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Better than Paradise Pie

June 7, 2012

I have a rather strong aversion to gyms.  They smell kinda weird, they’re full of intimidating machines and equipment, there’s the overly-hyped guy greeting you who obviously spends all his free time on afore mentioned equipment…oh and not to mention that it’s a place that requires you to move and sweat.  You actually pay them so you can move and sweat!  Well I actually joined one of these gyms and yes, hell may or may not have frozen over.  Im not too concerned with my weight so much but there’s nothing like a good trip to the beach to make you realize that you’re not as toned as you used to be and the back of your arm never jiggled quite that much…

I have yet to actually go to make use of the gym (but hey, step 1 is actually walking in and handing over money, right?) but that one visit scared me enough to run home and make a calorific dessert 🙂

Generally speaking I’m not a fan of chain restaurants but if it’s late, they are pretty much the only thing open around here.  So if I find myself at Chili’s I order the same thing every time:  their Paradise Pie.  Technically its not a pie, but it is a warm gooey cross between a cake and cookie that has a graham cracker crust and is filled with chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts and served with vanilla ice cream.  It’s decadent, rich and worth every calorie-laden bite.  But naturally a home made version has got to be better, right?!  It is.  I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for blondies because of its simplicity, then added the graham cracker crust and tossed in generous amounts of chocolate, coconut and walnuts.  I’m so hopelessly addicted and the whole “pie” costs less than the 1 dessert eating out!

One Year Ago:  Marbled Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Better than Paradise Pie
Yields 8-10 servings
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen


1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

vanilla ice cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line an 8 inch round cake pan with a parchment circle.  In a small bowl stir together the graham crackers crumbs, 3 tablespoons melted butter and tablespoon and a half sugar until completely combined.  Spread evenly across the bottom of the cake pan, packing slightly, and bake for 4 minutes.  Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the 1/2 cup melted butter and brown sugar.  Whisk in egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add flour and salt and stir until completely combined.  Spread the batter evenly over the graham cracker crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.  The shorter baking time will give you a more gooey center, it will firm up the longer you  bake.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!  Can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, warm in the microwave if desired.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012 12:31 am

    This sounds unvelievable! It’s Hello Dolly Bars in pie version and what could be better than that?

  2. June 7, 2012 8:15 am

    That sounds wonderful – thanks for sharing! I’ll root for you to work up the courage to head to the gym. You can always take a friend – the buddy system isn’t just for kids, you know 😉 Yeah, I’m one of those people who routinely frequents the aforementioned “torture chamber” aka gym. It’s the only way I can eat stuff like this pie without guilt or worry.

    • June 7, 2012 9:05 am

      thank you! yeah I’m working on getting my sister to join so we can torture ourselves together 🙂

  3. June 7, 2012 8:47 am

    Oh man, this recipe looks delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever had a piece of warm pie of any kind with ice cream that I haven’t loved. Thanks for sharing a new kind to try!

  4. June 7, 2012 11:25 am

    I too have an aversion to gyms. I do not, however, have any aversion to this paradise pie!

  5. June 7, 2012 11:27 am

    this pie certainly looks like paradise! I’m training for a half marathon and every long run that I complete means a delish dessert to treat myself with 🙂 I’m so terrible!

  6. June 7, 2012 12:09 pm

    I have not seen Paradise Pie before. This looks and sounds amazing. I kind of want some now.

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