Chocolate Peanut Butter Bavarian Cream Pie

April means Paul’s birthday!

Paul’s birthday means some kind of chocolate and peanut butter concoction.

This year, he asked for Bavarian Cream Pie, and more specifically a with a Peanut Butter Bavarian Cream and a Chocolate crust.

However, any recipe I found did not include peanut butter anywhere, and I looked, hard. I finally decided to use a recipe for plain Bavarian Cream pie, and then add my own spin, so I am considering this recipe an original, because I changed it (fairly) significantly.

The original recipe is from this website, and I included all of my changes in the recipe below. I’m going to keep this post short, and sweet, kind of like this pie!

Happy Birthday to my love, Paul!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch pie

For the crust:

1½ c. chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted

For the filling:

1 pkg. unflavoured gelatin
¼ c. cold water
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. milk, scalded
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. heavy cream

To make the crust, spray a 9 inch plate with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press evenly into the pie plate, around the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.

To make the filling, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until thick whipped cream. Transfer to a bowl, and place in the refrigerator to stay cold.

In a small bowl, add the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water to soften. Set aside.

In a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and the milk until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Mix the gelatin mixture and peanut butter into the egg yolk mixture, and whisk until smooth and well-combined. Remove from heat, and let cool until slightly thickened.

In the bowl of a mixer that is completely dry, clean, and grease-free, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks, but not completely dry.

Fold the whipped cream, vanilla and the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until smooth. Pour into the prepared crust.

Refrigerate until set.

If desired, garnish with peanut butter and chocolate chip ganache. (A 1:1 ratio of heavy cream and peanut butter or chocolate chips, heated together and whisked until smooth)

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Sweet Cornbread

I’m from Canada, not the Southern States, but I still appreciate some good, classic Southern recipes. Cornbread is one of those items. I first realized how much I liked cornbread when I worked for a Canadian restaurant chain years ago.

Cornbread was a staple for many of the dishes served at this restaurant, and because my mother had never made it when I was younger, I was unaware how awesome it is.

I know there is a debate between the sweet and savoury cornbread lovers, and I have to say, as controversial as this statement may be, I am firmly in the sweet cornbread camp. Corn pieces in my cornbread? I can take them or leave them. But give me sweet cornbread over savoury. If you have a savoury recipe that you prefer, please, let me know, and I’ll try it. I’m all for fair chances!

The cornbread recipe I used I found here, and it makes A LOT of cornbread – a full 9 x 13 pan, so make some Southern staples, like chili or ribs, and prepare to feast!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 x 13 pan

1 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. buttermilk (or milk with 1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice)
½ tsp. vanilla
2 c. fine ground corn meal
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and mix well. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla, and combine until smooth.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture, and fold together until all flour is moistened (it’s okay if the batter is a bit lumpy).

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.

Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Store in an airtight container, and reheat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.

**If you like your cornbread a little sweeter, you can add up to a ½ cup more of sugar. Any more than that, and the cornbread becomes more of a corn cake instead of cornbread.**

Chewy Coconut Cookies

This is my second coconut cookie recipe on the blog! It is different than the one I posted previously, here. Those cookies were good, but a tad bit on the crunchy cookie side. Still they had a good coconut flavour.

These cookies are chewy all the way. Mine didn’t spread out as much as the original post, but they still yielded beautiful, tasty results.

I did change the recipe in two ways. First, I doubled the recipe. I made these cookies partly for Paul, and partly for a treat for my students and our play rehearsal. Those kids work hard, and I wanted to give them a treat!

Secondly, I ran out of brown sugar, and didn’t realize. I only had a little bit, so because I doubled the recipe, I used a little bit of brown sugar, and the rest of the brown sugar I swapped out for coconut sugar. I got the coconut sugar as a gift, and hadn’t been able to use it yet (out of sight, out of mind!), so when I was rooting around my pantry for a suitable substitution, and the coconut sugar landed in my hand, it was kismet! Perfect for coconut cookies.

I’ve reflected the change I made in the recipe below, but if you don’t have coconut sugar, just use brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar. It’s nice that they are similar enough that you can just use a direct swap, instead of changing ratios and measurements. Seriously, if you are a coconut fan, you need to try these cookies!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 2 dozen cookies

½ c. butter, softened
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. coconut sugar
¼ c. sugar
1 tbsp. honey
½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/3 c. flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. sweetened shredded coconut
2 tsp. boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking sheets.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter, sugars, and honey together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, and continue mixing.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until almost combined.

Add in the coconut and the boiling water, and beat until evenly incorporated.

Drop tablespoonful sized dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the center of the cookies are beginning to set.

Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Tiramisu

Ahh, Tiramisu. The classic Italian dessert. Layers of ladyfinger cookies soaked in a coffee/alcohol mix, with layers of smooth mascarpone cream and a light dusting of cocoa powder on top. Beautiful!

I made this when Paul’s brother Riley came to visit. It had just recently been Riley’s birthday, and well, he said he likes Chocolate, Lemon, and Tiramisu. I figured I already have a recipe on the blog for Chocolate and Lemon cake, but no Tiramisu, so here we were!

I had never made Tiramisu before, and I have to say, having a beautiful layered dessert with minimal effort AND I didn’t have to turn on my oven? Amazing! I got the recipe here, and the only things I didn’t have on hand were espresso, ladyfinger biscuits, and mascarpone cheese. (Be warned: mascarpone cheese is a little on the pricey side, so this is a dessert I would make once in a while, not a regular rotation type dessert.)

Still, easy effort with a high-yield result. Perfect!

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Ingredients
Yield: 1 8×8 inch square pan

3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ c. caster or superfine sugar (I used icing sugar and it worked fine)
½ tsp. vanilla
8 oz. or 250 g. mascarpone cheese
1½ c. espresso coffee, brewed and strong
2-4 tbsp. liquor (I used Kahlua and amaretto, and 2 tbsp. of each)
24-30 ladyfinger cookies or savoiardi biscuits
Cocoa, for dusting

Put the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and set whites aside for later.Add sugar to yolks, and beat on medium high speed until sugar is incorporated, and yolks turn white and thick. (This may take up to 12 minutes.)

Add vanilla and mascarpone, and beat until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and set aside.

Wash your mixer bowl and whisk thoroughly. Make sure there is no grease or yolk left in the bowl or the egg whites will not whip properly.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture to the egg whites, and fold until incorporated. Gradually fold in the rest of the mascarpone mixture, and mix until combined. Set aside.

Mix together the coffee and liquor. (If you don’t like Kahlua or amaretto, there are tons of different options. Brandy, Kahlua, amaretto, Frangelico, rum, Bailey’s, go with what you like!) Quickly soak the lady finger cookies, one at a time, in the coffee mixture, and line the bottom of an 8×8 inch square pan.

Spread half of the mascarpone cream over the soaked ladyfingers, then repeat the process of soaked ladyfingers over the cream layer, finished with the rest of the cream.

Do not put cocoa on until right before serving, or the cream will soak it all up.

When ready to serve, dust with cocoa powder, cut into slices, and enjoy!