This month for Improv Challenge our two ingredients were peanut butter and jelly. An all around classic combination for sure. I can remember as a kid unwrapping aluminum foil at school lunch time to find a peanut butter sandwich with grape jelly. Peanut butter is one of my very favorite things ever! Unfortunately, these days there are no peanuts to be found around here. We have a completely peanut-free house.
I know I’ve mentioned it in passing here, that Madelyn has a severe peanut allergy. A few months back she tried peanut butter for the very first time. I wasn’t the least bit concerned. There’s no family history of food allergies of any kind on either Mike’s or my side of the family. I presented a piece of toast with a light coat of peanut butter on it to her for breakfast one morning. She touched her little finger to the peanut butter and dabbed just a tiny bit on her tongue to give it a try.
That was all it took. What happened next occurred with in a matter of about 3 minutes… Only seconds after her little taste of peanut butter she had little hives forming. Moments later her eyes became itchy, watery and started to swell. Shortly there after she began drooling and I knew that her tongue and possibly her airway were swelling too. But before that time came I had already given her a dose of Benadryl, was out the door and on my way to the emergency room. As I drove quickly to the hospital, praying that everything would be okay I reassured Maddy and encouraged her to sing so that I could hear that her airway was alright. Maddy loves to sing so it was also the perfect thing to help her keep her mind off of what was going on in her little body.
I felt very fortunate that morning to be a paramedic. I knew within minutes that Maddy was having a very severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If it weren’t for my medical knowledge, I may have waited, stayed home and not reacted so quickly. The flip side of that is, sometimes having all that knowledge makes a situation even scarier because you know just how bad the situation is. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
After arriving at the ER, Maddy was quickly seen and treated. Fortunately, everything turned out just fine. But these days I’m not taking any chances. We don’t have any peanuts in our house or products that are produced in places that also handle peanuts. So when I saw the ingredient selection for the Improv Challenge this month, I knew I had to really put my own spin on it. Fortunately, Maddy is only allergic to peanuts and not any other nuts.
So I have for you a peanut butter pie with no peanut butter but you could certainly add it in, if you like. I had decided I would make a Nutella pie because along with bacon, Nutella is just one of the oh so perfect foods that just makes everything better. Mike was at the store getting a few things and I had asked him to get the ingredients for the pie. Wouldn’t you know, he forgot the main ingredient!! So plan B.
Fortunately, Nutella is one of those things I always have in the house. I had just a little bit left in a jar which I scraped clean and then I combined that with my newest obsession, Biscoff spread. I combined them with the other ingredients, I then took my first taste. I really didn’t know how this was going to turn out and I almost thought I would be making a new pie. However, I have officially stumbled onto something wonderful! The cocoa hazelnut with the Biscoff cookies was so tasty! Then in keeping with the peanut butter and jelly theme, I dolloped a little raspberry jam on top. Raspberries and chocolate definitely go together and I’m always a fan of jam in a cookie. Sweet success! And you want to know the funny thing? As we ate this for dessert, I realized it has a kind of peanut buttery taste to it. I don’t know how that could possibly be but Mike agreed also. So if you make it, let me know if we’re crazy or if you taste it too!
PS… I used a premade graham cracker crust because it’s what I had on hand and it reminded me of that aluminum foil wrapped sandwich but you can certainly make your own crust from scratch too.
*What’s your favorite way to eat peanut butter?
One Year Ago: Sopaipillas with Chocolate Sauce
Now don’t forget to go check out what kind of spin all the other “Improvers” put on the classic PB&J
“Peanut Butter” & Jelly Pie
1 premade graham cracker crust (or a chocolate cookie crust would be awesome too!)
3/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup Biscoff spread
(*Or 1 cup of peanut butter)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
5 Tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
- In a large bowl, whip the Nutella, Biscoff spread, cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
- In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the Nutella/Biscoff mixture.
- Spread the batter into the pie shell.
- In a small bowl, rapidly stir the raspberry jam until smooth. Dollop on the top and swirl decoratively.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours.