By measure of my sweat clothing collection, one may assume I was some sort of elite athlete. For why would anyone require so many pairs of sweat pants and sweat shorts in so many different colors?
Alas, I will never be considered an elite athlete. Unless finishing an entire Chipotle burrito is considered sport. I am, in fact, purely obsessed with soft, stretchy comfort. Having spent the past five years in a near constant state of pregnancy or postpartum recovery has certainly increased my longing for clothing with elastic waistbands. Jeans are like a prison on my skin. Give me soft fleece. Give me stretchy cotton. Give me pants I can wear during the day and keep on as I slip into bed at night.
It’s true. My daywear collection is nearly indistinguishable from my pajama collection.
I find myself assuming that everyone must share the same disdain for buttoned pants as I do. I admit to dressing the baby in soft, one-piece pajamas almost everyday; the ones with cute little animal faces on the soft attached feet. And I fill the older boys’ drawers with stretchy fleece pants we refer to as the “cozy pants”. I’m envious of the cozy pants.
But, my four year old loves his jeans. Loves them. I can’t wash his jeans fast enough for him to wear again. (The painter’s jeans are his favorite.) The kid’s got more fashion sense than all the rest of us combined. It’s the little special touches he adds which really make his outfits so unique. Like when he comes running into our room in the morning wearing jeans, a long sleeve tee, and a tweed suit vest. Or the way he’ll clip a red necktie onto his rock and roll tee-shirt. Or casually pop a newsboy cap onto his head, turning a typical kid outfit into something which is dripping in effortless fashion.
He’s so much cooler than we are.
But, get your cozy-pants out for this one, because you’re going to want that elastic waistband. It’s a chocolate pudding pie with a irresistible twist. We’ll start with a pretzel crust, lined in rich chocolate ganache. Then we’ll fill the chocolate-covered pretzel crust with smooth chocolate pudding and fresh whipped cream.
Go ahead, treat yourself.
Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Pudding Pie
For the Pretzel Crust
- 2 cups pretzel crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 12 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Ganache
- 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (4 squares), chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
For the Pudding
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
For the Pretzel Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs and sugar. Pour melted butter over the crumbs and mix to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and along the sides of a pie plate. It will be quite crumbly, but should stay in place. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the Ganache:
While the pretzel crust is cooling, heat cream in the microwave until it just begins to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate completely melts and the mixture is smooth. Pour over the pretzel crust. Gently swirl the pie plate so that the ganache coats the bottom and sides of the pretzel crust. The ganache will act like a glue to help the crust stick together. Refrigerate to set.
For the Pudding:
In a saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt. Whisk in 1 cup of milk, stirring until combined. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and the 3/4 cup of cream. Continue whisking over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes. Whisking constantly, continue cooking for another minute or two. Be careful to whisk into the corners and along the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Whisk in the chopped chocolate and vanilla, stirring until fully melted. Allow the pudding to cool at room temperature, stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming. Once pudding is no longer hot, pour it on top of the cooled ganache (which should be firm by this time) and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate for a few hours until pudding is completely cool and set.
For the Whipped Cream:
Beat together the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the pudding layer.
Garnish with a few crushed pretzels.