Thursday, January 01, 2009

Resolution Breaker Tollhouse Pie

Happy New Year! Have you made your resolutions yet? Do any of them happen to involve healthier eating and/or weight loss? If so, you may want to stop reading now, because this month's Pies With That challenge was all about creating a pie so tempting, it could only be called a resolution breaker.

It didn't take me long to decide what kind of pie I wanted to make. For Christmas I received the Baked cookbook, and after hearing so many good things, I was anxious to try out a recipe. First to catch my eye was Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie, described as a cross between a pecan pie and a chocolate chip cookie.
*insert sound of record scratching*
I'm sorry, a pie that is also a cookie? HOW have I not heard about this until now? What other awesome dessert hybrids are on the loose without my knowledge? You had all better enlighten me, stat!

And with that, it was decided. In blatant disregard to my own personal fitness goals, I started my new year by having Tollhouse Pie and homemade Creme Fraiche Ice Cream for breakfast. We justified it by deciding that such a rich dessert was surely a sign of prosperity and happiness for the coming year! That IS how karma works, right?

The pie started out looking pretty homely. I made the pie crust, but it could easily be made using a purchased frozen crust. The recipe doesn't state that it should be parbaked, but since I usually parbake the crust for my pecan pies, I went ahead and did a partial bake. Next time I might omit the step and see how it turns out. The batter itself is like a fairly thick cake batter--midway between a cookie dough and a liquidy pecan pie filling. It baked up puffed and golden brown, and smelled heavenly all during the baking.
Its appearance greatly improved once I cut a slice and topped it with a scoop of the creme fraiche ice cream, still soft from being freshly churned. (I think this is a pie that definitely needs a topping to cut the richness, either ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.) I used macadamia nuts in place of walnuts, and next time I might throw some shredded coconut in as well, to make a tropical chocolate chip cookie pie.

And HERE is something crazy--just now, as I was typing up the recipe, I realized that I left out 1/2 cup of brown sugar from the pie! That's fully half of the sugar the recipe calls for. This might explain why the filling wasn't as gooey as I would have hoped. (Whoops.) However, it was still a great pie. The consistency was almost exactly like a soft, baked cookie. (And it definitely wasn't lacking for sweetness.) I would like a little more goo, but Jason loved the cookie aspect, because, as he says, "Having a cookie in pie form makes it more socially acceptable to smother it with ice cream!" Well played, sir.

We both agreed that this was a pie worth breaking a resolution for. Wouldn't you agree?

Check out the other sinfully good pies after January 6th on the You Want Pies With That blog. Want to ruin your own weight-loss efforts? Pie and ice cream recipes are below!

Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie
from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

1 pie crust, frozen
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
1 tbsp whiskey (I omitted and added a little vanilla extract)
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (I subbed macadamia nuts)
1.25 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the eggs on high in a mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until foamy, about 3 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the flour and sugars. Beat for 2 minutes on high. Scrape down the bowl and add the butter, beating on high until well-combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the whiskey, and beat on high for 1 minute.

Fold the nuts and 1 cup of chocolate chips into the filling. Scrape into the prepared pie shell and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes, covering the edges of the crust with foil if it gets too brown. The pie is done when it is puffed and golden brown, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool before slicing, but this pie is best served warm, so heat slices for 20 seconds in the microwave before serving.

Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 cup crème fraîche (can sub sour cream with great results)

Place cream in heavy large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and yolks in large bowl until thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Gradually beat in warm cream mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on spoon when finger is drawn across, about 6 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat. Cool 15 minutes. Discard vanilla bean. Whisk in crème fraîche. Cover and chill custard until cold, about 3 hours.

Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to covered container. Freeze until firm.


  1. Ha, ha, love your comments about hybrid desserts. Tollhouse Pie is good, but it is usually very very sweet. So leaving out some of the sugar was probably not a bad thing. Your pie looks great. I'm not making any resolutions until the Christmas baking is out of my house.

  2. I agree! That really looks like a resolution breaker and so perfect when you don't know if you want a cookie or a pie! That's my kind of breakfast!!!

  3. I've resolved not to resolve; that way, any progress is a nice surprise. So I can definitely keep this incredible looking pie on my list! Happy New Year!

  4. Anyone that eats cookie pie with ice cream for breakfast is my hero. I must have missed that recipe in my book - I'll have to go back and check it out!

  5. Damn...this looks unbelievably decadent and delicious!!! I'm coming to your house for a slice for me! :)

  6. This completely hits the theme! This looks sooo good!!! Happy New Year! We can always start those resolutions again on Chinese New Year, then Jewish New year, the Persian new year...

  7. The pie sounds right up my alley- full of chocolate and walnuts! YUM! And the ice cream... I don't know that I've ever seen a creamier looking scoop of ice cream ever. Wow.

  8. Wowsers this pie looks rich and mouth-watering! Way to go! :-)

  9. What resolution? I tend to not make any because I know it'll be immediately broken when I see stuff like this. :)

  10. What a great thing to start your year off with! Looks tasty!

  11. A giant chocolate chip cookie, ultra thick with ice cream... What's not to like?!

  12. Ohhh, this looks SO good. There's a restaurant in my hometown that serves this and yours looks EXACTLY like it. I'm going to have to check this out...

  13. Darn you! Now I really want a cookie :)