I think it's safe to say that almost everyone has a favorite dish or dessert that they grew up eating. The ones that mom would make without the help of a recipe and where the simple mention of its name conjures up bittersweet and nostalgic childhood memories. When selecting recipes I want to prepare for the week, I most often choose ones that involve a flavor combination or technique I have yet to attempt. However, this week was different. I felt myself constantly drawn to make an old childhood favorite. Perhaps it's partly due to the fact that I recently just moved back into my old room, high school memorabilia still intact, or maybe it's because the holidays are right around the corner, a time of year that always has me wishing to be a kid again.
There are two desserts that come to mind when I think of growing up: no-bake cookies and chocolate chip pie, both of which my mom has been making for years, and both of which are extremely easy to make (which, if you know my mom, should come as no surprise- spending hours in the kitchen is not something she is too keen on). I decided to make the latter of the two desserts, the chocolate chip pie. It's rich, decadent, and oh so chocolaty. However, my usual urge to try something new resurfaced quickly and I felt compelled to give this long time favorite of mine an updated and more sophisticated makeover.
As with most chocolate loaded confections, the sweetness of it all can start to get to you, leaving you with that pang in the pit of your stomach (usually consisting of equal parts guilt and just good ol' fashioned stomach ache due to sugar overload). I wanted to cut the sweetness, while retaining the generous (but necessary) amount of chocolate in this pie. I decided to use three different variations of chocolate: semi-sweet, bitter-sweet (60% cacao), and dark chocolate. I also substituted half the amount of the original recipe's pecans, for chopped hazelnuts, which lent a really nice flavor to the end result of the pie. I will say though- confession time- that I originally had every intention of making a pie crust from scratch, but I succumbed to the super market standard of convenience: Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough. I usually prefer to make things from scratch, but I'm still unpacking and have found myself strapped for time as of late. Anyways, the great thing about this pie is that it would be easy to make your own. Perhaps experiment with different types of nuts or substitute part of the chocolate for butterscotch chips. Or possibly, if you're one who enjoys that slightly sick feeling after indulging in too much chocolate, you could always add, well, more chocolate.
Triple Chocolate Chip Pie
1 refrigerated pie crust (or make your own)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, skinned and toasted (see note below)
1/3 cup toffee bits
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugars. butter, flour, and salt. Fold in the chocolate, coconut, pecans, and hazelnuts.
3. Place the chilled pie crust in a standard pie dish, crimping the edges if desired. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the toffee bits.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let the pie rest for 30 minutes before serving.
Note: To toast hazelnuts, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and the skins begin to flake. Remove from the oven and place nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts "steam" for 5 minutes and then briskly rub the towel (with nuts inside) to remove the skins from the nuts. Cool and then chop coarsely.
To view other hazelnut recipes, click on the image below!