What I’ve neglected to mention in the past is that any time I’ve needed to mix, cream or beat something, it’s been by way of hand mixer. A dinky, little, potentially-broken hand mixer. I’d cringe whenever a recipe began with “cream butter and sugar together.” I struggled to “add dry ingredients gradually.” Using a hand mixer added 15 minutes of prep time to just about every dish or dessert. (I bet you’re a little more impressed with my work now, eh?)
Well not anymore. Get comfortable in that cabinet, hand mixer; there’s a new appliance in town: my brand-new, “caviar” black KitchenAid Artisan mixer. And I am in love.
I’ll gush about my new toy in a forthcoming post, but I’d like to pay tribute to the hand mixer by sharing its last hurrah: peanut butter pudding pie (from p.s. love love). For as irritating as that thing was, it was there for me at the start of my culinary adventures, and I’ll always have a little spot in my heart for it. (But I will probably never use it ever again.)
I’ve mentioned my peanut butter aversion before, but I was recently summoned to create a pb-centric dessert for a friend’s birthday, so I delivered with an over-the-top PB treat: loads of pb, Nutter Butters and Reese’s sandwiched between layers and layers of chocolate and peanut butter puddings.
Surprisingly enough, the biggest risk to my health in all of this was not the caloric intake, but rather my inability to follow simple safety procedures — more specifically, inserting beaters into the hand mixer before plugging in. Yes, that’s right: I damn near broke my fingers putting together this dessert. I accidentally switched on the hand mixer while my right hand was in mid-insert and wrapped around the beater, causing a lot of pain and my already mounting frustration to bubble over. This ultimately led to a temper tantrum, the results of which are seen in the photos below.
(At left, how far the beater flew after it nearly ripped off my finger. At right, what happened after I Hulked out on the Reese’s package.)
Why was I so frustrated to begin with? It might have something to do with how incredibly long it took me to prepare this dessert. I have no issues with a 30-minute prep time and an hour of baking, but this pie calls for absolutely no cooking, and yet it still took me more than an hour. And don’t even get me started on the cleanup; this thing requires you to use approximately 1,100 bowls. It also ended up being one of the least aesthetically pleasing things I’ve ever made.
Don’t let my bitterness over my mixer mishap deter you; this dessert was a big hit, so if you have some friends who love peanut butter, try your hand at it. Just make sure your don’t break your hand in the process.
♦2-1/2 c. milk
♦1 box instant chocolate pudding
♦1 box instant vanilla pudding
♦1 package of Nutter Butter cookies
♦24 oz. whipped topping
♦1 c. smooth peanut butter
♦8 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
To start, crush peanut butter cups in food process. (I used a plastic bag and a rolling pin. Same effect.) Set aside. Do the same for 10 Nutter Butters. In separate bowl, 6 oz. of whipped topping with chocolate pudding mix, 1-1/4 c. milk and 1/2 c. peanut butter. In a different bowl, combine 6 oz. whipped topping, vanilla pudding mix, 1-1/4 c. milk and seven crushed Nutter Butters. In another bowl, combine remaining whipped topping and remaining peanut butter.
Use glass cake pan (I used 8×8, which yielded really thick “slices”). Separate enough Nutter Butters to line the bottom, centers facing up. Spread vanilla pudding mixture on top of cookies. Add 10 crushed cookies on top. Spread chocolate pudding mixture, followed by peanut butter/whipped topping mixture. Top with crushed Reese’s, and chill for at least three hours before serving.
Total time? More than an hour. Sigh.
Cost? $1 chocolate instant pudding, $1 vanilla instant pudding, $2.50 Nutter Butters, $3 whipped topping, $1.50 peanut butter, $1.50 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Overall success relative to expect? 7 out of 10. Again, peanut butter isn’t my thing, but based on my friends’ reactions, I think this was pretty successful. I loved the textural variety the crushed Reese’s created, but I would have liked more Nutter Butters in the middle. It was a little too rich for my liking, so I’ll also use a bigger cake pan next time for more manageable servings and fewer stomach aches.