Sometimes you need your delicious desserts to be easy. Really easy.
This weekend I was skiing in Bend, Oregon, with friends for spring break, and I wanted to make them a treat -- a vegan treat to impress all the doubting non-vegetarians in the group. However, I didn't feel up to standing in the kitchen for too long after a long day of skiing in difficult, fresh snow.
So I turned to the easiest trick in my book: the no-bake, idiot-proof, easy-peasy chocolate peanut butter pie. What makes this pie extra-easy is that you can cheat on almost every component and actually avoid any real cooking. However, if you want to take it to the next level, you can make your own graham cracker crust (recipe below), which really is superior to the store bought stuff.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie: The Lazy Way
1. Buy a graham cracker crust (most store bought ones are, surprisingly, vegan!) or make your own (recipe below). If you make your own, let the crust cool completely.
2. Melt a few big spoonfuls of your favorite peanut butter in the microwave. Pour it into the crust and spread around to cover the bottom. It's important that the peanut butter is melty, so you don't break your crust.
3. Make a batch of vegan chocolate pudding. I use Dr. Oetker's organic chocolate pudding mix (http://www.oetker.us/en/product/organics/organic-pudding-mixes/organic-chocolate-pudding) because it doesn't have weird ingredients, and it's vegan. Use whatever non-dairy milk you want. I think almond milk works nicely. Let the pudding cool for about 5 minutes before you pour it into the pie.
4. Let chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. Devour and share -- people will think you actually worked hard for this!
Now, if you want to take the recipe to the next level and make a crust that is terribly yummy, go with this recipe. It's easy, and it's fun to crush the graham crackers.
Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (about one plastic-wrapped package, crushed)
5 Tablespoons Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Lightly oil or grease a 9" pie pan.
- Crush graham crackers. Break them up and put them in a large zip-lock bag. Crush and roll them with a rolling pin or heavy bottle. Have fun with this. You can't crush them too much. You want your crumbs to be fine.
- Combine the crumbs, melted Earth Balance, and sugar in a bowl, and mix with a fork until well combined.
- Pour crumb mix into the oiled pie pan. Use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides a bit.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, until crust is browned and firm to the touch.