Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate Toffee Pie

I first made this Chocolate Toffee Pie when I was fifteen years old, as a final project for my high school elective culinary arts class. I know I have made the pie once or twice since then, but I can't remember the last time I did, so it must have been some time ago. The recipe is one of the double-starred ones in a Mrs. Field's cookie cookbook that I've had, obviously, for years. The book has been through a lot, traveling from Connecticut to Brooklyn to Seattle, being exposed to spills, splatters, and an unintentional singe or two. It's marked up with a standard amount of notations and ratings, and it's a book that I consult when I am looking, especially, for an interesting cookie to bake. Of course, it also contains a well-researched (on my part) selection of other desserts, including the Chocolate Toffee Pie that caught my attention so many years ago, and again this past week.

Although I've learned a substantial amount and grown very steadily as a baker, this recipe has remained consistently the same: rich, chocolatey, sweet, and an absolute crowd-pleaser, whether the crowd be fellow high-school culinary students or fellow adult colleagues looking for a decadent dessert.

Chocolate Toffee Pie

1 ½ cups chocolate wafer crumbs
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp. granulated sugar

6 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped chocolate-covered toffee candy

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
2. Place the chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup of the cream to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate. Let stand, covered, for five minutes, then stir until smooth.
3. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the remaining ¼ cup cream. Gently beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in ½ cup of the chopped toffee candy.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of chopped toffee. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

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