Fudgy Chocolate Malt-Peppermint Pie

I know you're probably all anti-decadence right now because it's January and that's what people are supposed to do in January: deny deny deny their sweet tooth. Eat healthy. Work out more. You know the drill.

And yet I'm going to go ahead and post this anyway, even though it might make you groan. And even though most people would argue that peppermint ice cream is only a holiday treat.

I don't know why. I think it's a holiday conspiracy, actually. Peppermint ice cream is so refreshing, wouldn't it actually make a great summer treat? Or a January treat, if you're into that kind of thing ... which obviously I am or I wouldn't be posting this now.

So. Back at the ranch.

For one of our many Christmas feasts this year, I was assigned the very important task of making dessert. Something with chocolate.

I developed a big, long list of chocolate-y desserts one day. Then I crossed them all out the next day because I did some searching for chocolate holiday desserts online and found a slew of recipes that seriously made me swoon. Some of the recipes were a bit over the top, though, so I finally decided on one that looked festive, delicious, and relatively easy.

This is it. It's a fudgy chocolate malt-peppermint pie from Southern Living. The cool thing I didn't realize until I started baking is that it's not your traditional chocolate crust. It's more of a chocolate brownie that you press down a bit to make room for the ice cream.

The peppermint ice cream keeps this dessert from being over-the-top rich, but don't let that refreshing flavor fool you. Even a small piece is plenty.

One warning, though: We discovered the pie is pretty much impossible to cut if you follow the instructions and freeze the whole darn thing for 8 hours. Conservative Dad almost broke numerous knives trying to get a few pieces out of the pie pan.

So next time (yes, there will be a next time), I think we'll just leave the brownie crust out until it's time to serve, then will scoop in the ice cream and throw on the homemade whipped cream topping at the last minute. That should save a lot of trouble.

(Oh, and should you get the urge to break all your January healthy eating vows and make this pie only discover there isn't any peppermint ice cream in the store because of that darn holiday conspiracy, you could always make your own. Been there. Done that. Have the link to prove it.)

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