Apparently it’s Milk Chocolate Day today, and while I know that a lot of you, myself included sometimes, get annoyed at the seemingly endless list of nonsensical food holidays, I generally do not mind them for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows me to dig through my recipe collection and find things that I may have otherwise never remembered that I cooked at one point or another. Secondly, it gives me a reason to post or cook or bake things that I would have not bothered with because I forgot about how awesome something like simple milk chocolate can be. So there. Milk chocolate gets kind of a bad rap, in my opinion. In this era of acai bowls and green juices and the darkest of dark chocolates, with all of its supposed health benefits and yada yada yada, creamy milk chocolate is thrown to the wayside in favor of something bittersweet or 70% cacao. I really like milk chocolate, though, and sorry to burst your bubble, but chocolate is chocolate and I don’t think having a square of dark versus a square of milk is going to improve or deplete your health one way or another. Milk chocolate is so pleasing and reminds me of being a kid and happily eating chalky Hershey’s candy bars without thinking twice about how the European or even Canadian stuff is just so much silkier. So, with that in mind, I present to you this chocolate chess pie, with, yes a Do-Si-Do crust, yet another overlooked pantry item. I think everyone’s favorite Girl Scout cookie is the Samoa, or maybe the Thin Mint, but Do-Si-Dos are the peanut butter sandwich variety and they are just perfect for making a crust with, like a Nutter Butter but more rare and therefore more exciting.
The flamingos out front of our July 4th Airbnb – I need to start going through my photos in a more timely manner.
If you don’t know what a chess pie is, it’s basically just a custard pie, but it’s always got a little bit of cornmeal in the filling for texture, so it’s a custard with some body, if you will. The chocolate variety, of course, has chocolate added in, and as previously mentioned, I went for milk chocolate this time. You are, of course, allowed to use whatever chocolate you prefer, but I promise you’ll love this with milk chocolate, especially if you follow me in adding a teaspoon of espresso powder to the mix – it really pumps up the jam, if you will. This is the perfect pie to make a day ahead of time, then pull out of the fridge or freezer during a barbecue or party and have friends go “oooo” and “ahhh” and “ohmygod a GIRL SCOUT COOKIE CRUST?!” because nothing gets Americans more excited than anything Girl Scout cookie related. This is the chocolate chess pie you want to eat, with a rich, creamy chocolatey filling, a crunchy, peanut buttery crust and hopefully, a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to finish everything off. Enjoy Milk Chocolate Day with unabashed enthusiasm – I give you permission (you were waiting for it, I’m sure).
Oh, and yeah, I’ve included some photos from our July 4th weekend below. We stayed in an awesome house in Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore with a bunch of friends and had a great time. Of course, I’m late in going through the photos, but they’re here now so get off my back! The photos really just serve as a reminder that summer is HALF WAY OVER and I’m only a couple of months away from freezing my face off in yet another New York winter. I’ve really got to get more beach time in before that happens.
Danny, Arielle, Dan and Mike chillin’ on the front porch.
We felt it was important to utilize the fire pit even though it was summer.
Ellis and Rylan are very good at chillaxin’.
Arielle and Dan.
Find the Kim.
Nice Airbnb, right?
Danny, proud to be an American.
So: pie time.
I am a big fan of espresso + chocolate, so if you have some espresso powder to use, go for it.
Crush your Girl Scout cookies immediately, otherwise you will be tempted to eat them, and make your crust.
Melt together your chocolate and butter.
Pour your filling into your crust and bake until set.
Let the pie cool before slicing and serving.
- 1 box Do-Si-Dos
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⅓ cups chocolate, chopped (you can use any kind - I went for plain ol' milk chocolate here)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- ⅓ cup evaporated milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- whipped cream or ice cream, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and set aside. Crush your box of Do-Si-Dos and place them in a bowl, then pour your 4 tablespoons of melted butter over the crushed cookies. Use a fork to mix the two together well, then press your crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Place the crust in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or so, just to let it set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- For the filling, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornmeal, espresso powder and salt. Set aside. In a medium pot, melt together the butter and chocolate until smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the evaporated milk, then the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, until smooth.
- Fold in the sugar and flour mixture and mix until smooth, then pour it into your prepared curst. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes, until the center is mostly set. Allow the pie to cool for 20 minutes on the counter, then place it in the fridge and allow it to cool and chill (for at least 2 hours) before slicing and serving, preferably with whipped cream or ice cream.