Frosting is the most important part of Heather Saffer's gingersnap stout pie. Credit: Matt Wittmeyer
If an overload of pumpkin pies and sugar cookies has you swearing off your sweet tooth, take a page from Heather Saffer’s new book, “The Dollop Book of Frosting.”
Saffer, who won Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” in 2012, suggests topping mashed potatoes with a brown sugar frosting rather than sprinkling on brown sugar. “I incorporate frosting into all different foods, because who doesn’t want to eat it?” she says.
Saffer recommends her gingersnap stout pie as a nontraditional dessert. “It’s kind of an alternative to pumpkin pie,” she says. “You’re using the frosting with crushed ginger snaps to make the piecrust, instead of butter and sugar. And to fill in the pie, you’re using the frosting as well.”
Patience is key in frosting preparation. “My biggest tip is to let the frosting whip for a really long time,” Saffer says. “If you let it keep going for five to seven minutes, it will get really light and fluffy.”
Recipe: Gingersnap Stout Pie
For the frosting:
INGREDIENTS 2 cups unsalted butter, softened 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup stout (not Guinness; use a craft brew, making sure it’s still carbonated) ¼ teaspoon salt 4 cups powdered sugar 40 gingersnaps
INSTRUCTIONS In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the butter until soft, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the vanilla, beer, salt, and sugar, and continue whipping until fluffy, about 4 minutes. In a food processor, finely grind 40 gingersnaps. Add ground gingersnaps to the bowl of frosting and whip until extremely light and fluffy, about 5–7 minutes.
For the pie:
INGREDIENTS 50 gingersnaps 1 batch Gingersnap Stout Frosting (1 cup for the crust plus remainder for the pie filling) ½ cup chocolate frosting for garnish (optional) ½ cup whipped cream for garnish (optional) 3 gingersnaps crushed, plus 1 whole gingersnap for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a food processor, finely grind the gingersnaps, then place in a medium-sized bowl. Add 1 cup of the gingersnap stout frosting and mix until a crumbly cookie crust texture forms (it will resemble a graham cracker pie crust). Press crust firmly into the bottom and sides of a standard pie tin or four or five mini pie tins.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the pie tin in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Remove from fridge and place in oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
3. Scoop remaining frosting into pie crust and smooth evenly throughout the pie plate. Decorate top with chocolate frosting, whipped cream and gingersnap crumbs. Place one whole gingersnap in the center and ta-da!