place blueberry pie on the cookie sheet that has a piece of parchment covering the bottom in case of spillage and pop into the oven for 30 minutes
  19. Turn the oven down to 350º and bake for another 40 minutes until a golden crust and juices are bubbly
  20. You must let cool 3 hours so the blueberry juicy can thicken properly
  21. Serve with your best vanilla ice cream and you will be one happy camper! 🙂

 

Homemade Chocolate Pecan Pie at Barbara’s

Homemade Chocolate Pecan Pie at Barbara’s

barbarapieBarbara’s homemade chocolate pecan pie is like nothing you’ve had before. Not only do you get that gooey texture with a hint of nutty caramel because it’s a pecan pie but a chocolaty finish slides right on in and makes you say wow! Gooey, nutty, caramel, chocolate …need I say MORE?  In fact, it is plenty chocolaty so if you wanted to nibble on those “special dark” Hershey’s chocolate chips while you are making the pie feel free it wouldn’t make the pie any less delicious.

When Barbara first delivered her scrumptious homemade pecan pie to my house I was beside myself. I just couldn’t believe my eyes and with an invitation to her Christmas Eve party to top it off which she also cooks for. I later found out that she makes seventy pies that get hand delivered with the invite to her party. It all began fifteen years ago at a surprise party her husband Peter threw for her where stories evolved of first meetings with Barbara and her gifts of homemade chocolate pecan pie. From that point on the pie numbers grew and it now totals out at around 72 pies.

This gourmet chocolate pecan pie of Barbara’s has become a tradition for many of the families on her pie list that wait in anticipation of her delivery in order to take the pie to their relatives on Christmas Day. This pie freezes extremely well and slicing it before freezing making for easy removal without having to thaw the whole pie is ideal. I must say though eating my slice right out of the freezer before it thaws is my new favorite way…wait til you try it!

Barbara is very busy in the month of December when all the pies get baked and delivered. She does get things going back in September though putting in an order for a twenty-two pound box of pecans from Georgia which arrive around Thanksgiving time. Then the whole process takes off from the chopping of the pecans in the food processor,  measuring exact amounts placed into baggies and stored in the frig , to purchasing large bottles of Karo syrup that are shelved until needed and so on until December is upon her and the baking begins.

IMG_4416This truly is a labor of love for Barbara and I’m very grateful to have become a part of this amazing tradition and see first hand how inspirational she is. You can see for yourself and hear some of the extremely funny stories that go along with Barbara’s pie making in my “Homemade Chocolate Pecan Pie Show” above. I hope you enjoy the show and now you too can make this blueberrypiehomemade chocolate pecan pie part of your family tradition. If you have the time and are only making a pie or two you can check out my “Perfect Pie Crust In 5 Minutes Recipe” or even myBest Blueberry Pie!recipe if you are looking to have a second pie 😉

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Ingredients – Pre-Heat oven to 375º:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (on the finer side but NOT a powder)
  • handful pecan halves for decoration
  • 6 oz. HERSHEY’S Special Dark chocolate chips (full bag for 2 pies)
  • 1 cup light Karo corn syrup -NOTE: Spraying the inside of measuring cup with Pam vegetable or coconut oil will help the Karo syrup ease out (full bottle of Karo for 2 pies)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup melted butter and cooled to ROOM TEMPERATURE or LUKE WARM
  • 1 1/2 Tsp pure vanilla
  • 4 lg eggs lightly beaten (WITHOUT any frothiness occurring)
  • 1 pkg. Pillsbury Prepared Pie Crusts ROOM TEMPERATURE@ (2 crusts inside)
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 – 9″ deep dish pie plate

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle 1 tsp of flour onto the bottom of the pie plate just to act as a light coating
  2. Lay out room temperature pie dough into pie plate and form edges like a scallop shell as shown in show above
  3. In a large bowl mix luke warm butter and sugar to combine with a whisk
  4. Add in Karo Syrup and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture and combine with a whisk
  5. Lastly, add in already whisked eggs and gently whisk to combine only – Don’t want froth
  6. Mix in chocolate chips and ground pecans and mix with a spatula
  7. Pour into pie shell
  8. Decorate the top of the pie with pecan halves
  9. Add rim covering on top of pie so crust does not burn
  10. Bake for 55-60 minutes
  11. Let cool slightly, slice and serve with bourbon, scotch, wine, coffee or milk…oh and also great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream 😉
  12. Freezes incredibly well- make sure to cut into slices before you freeze for easy removal. In fact, I love the texture of having the chocolate pecan pie right out of the freezer without thawing! – you should try it this way 🙂