Thursday, August 2, 2012

Snickers Ice Box Pie: A exercise
in excellent mimicry

Although I’m not a big fan of the Snickers chocolate bar, the idea of a Snickers Icebox Pie (click for the recipe) sounded incredible to me.
   I was immediately drawn in when I saw the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, partly because no actual Snickers bars are involved. Rather, in true ATK form, the pie’s layers mimic the taste of a Snickers bar with its ingredients of marshmallow crème, cream cheese, heavy cream, peanut butter and soft caramels.
   The recipe promised to be a cold, chocolately, peanut butter treat to amaze on a summer day.
   Well, it is. It tastes like a Snickers bar, but with a homemade freshness that makes the flavors more vivid.
   The recipe I linked to above is on a blog, but it is nearly identical to the one I used from America’s Test Kitchen.
   The blogger makes a very good observation: The crust can be tough to cut through. My husband found it challenging cutting and getting out the first couple of pieces.
   Thus, in turn, it’s actually a bit difficult to put a fork through the crust when eating it.
   My suggestion: Serve the pie in small wedges, and tell people to pick it up with their hands to eat it.
   It won’t seem crazy, and people will enjoy the idea of enjoying the terrific treat out of hand.
   The crust is made by putting Oreo cookies in a food processor and grinding them until the resulting crumbs are fine. Melted butter is poured over the cookies and pulsed to incorporate. The crumbs are pressed into a nine-inch pie plate to create a crust, which is baked for 10 to 15 minutes.
   Chocolate chips are spread over the hot pie crust and left to sit until they are softened but not melted, about five minutes. They’re smoothed into an even layer, and the crust is refrigerated until the chocolate is set, 20 to 25 minutes.
   Marshmallow crème (I used Kraft Jet-Puffed), cream cheese, heavy cream (I used whipping cream), creamy peanut butter, and butter are beaten together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about two minutes.
   Soft caramels and water are cooked together in a small saucepan until the caramels are melted and smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes. One tablespoon of the hot caramel is stirred into the marshmallow crème mixture.
   The remaining hot caramel is spread evenly over the pie’s chocolate layer. The pie is sprinkled with chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, and is refrigerated until the caramel is just set, about 10 minutes.
   The marshmallow crème mixture is dolloped on top of the caramel and spread into an even layer.
   The pie is refrigerated, uncovered, until set, about two hours. Store unserved portions of pie in the refrigerator.

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