Here’s something you’ve never heard before: love knows no bounds. It doesn’t have limits or a definite physical shape. Love changes, transforms, evolves, but never has an expiration date. You love those who don’t love you back. You love those you keep close to you and you love those who you let go, who’ve let you go. You love those who have left, forever. You love those you do not know and might never know because they are human and worthy of love.

I don’t know Jenny. I might never know Jenny. I didn’t know Mikey. This peanut butter (puddin’) pie is for him. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Peanut Butter (Puddin’) Pie

Yields 6 to 8 servings

For the pudding

Ingredients:

½ cup granulated sugar

5 teaspoons corn starch

Pinch of salt

1 ¾ cups milk (not fat-free)

½ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

1. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan.

2. Gradually mix in milk, then cream.

3. Put medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until mixture comes to boil (anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, mine took forever, for some reason). Boil until thick, still whisking constantly, for another 30 seconds.

4. Add peanut butter and bring pudding mixture back to a boil, whisking frequently.

5. Remove pudding from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

6. Let pudding cool to room temperature, with the surface covered in plastic to avoid a skin.

For the crust

Ingredients:

25 whole oreos, crushed to fine crumbs (best done in some sort of food processor)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine oreo crumbs and melted butter and stir until crumbs are coated.

3. Press crumb mixture into an 8 or 9-inch pie pan, pressing crumbs into an even layer both on the bottom and up the sides of pan.

4. Bake crust in preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until crust sets.

5. Cool to room temperature.

For the filling

Ingredients:

1 batch prepared peanut butter pudding (see above)

1 8 ounce tub cool whip (or other whipped topping)

Optional: Extra oreos to crumble on top or layer in between pudding and whipped topping, chocolate curls, marshmallows, M&Ms, or other candy topping for decoration

Method:

1. Fold one half of prepared topping into pudding until combined well.

2. Set aside other half.

 

To assemble pie

Method:

1. Pour pudding and whipped topping mixture into cooled piecrust. Spread evenly.

2. Spread other half of whipped topping evenly over pudding mixture.

3. Add additional toppings if desired.

4. Place pie in fridge (or freezer, for a frozen treat), covered, for at least one hour or overnight.

Slice and serve. Store pie covered and refrigerated.

 

It’s a common thing to assume the people you love know you love them, and it’s a common thing to forget that every moment you have with one another is extraordinary, even if it’s fleeting. It’s easy to get bogged down in your own stuff but it’s also easy to take a minute, step outside yourself, and appreciate the time you have with the people you love. I say it’s easy but don’t do it nearly enough; I promise to do more that, of telling (and showing) people how much they mean to me.

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The holidays are over and everyone is fed up with cookies. Everyone, except for me. I wanted badly to make cookies, and decided to do something a little out of the ordinary… maybe I won’t get that sad, satiated look that says, “cookies, again, really?” So, without any further ado, homemade oreos!

hello, my pretties.

The recipe calls for black cocoa powder (1/2 cup regular dutch processed and ¼ cup black cocoa powder), but I didn’t have any floating around the apartment. Or on the shelf in the pantry, for that matter. The cookies made it out of the oven wonderfully, but don’t have the black characteristic color of store-bought oreos.

It’s moments like these that I really wish I had a cookie stamp, to personalize these treats. But one that connects to your brain and molds to the size and pattern of your choosing. A magic cookie stamp!!

PS- There is one more treat I need to make for my co-workers, but I’m waiting until the New Year…

Vegan Oreos

(Adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar)

Ingredients

For the cookie:

¾ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup nondairy milk

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

For the creme filling:

¼ cup margarine, softened

¼ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature

2 ½ to 3 cups confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

For the cookies:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Cream the shortening and granulated sugar. If using a stand or hand mixer, cream the ingredients on medium speed.

3. After a minute, when the mixture is fluffy, add the vanilla and milk, and then mix.

4. Add the remaining ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, leavening, etc.), and mix until the dough holds together.

5. If you’re not a pro at rolling, I would suggest chilling the dough for 10 or 15 minutes, but this step is not a hundred percent necessary.

Oreo halves before baking... or flying saucers??

6. Divide the dough into four equal balls. Roll the first one between two pieces of parchment paper (This cookie couldn’t really take much more flour.)

7. Using a round cookie cutter, or biscuit cutter (mine was about 1 ½ inches in diameter), cut out as many circles as you can, and place them on your lined baking sheets.

8. Bake each baking sheet in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops look dry.

9. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a rack to cool completely.

10. Rinse and repeat, until all the dough has been used to make circles.

For the filling:

(You can make this while the cookies are baking, or while they are cooling. Choose your own adventure.)

1. Cream the margarine and shortening. If using a hand or stand mixer, cream the ingredients on medium-high speed.

2. Add the confectioners sugar in ½ cup increments, until the creme filling is stiff enough to roll balls without making a huge mess.

3. Mix in the vanilla extract.

Constructing oreos, a visual

To assemble:

1. Roll the filling into little balls. Isa suggests using a grape as a size benchmark.

2. Place the ball onto the flat side of the cookie, and smush it with your hands until it’s flat.

3. Place another cookie on top, to form the classic sandwich, and push it down gently until the filling comes to the edges.

Store these cookies in an air-tight container, and if it’s hot, refrigerate them until ready to serve.