Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlette for Jennifer Perillo and to remember her Mikey

by Robyn on August 12, 2011

It was May of 1985. My husband had just finished his bachelor’s degree and we were waiting for our tax return to come so we could move back to California and go to graduate school. It was a bright sunny day. We had just returned from the pool so the girls could burn up some energy and stay cool. The phone rang. The message was given. Two of my daughters can still hear the scream.

My brother, Mike and his oldest son Michael had been in an accident. The both died in the crash. My brother was 32, Michael was almost 8. They left behind my sister in law Lori and her other four children. Lori was 28. How? Why? The questions could haunt you for a life time. Mike was my right arm. He was my protector for most of my childhood. Three weeks prior to his death he called me, to just check up on me and tell me he loved me and would always be there for me. I feel cheated. But not nearly as much as Lori. Lori raised her daughters and son. They are fine people. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think of them and mourn their loss.

So Sunday evening when I read Jennifer’s tweet, I died a little inside again. The echo of the scream returned. It couldn’t be; shouldn’t be. Another young mother, with two darling little girls and a prince of a husband, was “smashed into a million pieces”. I quickly texted a friend, did she know anything at all? No. But I knew. It was like dread hanging in the air. Jennifer’s life had been altered permanently.The news of Jennifer’s husband, Mikey’s death, greeted some of us late that evening and the rest early the next morning. I was glad it was Monday. I had a long drive back to Arizona from California that day. I could cry all day if I wanted. And, the tears did come. I wept for Jennifer and her girls. For all the lost moments in the future that he will miss. I also prayed for Jennifer that the love and comfort of her friends and family will sustain her. May she be given strength now and in the coming years. She’ll see Mikey in her girls, in the little glimpses, giggles and nods. But for now she will need our strength and support. Food bloggers and others have banded together to show their support over the next few months.

How do you mend a broken heart? Jennifer has helped us find a path to help her along the way. You see, Mikey loved Peanut Butter Pie. Jennifer had not made it for him, yet had intended to in the near future. So with that intention she has asked all of us to make a pie for our loved ones. To share it with them, along with a few good hugs and statements of love. Because you know, time is short, and you never know when someone dear to you will die. Like the people who brought us food when my brother died, I’ll bake a pie. Well, tartlettes to share, with those I love, in memory of Mikey. It’s not much but it’s enough. In memory of all the Mike’s we’ve lost:

A peanut butter cookie tartelette filled with dark chocolate almond ganache and edged with Peanut butter infused whipped cream.

For Jennifer and Mikey

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlettes

  • 1 recipe of Peanut butter cookies
  • 4 ounces of dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 1 pint of heavy cream or whipping cream, divided. 4 ounces to be scalded just prior to use; the balance to be whipped
  • 2 Tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted in the microwave 10-15 seconds

1 recipe of your favorite peanut butter cookie.  Instead of making the cookies, roll the dough into one half inch balls and chill. Press the dough firmly into tartlette tins and place on baking sheet. With oven at 350 bake the tartlettes for 10 minutes or until done. If they puff up while baking, once done take the end of a knife end and push down the centers. Allow to cool and remove from tins.

Chocolate ganache. 4 oz of dark chocolate. For this recipe I used Lindt’s Intense Dark Chocolate Almond Brittle Bar.  Pour the scalded and still hot whipping cream over the broken up chocolate bar. Stir until smooth and shiny. If your chocolate doesn’t melt all the way you can microwave it for 15 seconds to continue melting. Fill each tartlette with ganache. The easiest way to do this is to put the melted chocolate in a plastic storage bag. Snip a small corner of the bag open with scissors. Squeeze chocolate into tartlettes through opening in the bag.

Whip the balance of your heavy cream and add your favorite sweetener. While that is whipping, melt 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter in the microwave. Once your whipping cream is ready gently fold the peanut butter into the whipped cream and incorporate them together. Pipe on edges of tartlettes. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

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