Don’t get me wrong–Thanksgiving has a lot going for it food-wise. But sadly, the traditional offerings are extremely lacking in rich, delicious peanut butter.
But what if–just what if–you combined classic Thanksgiving flavors with a peanut butter cookie crust?
I wanted to find out, and so I prepared a thick Mighty Maple peanut butter cookie crust, which I then filled with a mixture of tart, unsweetened cranberries and crunch pecans, all topped with a thick, brown sugary, pecan pie-inspired filling. The result? Total magic: the tartness of the cranberries is perfectly balanced by the richness of the peanut butter and pecans, and the maple and sugar contribute plenty of sweetness. It’s a flavor combination to be thankful for, indeed.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
For the crust
1 cup butter
1 cup Mighty Maple peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 and ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
Note: This is a very generous amount of dough for the crust — if you have a bit left over as I did, simply bake it up as drop cookies.
For the filling
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg at room temperature
1. Prepare the crust. Combine the butter, Mighty Maple peanut butter, and brown sugar; mix until creamy and cohesive. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
2. Sift together the flour and salt; mix it into the wet mixture bit by bit, until it is fully incorporated. Your dough will be a little sticky but should be fairly easy to handle with floured hands.
3. Press the dough into your pie plate, lining the bottom and the sides with a fairly thick crust. I found that the crust didn’t “grow” a lot during baking, but I did not bring the dough all the way up the sides just in case. I had enough leftover dough to make about 6 cookies with the extra.
4. Arrange the pecans and cranberries on top of the crust, and put in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the filling.
5. Prepare the filling. Put the corn syrup and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and cook, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Let cool, and then add the egg; whisk until smooth (do not add the egg while the mixture is too hot, or it will scramble in your filling!).
6. Pour this mixture evenly on top of the cranberry and pecan-lined crust. The pecans and cranberries will rise a little bit when you pour the brown sugar mixture on top; this is ok. The filling should come to about 3/4 of the height of the pie crust.
7. Bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes, or until filling is set.
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