Ah, peanut butter. An American classic. If you’re an American reading this post, you probably know and love peanut butter. Peanut butter is like a best friend you grew up with, something you’ve eaten ever since you were little. Peanut butter on a bagel for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in your lunchbox at school, peanut butter on celery sticks for snack (yep, you heard right Italians – we put peanut butter on vegetables). Every spring you probably waited impatiently for the arrival of your order of Girl Scout peanut butter Tagalong cookies. And if you grew up in my family, you also ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches (me) peanut butter and bacon sandwiches (my brother) and peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches (my sister). Yes, peanut butter is a big deal in the U.S.
In Italy however it is mostly unknown and underappreciated. Most Italians I know have never tried peanut butter, and those who have are on the fence about it. “E’ troppo pesante!” (It’s too heavy!) “E’ buono…ma non riesco a mangiarne tanto!” (It’s good, but I can’t eat very much of it!) “Meglio la nutella!” (Nutella is better!) etc. Indeed, Italians tend to prefer Nutella, the distant cousin of peanut butter, made from chocolate and hazelnuts (remember this cake?)
This recipe for peanut butter pie is one that I hope will be added to the vast list of ways-to-eat-peanut butter for our American readers, and a good recipe for Italians who want to give peanut butter a try. This is a rich dessert made a bit lighter by its fluffy texture. The flavor of the peanut butter is complimented by a chocolate crumb crust, which, as all Americans know, is peanut butter’s best friend. Best of all, this pie requires no baking --just blend together the filling ingredients, pour them in to the crust, and put the whole thing in the fridge. The hardest part about making this pie is waiting for the filling to set! Try this recipe, you’ll be happy you did!
NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER PIE
About 25 chocolate wafer
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 ¼ cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Crush the cookies until they're fine crumbs. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into a pie pan and bake until set, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the vanilla and whipping cream until it forms peaks. Fold into peanut butter/sugar mixture. Pour the filling into the crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula. Top with chocolate chips if you want. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Serves 10.