I’ve apparently been on a pie kick. Two pies in one month is a pretty big deal. First, we had the Drunken Pirate Coconut Cream Pi in honor of Pi day, and now we have the Slam Dunk Buckeye Pie, and I promise you, it will be a hit.
Now, I’m no Ohio State fan (On Wisconsin!), but since they are already out of the playoffs, I figure I can make a basketball reference and still be ok.
Besides, the candy that inspired this is the buckeye candy, which represents the lovely state (though I’ve never been there) and not the school. The Hub-dubs and I are attending a potluck, sort of a farewell deal, for someone from Ohio who looooooves buckeyes–and Ohio State. And I promise you, everyone will loooooove this pie. It will be a slam dunk (see what I did there?)
Who knew naming could be so difficult? (Kvothe does, but that’s a whole other story)
- 1 1/4-1 1/2 c. chocolate cookie crumbs
- 3-5 T. melted butter
- 1 block neufchâtel cheese
- 1 c. creamy peanut butter
- 2 T. brown sugar
- 3/4 c. powdered sugar
- 2 t. vanilla
- 1/2 c. cream
- 1 T. sugar
- 1/2-1 c. chocolate chips (or other chocolate)
- 1/4-1/2 c. cream
Here’s the deal with both the crust and the ganache: a lot of cooking is just formulas and ratios. For instance, you always make ganache with a 2:1 chocolate:cream ratio. And that’s as mathy as I get. As for the crust, the ratio needs to be such that your crumbs will come together and stay together when you go to bake it. So, if you use 1 1/2 c. chocolate graham crackers and 3 T. butter, that would never work. Your crust would be too dry. You technically can’t have too wet a crust, but there will come a point where you can definitely taste the butter. My typical ratio for crust is 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs and 4 T. butter, because I like a drier crust.
I think that’s about enough science for today. So, what I did was take some Keebler Fudge Stripes Dark Chocolate Cookies and 4 graham crackers (8 squares) with 3 T. butter–the fudge helped act as a binding agent, and since cookies are sweet, I omitted the sugar usually found in graham cracker recipes.
This time, I used the blender to get crumbs because the food processor wasn’t cutting it.
Like all graham cracker (or any crumb) crusts, mix the butter into the crumbs, press into a pie plate, bake for 15 minutes at 325 and set aside to cool.
You want your crust to be 100% cool before you pour the filling in, because you don’t want any weird melting to go on.
Take out the neufchâtel and let soften, then mix together with the peanut butter and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the brown sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla and beat again.
While the peanut butter mixture is mixing, combine the cream and sugar into a small bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, then pour the whole gob into the pie crust. Freeze for a few hours or overnight.
Yum-o. You could leave it like this and throw some whipped cream on top so you have a weird peanut butter cheesecake thing, but then it wouldn’t be a buckeye pie.
What makes this pie–or any dessert, really–great is the ganache. It sounds fancy, looks difficult to do, and it wicked easy. It’s like the trifecta of baking tricks.
All you do for ganache is heat your cream in a small saucepan on low until you see the first ‘boil bubbles,’ pour into a bowl over the chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
The less ganache you make, the more difficult getting that smooth consistency is. I used 1/4 c. cream and 1/2 c. chocolate chips here, and I could stand to double it. Plus, if you have leftover ganache, you can save it in the fridge for a week or so, reheat, and use.
Once you spread the ganache over the pie, you will have to work quickly, as you pie is frozen and your chocolate will cool down really fast. Spread the ganache over the top, let sit at room temperature until it has set, and serve.