Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

That's right, folks!  Today, March 14th (3-14) is Pi ( π) Day.  For those of us needing a refresher: 
π : The number which represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter (its width) and its circumference ( distance around the circle).  π is an irrational number, an infinite and non-repeating decimal.  Oh yeah.  π is forever.  Neat!

Here's a small sampling of π's value:
3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209 7494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651 3282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102 7019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461 2847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432 6648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920 9628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841 4695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738193261179 3105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011 9491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798 6094370277053921717629317675238467481846766940513200056 8127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901 2249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290 2196086403441815981362977477130996051870721134999999837 2978049951059731732816096318595024459455346908302642522 3082533446850352619311881710100031378387528865875332083 8142061717766914730359825349042875546873115956286388235 3787593751957781857780532171226806613001927876611195909. . . 
And it goes on and on forever!  Most of us know π's approximate value as 3.141592654 (okay, so that's how many I've got memorized) or 3.14, but there are folks out there who know π to a kah-razy number of digits!  Visit the Pi Day website to learn more about π and see it to 1 million(!) digits.

The good folks over at ScienceBlogs™ are teaming up with Serious Eats to host their second annual Pi Day Pie Bake-Off  (three:  the number of times I've used the word "folks" thus far).  Up for grabs: a $314 Grand Prize.  Three category winners will also be selected: Judges' Pick, Most Photogenic, and Best Concept Pie.  Category winners will receive this shirt courtesy of mental_floss.  Best of luck to all!

The competition promises to be fierce, with all contestants hoping to top last year's winning pie: the Spicy Pie Bacon Squared.  So the question remains:  how can I top BACON without actually using bacon??? can't actually be done (owing to bacon's awesomeness), but I think I've come pretty darned close.

You may remember from earlier this year when I posted CakeSpy's Cookie Cake Pie (under the fitting title "America, THIS is Why We're Fat").  Well I decided to use that concept for my Bake-Off entry, but passing on the convenience products I relied upon in my previous attempt.  May I present:   

Celebratory Cookie Cake Pi 
Cream cheese frosting (complete with sprinkles!), vanilla confetti cake, chocolate chips, and peanut butter cookie.  All nestled in a rich and tasty cream cheese crust.  

Recipe notes:
  • Don't be intimidated by the length of the ingredients list; the pie comes together in no time!
  • You can use the same bowl to mix up the crust, cookie, and cake layers if you wipe the bowl clean in between--no washing needed!
  • The cake portion uses the reverse creaming method, which can be applied to nearly any standard cake recipe.  You'll love it once you've tried it!

Celebratory Cookie Cake Pi (serves 12)
Original concept by CakeSpy

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. butter, softened
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. sugar

Peanut butter cookie layer:
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Confetti cake layer:
cup sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup butter, softened
1 egg white
¾ cup milk
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
2 Tbl. rainbow sprinkles (jimmies work best)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring, if desired
Rainbow sprinkles (any kind)

Preheat oven to 350°F and have ready a 9-inch pie plate.

Combine crust ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Stir together until a soft dough forms.  Roll dough out between two sheets of waxed paper to an 11-12" circle.  Fit dough into pie plate.  You can flute the edges at this point, if you're fancy like that.  Wipe bowl clean.
Combine cookie ingredients (except chocolate chips, though no one would complain if you decided to throw them in at this point) in bowl.  Stir until smooth and combined.  The batter will be thick and cohesive.  Pat cookie dough in an even layer over pie crust.  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.  Wipe bowl clean.

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl.  Mix on lowest speed of a handheld mixer to homogenize.  Add softened butter and continue mixing on low to medium speed until mixture appears sandy.  Add egg white and continue mixing until incorporated.  Combine milk and extracts in a measuring cup.  Add to flour mixture in two aliquots, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl if needed.  Blend in rainbow sprinkles.  Pour cake batter over chocolate chip layer.

Bake in a 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting (cake portion may sink slightly during cooling).

For the frosting:
Combine cream cheese and butter in a clean mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Blend on low speed until sugar has incorporated.  Increase speed to medium and continue beating until fluffy.  Blend in food coloring, if using.  Spread evenly over cooled pie.  Top with rainbow sprinkles and enjoy! :)


  1. I haven't ever made a cookie cake pie...looks awesomely sweet!

  2. Happy Pi Day to you too! Ever since you first posted this a while ago I've been dying to make it...3 amazing desserts in one...what's not to love?! ;)

  3. I am so sad I didn't see Pi Day coming!!! I love pi and memorized it to the tenth digit in high school for some reason. Still remember it...

    And... I just drooled over that pie. Showed my friend... she said, "Yes. Make it now." :)

  4. Happy Pi Day :) Your pie looks great and I wish I could have a slice right now....

  5. I think I'm loving this recipe better than the 1.0 ready made version. Can't wait to try it for Easter. Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a cool idea. Happy belated pi day to you!