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Strawberry Cream Pie

YUM!

That is all I have to say about today's recipe.  It was DELICIOUS!  So here's the story:

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I started planning a mini surprise baby shower for another friend.  Basically a girl's night out with a purpose!  So, of course, we decided that I would make dessert!  But that's where the dilemma started.  The friend we were throwing the shower for doesn't really like cake with icing.  She also doesn't like peanut butter desserts, so Reese's were out.  And I know she loves cheesecake, but mentions that homemade cheesecakes usually aren't quite as good.  She does, however, love cookies!  That was part of the problem though; I wanted to make something a little fancier than cookies.  So, I asked her husband for ideas... and that got me nowhere!  So, it was looking pretty bleak until I had the greatest idea ever!!!

I would look at her Pinterest!!!  Ta-da!  What better to make for her than something she's already expressed an interest in?!  So, after scouring her food board, I came across a Strawberries and Cream Pie that looked like it had a lot of potential!

I made several changes from the original recipe, but it's still a strawberry, creamy pie!  It was delicious (if I do say so myself).  We were discussing it last night while eating and in describing it and rating it we decided that it gets "five light and refreshing stars".  Lol!  It really is a great, light recipe for summer!

So without further ado...

Strawberry Cream Pie
Adapted from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen
Makes: one large pie (I used a 10" disposable pan, the original used a deep dish 9" pan)

Ingredients:
  • 9-12 full size (rectangle) graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 5-6 tablespoons butter
  • 2- 8 ounce containers of strawberry cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 large container (16 oz.) of Cool Whip (I used light)
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 carton of strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For the crust: in a bowl, melt the butter, then add the crushed graham crackers to form a moist mixture.  
  3. Then, gently press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie pan to form the crust.  (What size pan you use and how thick you like your crust will determine exactly how many graham crackers and how much butter you will need.  My 10" disposable pan used 11 crackers and 6 tablespoons of butter.)
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside.
  5. Chocolate layer:  Melt about 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips in the microwave.  15 seconds, then stir; repeat until runny and smooth.  
  6.  Using a spoon or spatula, spread the melted chocolate into a thin layer all over the crust.  (It's ok if the crust is still warm from the oven.)  Then place in the refrigerator to cool while you whip up the filling.
  7. For the filling:  In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until creamy.  Then, in a few batches, gently fold in the Cool Whip.  I didn't quite use the entire container, but this part is up to you.  The more Cool Whip you use, the lighter and fluffier the pie will be.  My method was to just keep sampling until I came to a consistency I liked!
  8. Spoon the filling into the cooled pie crust and spread it out evenly.
  9. Layer the thinly sliced, fresh strawberries on top of the pie.
  10. Melt the other 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips and the optional whipping cream in the microwave**.  Spoon into a bag with a small corner cut off and drizzle onto the pie (the more the better).
  11. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
*The blog I got this from advised eating it within a few days because strawberries go bad pretty quickly.
**Adding the whipping cream to the chocolate drizzle is optional, but it does create a softer chocolate on top.  If you just use chocolate chips, the drizzle hardens in the fridge and is not super pretty to eat, but it still tastes good.

Oh, yum yum!  The hubs got a little single serving of this yesterday, and he keeps telling me I need to make it again today!  It was really, really good.  And it's completely perfect for summer!  Yippee!!!

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