Chocolate Birthday Pie

chocolate birthday pieSomehow, adding another birthday candle ceased to be exciting sometime in my 30’s – which was several years ago!

So when I celebrated another birthday last Friday, I choose to concentrate less on the number of candles, and more on my favorite things.

Things like quilting, reading, and of course chocolate (which I had at every meal!)

And since cake doesn’t make my favorite list, and chocolate pie does – I created a yummy chocolate pie to celebrate.

I started with an Oreo cookie crust, added a layer of dark chocolate and topped it off with chocolate whipped cream.

When Pedro saw it he declared it was “chocolate, on top of chocolate, on top of chocolate”!

Perfect!

Chocolate Birthday Pie

14 Oreo cookies, crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
splash of vanilla

Combine the crushed Oreo cookies and melted butter and press into a 9 inch pie pan. Refrigerate.

In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate chips and half & half. When melted and smooth, add the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into the crust and refrigerate.

Just before serving, combine the whipping cream, cocoa powder, sugar and a dash of vanilla in a cold mixing bowl.

Beat at high speed with electric mixer until the cream is whipped and thick. Spread it on top of the chocolate layer and take your time licking the bowl!

Rich, decadent, chocolate upon chocolate goodness – now that’s the perfect birthday pie!

Enjoy!

Apple Tart

apple tartNothing says autumn quite like apples.

Unless it’s apples and cinnamon…

…on a buttery shortbread crust.

Yum.

This tart looks pretty fancy – but is really super easy. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you! Buddy can do the entire thing by himself .

If you don’t have time to artistically arrange the apples slices – just toss them in the glaze, throw them in the crust and call it rustic. πŸ™‚

Apple Tart

Crust:

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1-1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

5-6 baking apples (Granny Smith or Jonathon’s are my favorites)

Glaze:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Crust: Cream the butter and sugar. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Mix briefly. The mixture should be crumbly but moist. Press into a tart pie or a 10 inch pie pan.

Peel and slice 5-6 apples. Arrange on the crust.

Glaze: Place all of the ingredients for the glaze in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until thick. Pour over apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the apples are tender.

Perfect either hot or cold – and definitely with fresh whipped cream or ice cream!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Birthday Pie

Option 2Somebody had a birthday last week!

Yep. I’m a whole year older – and I’m sure much wiser. Ha!

For years we’ve celebrated my birthday with a decadent chocolate cheese cake pie that I painstakingly copied from a Debbie Fields cooking show on PBS.

But this year it was time for a change. After all – at my age – it could be dangerous to get in a rut! πŸ˜‰

So Dagmar and I started brainstorming. We started with an Oreo cookie crust and topped it with a super rich chocolate filling. Then inΒ  a burst of genius, she covered the entire thing with a delicious peanut butter whipped cream. (And I do mean delicious! Trust me – that stuff is crazy good!)

<happy sigh>

It was delectable! Perfection on a plate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

1-1/2 cups finely crushed Oreo cookies
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tub whipped topping
1/2 cup peanut butter

In a mixing bowl, combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and the butter. Press into a 9 inch pie pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Place dark chocolate chips and half & half in a double broiler and melt. When melted and smooth, stir in the vanilla.

Carefully pour over the Oreo cookie crust and refrigerate until set.

Before serving, combine the peanut butter and softened whipped topping. Spread it over the cooled filling and top with shaved chocolate.

Hide any left-overs in the back of the refrigerator and just hope that you can get to them before your children!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post with Tasty Tuesday on Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.

Caramel Nut Pear Pie

Pear Crisp It’s harvest time in the orchards and I’m still amazed that we have pears growing on our pear trees.

Not that I expected them to grow apples or figs – but I’m amazed that after 10 years of barrenness, they are finally producing something!

For years Jan would go out in the fall and threaten to cut them down – but I would talk him out of it.

Now – miraculously – we have pears in abundance!

We’ve had fresh pears, pear crisp, baked pears, and yes – this luscious pear pie!

Caramel Nut Pear Pie
Recipe from Taste of Home

6 cups sliced peeled ripe pears (about 6 medium)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup cold butter
18 caramels
5 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup pecans

In a large bowl combine pears and lemon juice. In other bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to pears; stir gently. Let stand for 15 minutes. Pour into pastry shell.

In another bowl combine the oatmeal, flour, and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the pears.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile in a saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels with the milk. Stir until smooth and add pecans.

Drizzle over the pie and bake another 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the pears are soft.

Serve with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big dollop of whipped cream.

The recipe said to let the pie cool – but we couldn’t wait! We ate it hot out of the oven with the ice cream just melting down over the hot caramel and the sweet pears.Β  (Are you drooling yet? I am! πŸ™‚ )

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairy Tale, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace, Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff,Β  Tasty Tuesday at Balancing beauty and Bedlam and The Tuesday Garden Party over at An Oregon Cottage.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie Thanks again to the goodness of friends (love you Stan and Dorothy!) we picked another huge strawberry patch this week.

This time, though, it was the end of the season and the berries were much smaller and not as numerous.

They were, however, really tasty! πŸ™‚

After picking, we followed tradition by taking some of the biggest and nicest berries, washing them and then dipping them first in sour cream then brown sugar.

Delicious.

Then the kids started hulling (it only took part if one movie this time!) while I made the crust for our fresh strawberry pie.

I hesitated to share this recipe since I thought everybody in the world had a fresh strawberry pie recipe. But I was wrong.

I discovered friends a few weeks ago who had never heard of it. Poor things.

So in their honor- here is one of our favorite summertime treats.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 – 9 inch baked pie crust
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons white corn syrup
strawberry jello
1 quart fresh strawberries

Combine water, sugar, corn starch, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of strawberry jello.

Cool, then add the strawberries and mix gently.

Pour into the baked and cooked pie shell. Refrigerate.

Serve with whipped cream.

You can get fancy with the strawberries and set them up nicely – but with five kids who don’t really care what it looks like as long as there’s a lot of it – I normally don’t take the time.

This is also delicious with fresh raspberries or fresh peaches. Just substitute the appropriate flavor of jello.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up at Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.