Fridays usually bring features of lighthearted food notes, but this week something meaningful warrants attention. In recent weeks, the food community gathered around Jennifer Perillo after the sudden loss of her husband, Mikey. I do not know Jennifer personally, but I do know loss and grief intimately and my heart breaks for her and their children.
This Feature Friday is about engaging more fully in today by valuing people and relationships in your life, while praying for a young family grieving deeply. Her story hit close to home, just 1 year ago, I stood in a hospital waiting room while my husband was in surgery to place stents in his heart—life changes so suddenly. This was the second time we escaped losing each other and part of the story behind Savoring, it still brings a tight lump in my throat. We do not know what tomorrow holds, today is truly a gift.
In honor of Jennifer and Mikey, hug tightly, forgive, make that phone call, write a note, make someone smile, cry with a friend, make plans for dinner together, say yes when you’re invited, and make this pie or something special for those you love and savor it together (Jennifer’s request). It is our 23rd wedding anniversary this weekend, Matt has requested Key lime Cheesecake—it (he) will be my top priority.
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Recipe from: In Jennie’s Kitchen
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an offset spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream). Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.