25 March 2013

Fame and Chocolate - A Heady Combination

This month's 'We Should Cocoa' could go a million ways ... what's the first thing you think of when someone says the word 'chocolate'? For this person, it becomes a link to chocolate chip cookies. I wonder why that is?  Whatever the reason, chocolate chip cookies are surely a favorite chocolate fix for many a chocolate hound. The recipe goes together fast, and the different varieties of chocolate chip cookies have only increased over the years, as different types of chocolate have been transformed to 'chips' by manufacturers like Nestle and Ghiaradelli.

There is one woman, though, who took the concept of chocolate chip cookies to levels that the business world applauds - Debbi Fields Rose. In 1977, Debbi Fields translated her love of baking cookies into the beginnings of a cookie empire by opening a small shop in Palo Alto, California. Long story short, her shop took off after a slow start, she opened other shops, changed the original name from 'Mrs. Fields' Chocolate Chippery' to 'Mrs. Fields' Cookies' so that she could logically expand her shop menu list, soon went into cookbook writing, expanded her baking to pies, cakes, and all things sweet, franchised her shops so that they went nationwide, and became a case study in entrepreneurship by Harvard Business School.

I bought one of her cookbooks around 1990 and have gone to her recipes whenever I want an over-the-top dessert. She's famous for using rich ingredients and translating known desserts into extra special extravaganzas. Take this pie, for instance ... peanut butter and chocolate are classic together. And this Peanut Butter Mud Pie is a study in rich and decadent ... so in celebration of 'mud season' in New England, I am going to knosh a piece of this pie with SB (who will be in sugar heaven) and say, "Hurray, Debbi Fields!"

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mud Pie

Crust Ingredients:

2 c. peanut butter cookie crumbs (about 16 3 –inch soft cookies) 
½ c. pecans, finely chopped
2 rounded tbsp. sugar
5 tbsp. butter, melted

Making the Crust:

  1. Whiz the cookies to a fine crumble in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the pecans and whiz until the pecans are finely chopped and mixed with the cookie crumbs.
  3. Turn the crumbs into a bowl and add the sugar, mixing to incorporate.
  4. Pour the butter over top and toss with a fork until completely mixed through the crumb mixture.
  5. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
  6. Freeze for 1 hour.
Filling Ingredients:

1 ½ c. heavy cream, chilled and whipped until stiff peaks form and kept cold
12 oz. soft cream cheese
¾ c. confectioner’s sugar
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

  1. Place the cream cheese and sugar in a deep mixing bowl and whip until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and whip together until the peanut butter is completely incorporated.
  3. Turn half the whipped cream into the peanut butter filling, folding it in to incorporate.
  4. Add the other half of the whipped cream and gently fold in.
  5. Turn the filling into the frozen pie shell and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. After two hours, drizzle on the chocolate topping, sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
  7. Refrigerate for another 2 hours.
  8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap until ready to serve the pie.

Chocolate Cream /Topping Ingredients:

¾ c. dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp. heavy cream
½ c. chopped peanuts ( I like them salted)

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Add the cream and beat until smooth and incorporated.
  3. Drizzle over top the cold pie, sprinkle on the peanuts and re-refrigerate.

Should you prefer chocolate crust, just sub in plain chocolate wafers for the peanut butter cookies and add just a bit more butter, as the wafers are a bit drier than a soft cookie. You can substitute milk chocolate for the dark chocolate topping also.

This pie freezes well. I cover it loosely with plastic wrap and then bag the whole pie in an over-sized freezer bag. Get as much air out of the bag as you can, seal it, and store in the deep freeze for up to a week. Just remove it the night before you want to serve it and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Then, store leftovers in the fridge.

This post is being shared with Lucy over at The Kitchen Maid and Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog and is an offering for this month's We Should Cocoa 'Fame' themed chocolate treat. Be sure to check out the round-up of this month's 'famous entries' !

... so rich that small pieces are sufficient for your 'sugar high' ...


  1. Oh it seems it's made in heaven...
    Looks delicious

  2. This looks incredible! I've never heard of Debbi Fields but she sounds like a real inspiration.

  3. OMG, that looks amazing! I remember working in Boston and walking to her shop for a cookie! It felt so exotic ging to a cookie store! LOL!!! What ever happened to Debbi? Too bad she never had her own cooking show!

    1. Debbi did have her own cooking show a while back. I can remember it because her nails were so long, I didn't know how she could cook.

    2. This pie is over the top and over the top is just the way I like my decadence.

    3. I KNEW you'd like this pie Mary! YOU the pie goddess!

    4. Oh that's right Susan! Now I remember! LOL

  4. Wow, blast from the past! I remember her. This looks oh so heavenly. :)

  5. What gorgeous pictures!! I too think of chocolate chip cookies when I think of chocolate. I think I have this cookbook...I'm going to go look.

  6. OK... so my mouth is watering now... like a faucet. Have you ever had Death by Chocolate?

    1. I have have heard of Death by Chocolate, but have never had it ... perhaps I should investigate it a bit more! Wink!

  7. You are amazing, Susan, and your pie is beyond words. Thanks so much for entering this month!
    Lucy x


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