Peanut Butter Pie with a Spicy Twist

peanut butter pie, take one

I originally wasn’t going to post this recipe, but when I put the above picture on my Tumblr a friend got so excited I had to do it.  But I did it a little different.  It’s not my typical, all day long life-stopping recipe.  This recipe will take you 30 minutes to throw together, and will take even less if you use a store-bought graham cracker crust like I did, but I’ve included a graham cracker crust recipe if you want to make a smidge of extra time and effort.

it was a big hit

I came across a peanut butter pie recipe while looking for no-bake desserts and was intrigued, but I’m not super crazy about peanut buttery sweets.  So it wasn’t until a friend requested a peanut butter birthday dessert that I broke out the recipe.

peanut butter pie redux feat. cayenne, cinnamon, and banana

It was a hit at his potluck and even caused an argument or two because people didn’t want to share.  So if you’re cooking for more than 4 people, you might want to plan on making more than one pie.

peanut butter upside down pie...i say oops a lot

The mexican twist was inspired by the enchilada dinner I was gearing up for on Tuesday.  Adding spices to chocolate desserts is a very easy way to make an easy dessert slightly more exotic and intriguing – ice creams, cakes, ganaches, you name it.

this one was a big hit too

Peanut Butter Pie with a Spicy Twist

Crust Ingredients

Ten 4 3/4-by-2 1/2-inch graham crackers, broken into pieces

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling Ingredients

3 oz. milk chocolate – if you are using bar chocolate, it will need to be chopped

1 cinnamon stick

1 whole dried cayenne pepper, de-seeded (to deseed a dried pepper, hold it gently but firmly between 2 fingers, cut side down, and flick it)

1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

4 oz. (1/2 cup) cream cheese

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 banana, thinly sliced

Method

  • Crush up the graham crackers.  A food processor works magic, but if you don’t have one, put the crackers in a plastic bag and do some good ol’ fashion stress relief.  Transfer to a medium bowl, and add the melted butter. Stir with a fork until thoroughly combined.
  • Put crumbs in your pie pan and press them up the sides of the pan to form the edge and then evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator while making the filling.
  • Put 1/2 cup cream, cinnamon stick, and chile in a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Remove the cinammon and chile and pour over chocolate, and set aside for 5 minutes to yield chocolate ganache. Whisk to combine and set aside to cool, whisking occasionally.
  • Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour ganache into the bottom of the crust, tapping gently to settle.  Top ganache with the sliced banana.
  • Meanwhile, whip 3/4 cup heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the peanut butter, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and fluffy, then add the whipped cream and whisk until combined.
  • Remove the almost-pie from the refridgerator and spoon the peanut butter mixture into the pan, smoothing the top.
  • Place in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.  Before serving the pie, top with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired.

If you’re timid about spice, feel free to omit one or all of the spices, the pie will still be delicioso.

Sticky Lemon Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze

Ever since the last time I made cinnamon buns, it set my mind spinning with all kinds of different filling possibilities – cheese, dried fruit, spices – lots of things.  But I got caught up in all this other life and never got around to experimenting.  It seems, however, that the lovely people at TheKitchn.com did.  I guess great minds think alike.

These are for the rainy spring morning what the cinnamon bun is for a snowy winter morning.  Warming, bright, gooey, and surprisingly light in the tummy.  It makes you totally forget about the drizzle outside and brightens your kitchen with thoughts of sunny summer days to come.

don't blame me

Sticky Lemon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
Makes 12 large breakfast rolls

Lemon Roll Dough
1 envelope (0.25 ounces, or 2 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed to about 100°F or warm but not hot on your wrist
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 lemons, zested
2 eggs

Sticky Lemon Filling

1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 lemons, zested and juiced *
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested
Method
In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a couple minutes. With the mixer paddle, stir in the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.

Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable.

Spray the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled – about an hour.

clear glass bowls might make for better photos and someone has a birthday coming up

In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the nutmeg and ginger, then work in the lemon zest with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles wet, soft sand. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon. (Reserve the juice of the second lemon for the glaze.)

sugary, lemony

Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10×15 inches. Spread evenly with the softened butter, then pour and spread the lemon-sugar mixture over top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls, and place them, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.

ready to roll

Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour.)

this is pre-second rise, if you can believe it. these puppies were HUGE

Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into a center roll reads 190°F.

While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small food processor (or with a mixer, or a sturdy whisk), whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and blend until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.

When the rolls are done, smear them with the cream cheese glaze, and sprinkle the zest of 1 additional lemon over top to garnish. Serve while warm.

for some reason "When the rolls are done" just doesn't seem to cover it

piping hot, gooey, and sweet as hell

I think the next time I make these (which will be the near future), I will swap the lemon juice in the filling for raspberry puree, and toss in a sprinkling of some chopped fresh mint.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  If anyone does this before I get a chance to, please let me know how it comes out!

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