chocolate “birthday” pie

the best thing you'll ever eat

There is a strong possibility that this is the tastiest and most delectable recipe I have ever, or will ever, post on my blog.  I know, it’s a bold statement.  Since I can remember, my mom has made my brother and I “birthday pie”.  After the first year she made it for us, we never wanted a birthday cake again, we just wanted pie. We are chocolate people in this family and this is truly as chocolatey and fudgy as it gets.  Made with semisweet chocolate, crushed almonds, sugar and butter, the filling is a perfect match to the flaky pie crust and sweet, but tangy raspberry sauce. (Are you drooling yet?)

Both my brother’s and my own birthday fall in the winter, so now to us, winter = pie time.  Once I realized my passion for cooking and baking, I started to take over the tradition. I admit, there were a few years that the pie baking really got out of hand — as soon as one pie was finished in about all of 2 days, I would bake another, and another. And maybe even another… It was bad.  Therefore, I warn you: once you try this recipe all self-control goes out the window.

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Chocolate “Birthday” Pie

Ingredients

For the crust & filling:

  • 2 pre-made pie crusts (I opt for deep dish)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg, separated

For the raspberry sauce:

  • 1 12-oz. bag frozen raspberries, without syrup, thawed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Method

For the crust & filling:

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Thaw both pie crusts.  Poke holes with a fork in one of them and bake for 3 minutes.  Press other crust out of pan and lay flat on a cutting board.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of the butter, stirring constantly until smooth.  In a medium bowl, beat remaining 6 tablespoons of butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add almonds, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, and chocolate, and blend well.  Spread mixture evenly over bottom of crust that was baked.

To make lattice top, cut the crust that was previously laid flat into strips.  Arrange strips in a lattice design over the chocolate mixture.  Trim edges and seal.  In a small bowl, beat egg white until foamy and gently brush over lattice top.

Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.  Bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes.  Cover edges of pie crust with foil after about 15 to 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning.

For the raspberry sauce:

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, blend raspberries at highest speed until smooth.  In a small saucepan, combine raspberry puree, sugar, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil over medium-low heat.  Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Serve the pie with the raspberry sauce. Store both the pie and the sauce in the refrigerator.

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As you can see, I was about to eat a slice before taking a picture of the finished product. It’s that irresistible!

Recipe courtesy of my mom who cut it out of a newspaper years ago

(Those newspaper recipes can be real keepers!)

How I eat it: with raspberry sauce on the bottom and a whole buncha whipped cream on top!

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gooey chocolate chip cookie bars

After so much talk about eating healthy, its only natural to crave some sweet chocolatey goodness.  The thing is though, that I have absolutely no will power when it comes to desserts.  If I crave it, I MUST make it.  I will literally go to the grocery store in my pajamas at 9 o’clock at night if we have run out of butter and I’ve decided I need to bake cookies. I make diets an extremely difficult task for my family.

These gooey chocolate chip cookie bars are a recent favorite of mine.  I made them for Christmas a few months ago and they were a hit.  This recipe is a wonderful twist on the simple chocolate chip cookie.  You still use a basic cookie dough, but instead of adding chocolate chips you melt them down with some sweetened condensed milk and its like a giant permanently gooey chocolate chip in the middle of your cookie! Another great thing about these is that they last a while (I’d say about a week or so) without losing that fresh-baked texture.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour with the oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a larger bowl, beat the butter and both sugars until creamy. Add the egg followed by the egg yolk and vanilla, beating well between additions. Beat in the dry ingredients.

Then, in a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk over low heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat when smooth and thickened and stir in vanilla extract.

Press half the dough into the baking dish. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the dough and spread evenly.  Top with small dollops of the remaining cookie dough.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Let cool before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

How I eat it: How else but accompanied with a nice glass of milk!?