Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi(e) Day!!

Today is 3/14...Happy Pie Day! I figured I should join the rest of the world and whip up a yummy pie to share.

First of all...Pie crust and me aren't the best of friends. Probably because I haven't given it a fair chance. I hate to use all my precious better and I don't buy a lot of shortening. Anyway, I can't say that I have tried every pie crust in the world. So we aren't fiends, but it isn't the crust's fault. So usually when I do a pie, it is store bought crust, or some kind of pie that doesn't require a delicious flaky crust, like this one.

With that in mind, today, I am going to share my family's traditional Christmas Pie. We call it Christmas Pie, because that's really the only time we have it, and we ALWAYS have it for Christmas. It is sooo yummy and super easy. I missed out this last year so I figured I'd make up for it today. It starts with a super simple crust...butter and flour. That gets topped with a creamy cream cheese layer, which gets covered with some chocolate pudding. And the pie gets finished off with some whipped topping.

This pie is too delicious to be limited to a small pie pan, but if you only want a small one, it is a pretty simple recipe to cut in half, I'm sure it would fit just fine. But as the recipe is, it fits perfectly into a 9X13 pan (thank goodness...seconds, please!).

Enough talking, lets get to it!

Christmas Pie


10 tablespoons Butter, melted.
1 1/2 cups Flour

Cream Cheese Layer:
1 (8 oz.) brick Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 cup Whipped Topping

Pudding Layer:
3 cups Cold Milk
2 small boxes Instant Pudding


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and mix with flour (I use the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid, super easy).It will form a soft dough. Press dough evenly into an ungreased 9X13 pan. Remember to poke the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before adding the layers.

Cream Cheese Layer:
Whip up the softened cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Then mix in the whipped topping. Spread evenly onto the completely cooled crust.

Pudding Layer:
Combine cold milk and pudding and mix until smooth. Carefully spread the pudding over the cream cheese layer.

Top the whole thing with the left over whipped topping. 

Chill for an hour or two (or more) to let it set up before serving.

*My Notes*
~My crust took the whole 25 minutes. Start at 20 minutes, then watch it after that. You want it nice and goldeny brown, so watch close after the 20 minutes, nobody wants a burned crust.
~Be sure to cool your crust (including the pan) completely or your cream cheese layer will get warm and not so yummy.
~I doubled the cream cheese layer. If you want what is in the picture, then double the cream cheese layer ingredients. (The ingredient amounts listed is NOT doubled)
~Obviously pudding flavor is up to you. I did chocolate, because chocolate is the best! My family also likes Lemon and Pistachio.
~Don't mix the pudding up in advance. You don't want it to set up and get thick before you get it spread onto the pie, it's easier this way. Just mix it up when you are ready to pour and spread.
~The top whipped topping layer is completely optional (but completely encouraged). We usually start out with a 16 oz container and then use however much we feel like. When we double the cream cheese layer, we pretty much use all of the 16 oz container.
~Whipping Cream can be used in place of the Whipped Topping (it's really good!), but it won't be as thick and it won't keep as long before it starts to break down and get soft and runny. If you want to use Whipping Cream be sure to eat it that day and maybe the next. 
~This pie can be kept for up to a week, covered and refrigerated. But let's be honest, it won't last that long.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Snickers Brownies

I have been trying for two days now to write this post...I'm not sure why it has been so hard. The words just aren't coming. This is my fourth draft, and I have decided to skip the story and get straight to the point.

My mom's birthday was this last Tuesday on the 10th. For those of you who are new around here, she died eight years ago in June. She was my best friend and I miss her like crazy. Her birthday, her death anniversary and all of November and December are really hard. So to help cope and make it a bit better I have things I like to do for each occasion that makes things lighter, and more fun. It helps me remember the good, happy times and it keeps her a part of my life. Sometimes the celebration is bigger than others. For example a couple of years ago it was big. This year it was just small, with some yummy Snickers Brownie ala mode. Mom loved Snickers! We had a little joke that she wanted to be buried with a Snickers in her casket. I remember one time we made these brownies and fought over the last corner piece...the corner brownie is the best, especially when that corner brownie is full of caramely, nutty pieces. So I thought it would be a good birthday treat to enjoy and to remember her. And it was delightful. This isn't a hard thing to make at all and I'm sure many or all of you have done this same thing. But I figure this can act as a tasty reminder. So get your brownie mix and Snickers bars and get baking!

Snickers Brownies


1 Family Sized Brownie Mix and all ingredients to make them
6 fun sized Snickers Bars
Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce (optional but highly recommended)

Mix brownies as directed on box. Cut snickers into chunks (I cut mine into six pieces). Add Snickers to brownie batter. Pour batter into greased pan and bake as directed. Let brownies cool, mostly. Scoop ice cream and pour chocolate sauce onto warm brownies and enjoy. Like I said, easy.

*My Notes*
~I used 6 fun sized bars, but would have enjoyed a few more...personal preference
~I mostly mix my brownie batter and then add the Snickers and finish mixing it up