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Simply put, I love food. I revel in everything about it: taste, texture, preparation, presentation, etc. The most favored aspect for me is the social aspect of food…learning to cook from one’s mother, preparing food with friends, grilling out, potlucks, dinner parties or simply meeting for dinner. I light up watching the people I love eat the food that I create. It still truly amazes me how food brings us together. So a little about me. Now in my early 30s, I’ve learned all I know about cooking from my mother and grandmothers. My Midwestern roots are definitely reflected in my cooking style and the recipes that I choose as I am very “meat and potatoes” centric and heavy handed with the butter sometimes. More later, but for now Happy Nomming!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Custard Toffee Freezer Pie

I love toffee, especially when it is laden with chocolate.  Come to think of it, I love anything laden in chocolate. Which makes me think that I should probably candy some bacon sometime soon and coat it in a thin layer of dark chocolate. Doesn't that just sound good?  And oh so healthy!?

Anyway I digress...(always sidetracked by bacon).  Ever since I was little I can remember my mother making these absolutely decadent eclairs. Messy, little, beautiful, plump puffs of pastry oozing with custard sporting a stylish ganache hat. Her eclairs were so popular in our hometown that people would hire her to prepare them for parties or events.  I loved watching my mom prepare these and remember thinking how lucky I was (and still am) to be privy to these wonderful little custards puffs so frequently and everyone else had to pay for them. MY mom made (and still does) the most popular dessert in town! And I got to lick the bowl, beaters and spatula clean whenever she did.

So I figure there must be at least a few hundred different uses for this pale yellow pudding whipped goodness, right?  So with that train of thought, I made a few modifications to her custard filling and turned it into a freezer pie...with TOFFEE!

As soon as I pulled this from the freezer at a party I served it at recently, it was promptly mauled to pieces and unfit for any sort of photo session. I'll have to add a picture of it the next time I make it, I guess.

I had so many people ask for this recipe, I am kind of embarrassed to admit how simple it is.

1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer/cookie crumbs
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together cookie crumbs and melted butter.  Press into a 8 inch pie plate and refrigerate until ready for use.

*If you don't feel like going to the trouble or your grocer doesn't carry chocolate wafers, just buy one of those premade dealies from the baking aisle.  They work just as well.

Custardy Insides:
1 1/2 cups whole milk, half & half or heavy cream (any of these work, let's be honest)
1 package (3.4oz) instant French Vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups Heath chocolate/toffee chips (or you can buy 6 Heath Bars and pound the crap out of them until you've made your own chips)
1 (8oz) carton of Cool Whip, thawed

With a hand mixer, beat together milk and pudding mix until set (approximately 3 minutes).  Once pudding is thick, stir in 1 cup of the toffee chips.  Fold in approximately 2 cups of Cool Whip.  Transfer this custardy deliciousness into your prepared crust.  Top with the remaining Cool Whip and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Heath chips.  Cover and freeze until firm (approximately 5 hours).

I think next time I make this I have might shove a piece into my blender with a little milk and turn in into a super thick milkshake. Ok, I need to stop now. I am obviously fraught with custard-soaked power.

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