Chocolate Coffee Crunch Pie for Amanda

img_0098.jpgMy daughter Amanda’s favorite pie. It’s a must-make each year for her birthday. So rich, thick, and fattening that once a year is probably enough, though I must admit we can barely wait for May to roll around. This year we may even share with company, though it’ll be hard. Also, a gracious nod to Dessert Queen, Maida Heatter.

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cups of a package pie crust mix (I use Betty Crocker)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract (no imitations please!)
2 tsp. cold water

To make the crust: preheat your oven to 375 degrees and take out a pie plate. Lightly butter and set aside. In a medium bowl, place the pie crust mix, brown sugar and pecans – mix well with a fork. Mix the vanilla and cold water together then sprinkle into the mix and mix gently with a fork – it’ll be crumbly. Dump this whole mixture into the pie plate and gently, with your fingers, spread around the crumbly mixture and up the sides. Make the sides thicker than the bottom as best you can. Place in the oven for 10 minutes (no more) than set aside to cool completely.

Filling:
2 squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
10 Tbsp. butter, softened
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. freshly brewed, cold coffee

Using a hand held mixer (because it’s much easier) in a medium-large mixing bowl, place the butter and cream cheese and mix on high for 2 minutes; add the brown sugar and mix on high for 2 more minutes; add the cooled chocolate and cold coffee and mix until well combined. Gently spread around onto the cooled crust – use it all. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours; less than 6 and it won’t be firm enough.