Food in general can make me happy, but seldom does it make me inwardly smile and present the air of cheerfulness in a way that I just can’t ignore.
There is, however, one food that does. Have you ever heard of Happy Hippo Biscuits? They are the cute little hippos sitting on top of the pie you see. Are they not darling? I don’t remember how we first heard about them, but they seriously are so fun that anytime I look at one I can’t help but feel a burst of sunshine inside. Are you not smiling as well?
Not only are they cute as a button, but are also extremely tasty! (the hippos are filled with a cream and chocolate hazelnut filling, yumm…)
When trying to think of ideas for a recipe to post a couple of weeks ago, my mind was rather dead. Until one night in bed I came up with an idea to post something geared a little more to children and to the child inside each one of us (aka the past). Enter this Child’s Chocolate Pie.
For this pie I wanted to incorporate some of the things kids love and so of course Happy Hippos had to be involved, even if they are just for decoration.
I first tried experimenting with my own filling, but after one trial and error I got impatient – hence as to why I could never fully develop my own recipes! – and thus took the easy way out by way of an internet search.
I wasn’t horribly disappointed with my first filling so you can bet that I am going to try my hand at it again soon; it gives me an excuse to post another pie in the near future! But until then, this version will do nicely. :)
The lowdown:This special chocolate pie embraces and incorporates ingredients that will please adults and children alike. A Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Crust is filled with a layer of marshmallow and then chocolate pudding; topped with whipped cream and Happy Hippo Biscuits, this is an easy and tasty pie you will want to add to your dessert repertoire.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust24 Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Marshmallow Layer *this is an optional step, see note below*2 (heaping) C. mini marshmallows
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Pudding Layer2/3 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3 C. milk (I used whole milk)
1 (13 oz.) jar Chocolate HERSHEY'S Spreads
1 tsp. vanilla extract
GarnishHappy Hippo Biscuits (optional)
whipped cream see note below
For the crustPreheat oven to 350° f.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse cookies until they reach a fine crumb. (if you have a small processor, you can do this in small batches - I recommend 4 cookies at a time)
Transfer crumbs to a medium sized bowl and add melted butter.
Stir to combine.
Press mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie plate. Note: I recommend using the bottom of a measuring cup for this step as it spreads more evenly, packs the crust better, and keeps it from falling apart
Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let crust cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before proceeding.
After 20 minutes, place crust in freezer while preparing marshmallow layer.
For the marshmallow layerIn a medium sized saucepan placed over a pan of simmering water (actually, I placed mine over a pan of boiling water...), stir together marshmallows and heavy cream until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth.
Remove crust from freezer and spread marshmallow mixture evenly over bottom of crust; set aside.
For the puddingIn a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
Whisk in eggs, then gradually stir in milk.
Place over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
Once boiling, continue to boil and stir for 1 minute until mixture is thick and pudding consistency.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate spread and vanilla.
Pour filling over marshmallow layer leaving about 1/2" (maybe a little less) from top - you will have some filling leftover, save it for pudding cups, or eating straight... ;)
Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over pudding surface and place in fridge. Chill for 6-8 hours, or until set.
To garnishBefore serving, top pie with whipped cream and if you can get them, some Happy Hippos - because life is just too short to not have Happy Hippos!
!You can use store bought whipped cream, but if you desire homemade I used this recipe from EpicuriousIn the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until it reaches desired consistency.
Epicurious notes that: For soft peaks, the cream will be just thick enough to hold its shape in soft billows. For stiffly beaten cream, the beaters or whisk wires will leave distinct traces on the cream and stand in firm peaks when the beaters are lifted.
Note: If you don't want the marshmallow layer, feel free to leave it out - more room for pudding! ;)