My dad had a little bit of a sweet tooth. I think that may be the understatement of the century.
In particular, dad loved ice cream. His all-time favorite happened to be a flavor called Elephant Tracks made by a local ice cream purveyor, Cedar Crest. Elephant Tracks featured chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups. Divine, right? Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? The combination no matter how you prepare it is one of my favorites to this day.
I am not sure how many half-gallons of Elephant Tracks dad ate in a month, but it was a lot. He was obsessed.
One day, I went with dad to the local Piggly Wiggly (The Pig) grocery store to pick-up a half-gallon of Elephant Tracks. But it was nowhere to be found.
Yikes. Dad was not pleased. But he didn’t end his pursuit at the The Pig. He was on a mission. A man hunting for his prey, Elephant Tracks.
We went to the Pick ‘n Save in Saukville. No luck. The Sentry grocery store in Port Washington. No dice. Back to Saukville to the Tri-Par gas station and convenience store. Still no Elephant Tracks.
His prey was proving elusive. And this was not cool.
Dad was flustered, his face getting redder by the minute as we drove around in pursuit of the ice cream. Where in the world was his beloved Elephant Tracks? Dad had a bit of a temper and was definitely peeved that the Ice Cream Gods were clearly conspiring against him to keep him from his flavor of choice. We were out of ideas and heading home until suddenly Dad said, “We are going straight to the source! Let’s go to the Cedar Crest distribution center.”
Off we went to Cedarburg. And he was speeding. We pulled into the parking lot and Dad jumped out of the car probably faster than I had ever seen him move. We went in and quickly scanned the cases holding the ice cream. Eureka! We found two half-gallons of Elephant Tracks. Dad’s face lit up! Mission accomplished. We went to pay for the ice cream and dad described the odyssey we had been on for Elephant Tracks and how relieved he was to have found his ice cream.
But the bliss didn’t last long. The cashier told Dad that the Elephant Tracks flavor was being discontinued.
The utter despair that crossed Dad’s face is unforgettable. We walked out of the store, still happy to have the last two half-gallons of Elephant Tracks in existence but knowing he would have to find other ways to get his peanut butter and chocolate combination fix.
I had completely forgotten this story until last month when I found myself with a craving for chocolate and peanut butter. If Dad were still with us, I know he would have thought this dessert was a homerun and a solid replacement for Elephant Tracks.
With Dad in mind, I created a no bake peanut butter and chocolate cookie pie with a graham cracker crust. It was sinful and easy. I could have eaten the filling by the spoonful. Well, I actually may have done just that with the leftover filling. Okay, okay, I did eat about five leftover spoonfulls. And it was glorious!
(Makes one 9-inch pie and serves 6-8 people depending on how big you cut the slices)
**Please note that instead of making the crust from scratch, you can also use a store-bought graham cracker crust. Also, I used Newman’s brand chocolate cream cookies but you can use Oreos instead.
Graham Cracker Crust
*1 and 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
*1/4 cup sugar
*1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Pie Filling and Topping
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
*1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
*1 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif)
*1 cup milk
*1 cup heavy whipping cream
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*10 chocolate cream cookies (either Newman’s Chocolate Cream Cookies or Oreos)
*Optional: melt some chocolate chips and use to drizzle over pie
For Graham Cracker Crust:
Using a food processor, crush enough graham crackers to yield 1 2/3 cups crumbs. Alternately, you can put the graham crackers in a bag and crush them with a rolling pan.
Melt butter and then in a bowl, combine sugar, butter and graham cracker crumbs until well-blended.
Transfer mixture to 9-inch pie pan and press crumb mixture into bottom and sides until evenly distributed. Set aside.
For No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Pie Filling and Topping:
Using VERY soft cream cheese, beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a standing mixer or with a hand mixer.
Once cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar is well beaten and almost fluffy, mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
In the bowl of the standing mixer, pour in heavy whipping cream and vanilla and beat until peaks form and mixture is fluffy.
Transfer whipped cream mixture to the cream cheese and peanut butter mixture and gently fold in the whipped cream. Once combined, transfer mixture to the pie crust and spread evenly in the crust.
In a food processor, 4 of the chocolate cream cookies until they are crumbs. Alternately, you can put the cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Take the cookie crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the pie. Place the six whole cookies in the pie (see picture above). It makes the pie look pretty but you can easily skip this step.
If you need a little more chocolate, melt a handful of chocolate chips and then using a spoon, drizzle the melted chococolate over the pie.
Cover pie with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least two hours or as long as you can stand to wait for this delicious pie.
Adapted from AllRecipes and Cooks.com