So, as I referenced in my previous post about preserving & ‘marinating’ apples while making apple pie, my family celebrates Pie Night.
This year I wanted to make something new along with my usual apple pie. I searched and searched until I found an acceptable starting point for a chocolate peppermint pie. Then I put my own twist on it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out, but let me tell you, I wish I had made TWO! I will next year, that’s for sure. This is simply delicious, and also very easy and not a whole lot of actual hands-on time. Maybe 20 minutes to make everything, then 2 hours chilling in the fridge. Also you need to chill your whipped-cream-making equipment in the freezer or fridge. Just a heads up, because this isn’t really in chronological order. Caution: Read the recipe all the way through before you start! 🙂
The easiest way to think of it, for me, is that there are 4 parts or layers to this pie. Here’s the breakdown, from the bottom up!
Step 1, Crust: Start with your crust. I bought an Oreo Cookie Crust from the store. Because I’ve tried to make a homemade Oreo crust and it is not pretty. Nope. So I didn’t even stress about it this time. Make your life easier: just get a store-bought one. Done? Okay, let’s move on 🙂
Step 2, Middle Layer: In a saucepan, pour 1 package (4-serving size) chocolate pudding and pie mix. What this is not: Instant Jell-O mix. What this is: a box that looks almost exactly like the instant pudding mix, but it says “pudding and pie mix” on it instead.
Stir together with 1 1/4 cups milk and cook as directed on package. *NOTE: the package says to use 2 cups milk. Don’t.* Once it starts to thicken, turn the heat to low and add in 1 cup Hershey Special Dark Chocolate chips (or other brand) until they are melted and all the lumps are gone, stirring constantly. Add in 1-3 drops of peppermint oil (again, to your taste). Set aside to cool.
Step 3, Top Layer: This is your homemade whipped cream. MM! First chill your bowl (stainless steel works best) and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so. A little more is better but not necessary. I like to use my hand mixer to make whipped cream, even though you can’t multitask like you can with a stand mixer, because I have a better handle (ha! literally, I do – no pun intended) on the whipped cream. I can tell if the consistency is right or if I need to whip it longer. And that’s the hardest part – knowing how long to whip, and when to stop. So once you have that down, you’re golden – this is a CINCH. Measure 1 cup heavy cream into a bowl. Beat on low at first for 1-2 minutes, then at medium speed, and whip together with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar. That’s it. It pretty much whips itself. It’s finished when the cream forms peaks. Cool, huh? Did you ever know that making homemade whipped cream could be this easy? 🙂 Now set aside.
Step 4, Bottom Layer: Your bottom layer is going to be almost like a cheesecake. You need 4 ounces of cream cheese (softened) and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat them together with about 7-10 drops of peppermint essential oil. This stuff is strong, so start with 7 drops, and then add one at a time until you reach your desired pepperminty-ness. 😉 Fold in 1/3 cup of your homemade whipped cream. Now add a few tablespoons of Andes baking mints. I used about 3. Again, start with 2, then add another if you feel like you want more for texture. Use a baking spatula to scoop this mixture into the Oreo crust, then smooth into an even layer. Do this carefully and be mindful that you don’t break up the Oreo crust!
Step 5: Again using the Spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over top of the cream cheese layer.
Step 6: Spread the Whipped Cream over top of the Chocolate layer.
Now for garnish and crunch, you can add more Andes mints to the top of the pie:
Now dig in! And try not to eat more than one piece 😉
Next year, I’m making TWO.
PS – if you have leftover whipped cream, use it to top off this Peppermint Mocha!! (At least… that’s what I do … 🙂 )
*Note: if you don't have peppermint oil, you can use peppermint extract - but since my OHI was peppermint oil, I used that instead. Plus, it's more potent drop for drop and completely natural. See the original recipe (link above) for details. I also omitted the food coloring so everything was more natural and homemade.