Recipe of the Week: ‘Waitress’-inspired chocolate mousse pie with a macadamia nut cookie crust

If you love pie, you’ve probably seen the 2007 movie “Waitress” about a baker, Jenna Hunterson, who starts her own pie shop to get out of a no-good relationship. The movie, starring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion, was such a hit that it inspired a Broadway musical featuring songs from Sara Bareilles and now a cookbook featuring some of the fictional character’s best dishes.

All the pies in “Waitress” — in the movie, the Broadway musical and now cookbook– have whimsical names, such as this Life s A Rocky Road Macadamia Mousse Pies that are served in small jars. Contributed by Evan Sung

These mini pies are made from white chocolate macadamia nut cookies that are crumbled and pressed into the bottom of small jars. You could also make this in a traditional pie plate, but when you put pie in a jar, it can go anywhere, even in a school or work lunch box. You’ll end up with more cookies than you’ll need for the jar pies, which you can freeze, and you can also freeze the mini pies for a sweet treat later.

Life’s A Rocky Road Macadamia Mousse Pies

For the cookies:
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
12 ounces white chocolate chips
For the crust:
10 White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, crushed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the white chocolate mousse filling:
3 cups heavy cream, cold, divided
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
For the topping:
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
For the cookies: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl using a mixer, blend the sugars on medium speed. Add the salted butter and beat until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips and mix just until combined.

Drop the batter by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely, leaving the oven on. (The cookies can also be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.) Set aside six to eight of the cookies for garnish.

For the crust: Crush ten of the cookies into crumbs. (You will have cookies left over for the cookie jar or to freeze.) Place the crushed cookies in a food processor and whir until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Add the melted unsalted butter and pulse until the mixture begins to clump together. Divide the crumb mixture equally among twelve 4-ounce mason jars with lids, pressing down into an even layer. Arrange the jars on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the filling: While the crusts cool, bring 1 cup of the heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Place the white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream and vanilla over the chips. Let stand for 2 minutes, then gently stir until smooth. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream on medium speed with the sugar with until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Gently stir 1 cup of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Fold in the macadamia nuts.

Spoon the mixture onto the cooled crusts, filling the jars almost to the top. Crumble the reserved six to eight white chocolate macadamia cookies and sprinkle them over the top of the filling. Divide the 1/4 cup macadamia nuts evenly among the jars as a topping. Cover and chill for 6 to 12 hours. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes 12 (4-ounce) pies.

— From “Sugar, Butter, Flour: The Waitress Pie Book” by Jenna Hunterson (Avery, $25)