I was having such a hard time deciding what I wanted to make for Christmas dessert. It feels like there is so much pressure. It HAS to be good. And it SHOULD be festive, right? But what does festive mean for Christmas? Mint, Pumpkin, Apple, Cranberry, Mince Meat, Pecan? So many options. So I just had to go with one. And peppermint seemed like the right choice since I already had the supplies and we just love it. I served this pie with a side of peppermint cookies and cream ice cream.

makes 1 pie that serves 10-12 people
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Pudding filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
15 Peppermint Oreo’s (Trader Joe’s Joe Joes), Divided
1 refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp confectioners sugar

Prepare pie dough: Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes. While shell chills, preheat oven to 375°F with a baking sheet on middle rack. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights.

Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 15-20 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil, then bake shell on baking sheet until pale golden all over, 5-10 minutes more. Cool shell.

Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk [tips alert!] in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla and peppermint until smooth.

Layer the bottom of the pie shell with about 6 crushed Trader Joe’s Peppermint Joe Joes. Pour the filling onto the cookies in the shell and chill, its surface covered with saran wrap(if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours. Once it has set add about 6 more crushed cookies on top of the pudding. You can cover it back up and keep it refrigerated until ready to serve (I made it the day before I served it)

Just before serving, beat whipping cream with the cocoa powder and confectioners sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with the remaining cookies crushed.

*Pie dough can be made and chilled up to two days (Without whip cream on top). Whipped cream is best added at the last minute.