Chocolate Cherry Mousse Pie

Chocolate Cherry Mousse Pie

Chocolate Cherry Mousse Pie

This is a very special and “showy” pie that is great for special occasions or holidays.     Today is a special occasion and I made it to celebrate.  This post is my 500th since starting this blog just about 2 years ago.  In that time I have published five posts/week and gained a following of over 300 readers worldwide.  My goal from the beginning, (and still is) is to share with you recipes that are nutritious, mindful of dietary restrictions and special diets, reasonably economical to make with readily available ingredients, and taste fabulous. Whether you are a new-comer in the kitchen, or an experienced cook, there’s always something to learn.  I pass along my trials and errors, my successes and failures, and encourage you to be adventurous with your cooking.   These are recipes that I am proud to serve and hopefully you will be proud to serve also.  By your responses to me, I think I must be succeeding.  So I am very happy to have all of you as my “community” of readers.  Thanks so much for finding this little blog and sticking with me.  Love Ya!!

With Easter just ahead, this pie would make a nice addition to the dessert table.  Besides being so pretty, its also a very luscious pie with two kinds of chocolate and cherries in a creamy white chocolate mousse.  It’s sweet, yet very light.  This is one dessert that will definitely disappear into the crowd…in a good way.

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The surprise, once the pie has been cut, is the layer of dark chocolate that lies between the crust and the light airy filling.   This really makes the pie interesting and the dark chocolate is a nice foil for the white, light filling.  I liked putting some grated dark chocolate on top with the cherry garnish to give a hint of what’s waiting inside.

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Ways to reduce the caloric impact of this pie would be to use low-fat condensed milk, low-fat cream cheese, and sugar-free instant pudding.  I’m not sure if white chocolate pudding mix is available sugar-free, but vanilla flavor certainly is, and makes a good substitute.  In place of whipped cream you could also use “light” whipped topping. Be sure to include the almond flavoring… it somehow adds to the whole taste experience.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY MOUSSE PIE

Yield:    8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (9-inch) pie shell, blind baked.  You may use a frozen pie shell or your own favorite pie dough recipe.  Bake the shell until lightly browned and cooked through.  It will not be cooked again.IMG_6892
  • 1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 1 square (1 ounce) or 1 packet pre melted unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, divided
  • 1 jar (10-ounces) maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened.   Low-fat is OK, but not fat-free.
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 package ( 3.4 ounces) instant white chocolate pudding mix (I used Hershey’s brand).  If unable to find, substitute vanilla instant pudding mix.
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • chopped chocolate or chocolate curls, optional

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, over low heat, cook and stir 1/2 cup condensed milk and chocolate until the chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened, about 4-5 minutes.

Mix chocolate and condensed milk and cook till thick.

Mix chocolate and condensed milk and cook till thick.

Mixture gets quite thick, like fudge.  Stir in 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.  Pour into pie shell and set aside.

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2.  Reserve 8 whole cherries for garnish.  Chop the remaining cherries and set aside.

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3.  In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light.  Gradually beat in water and remaining milk.  Add pudding mix and remaining extract; mix well.

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4.  Fold in the whipped cream.  Stir in chopped cherries.

Fold in whipped cream and chopped cherries.

Fold in whipped cream and chopped cherries.

Pour over chocolate layer in the pie crust.  Chill 4 hours or until set.  Garnish with whole cherries and chocolate curls before serving.

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It's like eating a cloud!!

It’s like eating a cloud!!

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SOURCE:    Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe

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White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

When I first saw a picture of these cookies I knew I had to make them.  They were so pretty in the picture, with the pale pink cookie dipped into white chocolate, then just the edge dipped into the colorful red sugar.  I thought they would make a great addition to a tray of Christmas cookies.

The other ingredient these cookie have going for them is the addition of Maraschino Cherries.  These sweet, almond-tasting cherries are made from a bitter cherry.  The name Maraschino is from the Italian word marasca– the name of the cherry. and amaro which means bitter.  Somehow they become sweet as they soak in their liquid, and I just love them, but don’t find many ways to use them in cooking or baking.  So I was really happy to have come across this recipe. After I made them, I found them to be everything I had anticipated and more.  Just imagine for a moment biting into a buttery shortbread cookie that also includes the flavor of these cherries and almond.  Really good, yes?  Now add the smooth sweetness of white chocolate.   Oh, WOW!  If you are drooling at this point, you need to go make them NOW!

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Do you know what else?  There’s no need to get out your mixer.  It all gets mixed by hand, and there’s no chilling involved ( well, you can if you want to).  Pretty easy and quick to make.  And believe me, just as easy and quick to eat.

The recipe:  WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES

YIELD:   about 60 cookies.  The recipe divides in half easily, which I did, and got 30 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Maraschino cherries, cut up and drained well
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks ) cold butter
  • 12 oz. white chocolate chips or squares, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring ( I used a little cherry juice instead for a paler color)
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • decorative sugar or sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

1.  Combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender.  Stir in cherries and 4 ounces ( 2/3 cup ) chopped white chocolate.  Stir in almond extract and food color ( or cherry juice).

2.  Stir as well as you can and then knead to form a smooth ball.

3.  Break off small pieces of dough and form into 3/4 inch balls.  Place on prepared cookie sheets. (Greased or lined with parchment paper.)

4.  Using a glass dipped into sugar, flatten into 1 1/2 inch rounds.

Flatten with a glass dipped into sugar.

Flatten with a glass dipped into sugar.

5.  Bake at 325 degrees, for 10 – 12 minutes.  Cookies will firm up as they cool.  Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

6.  In a saucepan over hot – not boiling-water, melt the remaining white chocolate with the shortening.  Dip half of each cookie, then roll the dipped edge into decorative sugar or sprinkles.  Stand upright between the tines of a cooling rack to dry.

Standing at attention to dry.

Standing at attention to dry.

Note:  I never find white chocolate easy to melt or dip into, so what I do is this.  When the chocolate becomes soft enough to stir, I use a small spatula to spread it on the cookie, making sure to cover the edge so the sugar will adhere.  This works for me. However, my cookies don’t get that perfectly half-dipped look.

SOURCE:   Martha Stewart Cookies,  I-Pad newsletter

IMG_2204  Here’s an advance look at tomorrow’s cookie recipe.  Y’all come back then.