Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sweet and Salty Gingerbread Pie

Sweet & Salty Gingerbread Pie by The Sweet Chick




























I really love the flavors of gingerbread, the molasses, the brown sugar, and all the spices.  I don't know why I only use them for the holidays.  Maybe because they are so addictive.  I know I ate more than my fair share of gingerbread cookies the other weekend when I was decorating them with the kids.  But this past weekend we had a party to go to and I knew I wanted to make something with gingerbread flavor.  So I found a recipe for gingerbread cookie bars which I stuffed with Gingerbread Twix Bars, baked it on top of a pretzel crust and topped it with a salted caramel cream cheese frosting.  What?  Yup!  It's a Sweet and Salty Gingerbread Pie to die for. 
Making Pretzel Crust by The Sweet Chick
First up, is the pretzel crust.  I lined a 10 inch round springform cake pan with parchment paper.  I mixed all the ingredients together, pressed it into the pan, and baked it for 10 minutes.

Making Gingrbread Pie by The Sweet Chick
Next came the deliciously spiced gingerbread center.  It's like a giant, soft gingerbread cookie filled with crunchy Gingerbread Twix.  It's chock full of sweet and spice.

Making Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting by The Sweet Chick
To top it off, I choose a cream cheese frosting, but added salted caramel to it.  No I didn't make my own salted caramel, but you can if you want.  I just used a caramel spread and added salt. It came out tangy and sweet, with a hint of salt.  I even found these cute gingerbread man sprinkles from Wilton, at Walmart the other day.  I thought they would be a perfect topper for my pie.

Gingerbread Pie with Pretzel Crust by The Sweet Chick




























I just love all the layers of this pie.  You have a salty, crumbly crust; a crunchy, sweet and spicy center; and a creamy, tangy topping.  If you can't find the Gingerbread Twix Bars, or don't want the crunch in the middle, you can still make this pie without them.  I liked the additional gingerbread and caramel flavor they gave to the pie.

Sweet and Salty Gingerbread Pie by The Sweet Chick
I gave some to my neighbors for taste testing before I brought it to the party.  They agreed it was delicious and their kids loved it too.

Gingerbread Pie by The Sweet Chick



































I had to stop myself from eating the whole slice.  Well, at least all at once anyway. It's sinfully good.  Thankfully, the holiday season is that time of year when calorie counting gets tucked under a rug and I just enjoy all the festive sweets.  Go on, take a bite with me!

Sweet and Salty Gingerbread Pie

by The Sweet Chick
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert gingerbread twix cream cheese pretzels caramel Christmas bars cookie American winter
Ingredients (16 slices)
    For the crust
    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 cup crushed pretzels
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    For the cookie bar
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup molasses
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup chopped Gingerbread Twix bars (about 10-11 mini bars)
    For the frosting
    • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup caramel spread/topping
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    Additional toppings
    • holiday sprinkles
    Instructions
    For the crust
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10 inch round springform cake pan with parchment paper.
    In a medium bowl combine the flour, crushed pretzels, brown sugar, and baking soda.
    Then add the melted butter and mix with a spoon until well combined and mixture in crumbly.
    Dump mixture in the bottom of the springform pan and pressing with your hands, evenly distribute the mixture.
    Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
    Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.
    For the cookie bar
    Grease the remaining exposed sides of the pan. I used a stick of butter.
    In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla until smooth.
    Add egg and mix for about 1 minute.
    Next add the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix on low until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    Lastly, add in the chopped Twix bars and mix until evenly distributed. You can also do this part by hand.
    Place cookie mixture into greased pan on top of the pretzel crust. Spread mixture out with a spatula, making sure it as level as possible.
    Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean, with perhaps a few wet crumbs.
    Remove from oven and let cool in the pan before frosting.
    For the frosting
    In a stand mixer, cream together the cheese and butter until smooth.
    Then add the caramel and mix until evenly distributed.
    Next add the powdered sugar and salt. Mix on low until smooth.
    Using a spatula, frost the cooled off pie. You can do this with the springform sides on or take them off, then frost. Add holiday sprinkles if you wish.
    Lastly, transfer the pie to a dish, then slice and serve!
    Notes
    Adding parchment paper at the bottom of the pan makes it easier to transfer the pie to a serving plate.
    You can make the pie ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Just leave it out a bit at room temperature before slicing and serving. Or you can have your pie ready and just add the frosting right before serving.
    If you can't find Gingerbread Twix Bars, you can try Gingerbread M&Ms or just make the recipe without them.
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    Pretzel crust recipe from Baker's Royale.
    Cookie bar and frosting recipes adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen.
     

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