Stress Baking Frenzy Beater: Peanut Butter-Choco-Marshmallow Pie
This pie requires little baking, little time, and isn't too horrendously bad for you. It will provide a few minutes of stress-reducing whisking, but, even more important, it will give you access to ingredients that, at least in my view, are essential to reducing anxiety--peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate. Most of the ingredients you probably have on hand, so the dessert doesn't require a trip to the market or an extra Amazon order. How does it taste? Well, its peanut butter, chocolate, and marshmallows, so it's really good! It's sweet without being too decadent, though, thanks to the use of low-fat milk. In fact, you can justify your dessert consumption with the solace that the pie has plenty of protein from the milk and peanut butter, the cocoa is flavonoid-rich (helps decrease "bad" and increase "good" cholesterol and maybe decrease blood pressure), and the sugar is kept in check (well, not counting the marshmallows!). Other than the crust, the pie requires no baking. It does need a quick trip under the broiler, and the marshmallows toast fast, so WATCH THE PIE. The pie also needs to chill for at least a few hours and can be made a day ahead.
Peanut Butter-Choco-Marshmallow Pie
1 1/4 cup of animal cracker crumbs (grind in food processor or bash up by hand to
further reduce stress--if you don't have animal crackers, saltines will work and actually
are pretty good, if you like less-sweet crusts)
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Coat a nine-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the crumbs, butter, and brown sugar and press them into the pie pan. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until it is light brown. Set it aside to cool.
3 1/2 cups of low-fat milk, divided
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of peanut butter
6 tablespoons of cornstarch
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 cups of mini-marshmallows (or use big ones, if that's what you have, no problem)
Whisk 2 1/2 cups of the milk and the sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the milk/sugar mixture in the microwave for about 4 minutes or until steaming and almost boiling (don't boil it). Whisk the mixture to insure the sugar has melted. Whisk in the peanut butter. Combine the remaining cup of milk, the cornstarch and the cocoa powder and whisk them together until smooth. Gradually whisk the cornstarch mixture into the milk/peanut butter mixture until everything is smooth. Microwave the filling mixture for 2-3 minutes longer until the filling is very thick, stopping every minute to whisk the filling again (2 minutes may be plenty, depending on your microwave--do not boil the filling!). Sprinkle half the marshmallows on the bottom of the prepared crust. Pour the warm filling over the marshmallows, smoothing the filling out evenly in the pie shell. Sprinkle the top of the pie evenly with the remaining marshmallows. Turn the broiler on to high and put the pie under the broiler for a minute or so, watching it, non-stop, to ensure your marshmallows are the color you want (I like might pretty toasty, just before burned). Be careful, the marshmallows can go from brown to black fast! Let the pie cool until room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight.