Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Butterfinger pie perfect for family gathering

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If it's Labor Day weekend and there are 20-plus people gathered around a huge pile of pulled pork — and a giant bowl of coleslaw — it must be the Button family reunion in Pittsburgh.

My nephew Peter's pulled pork was only one food highlight. Add to it, spaghetti with my sister-in-law Julie's homemade meatballs and sauce, my niece Chrissy's pepperoni rolls and chocolate chip cookies, two birthday cakes for my grand niece Rachel, barbecued chicken, numerous dips and chips, salads, cold meats and cheese for sandwiches ... We all left Sunday night at least five pounds heavier.

As Julie and I (the matriarchs of the gathered clan — wow, that hurts to write!) sat and watched everyone intermingling, we again congratulated ourselves for coming up with the idea some three-plus years ago. Julie and my late husband's brother, Michael, also now deceased, lived in southeastern Ohio, 700 miles from North Adams, and visits were way too infrequent. The reunions have allowed her three kids an opportunity to get to know my son, David, the baby of the first cousins by about 10 years. He's also gotten to know their kids (first cousins once removed? I never did get how that worked), who are closer to his age. Each year the bonds grow tighter.

It's been said when you see a cardinal, it is a representative of a loved one who has passed. This year, as with the past two reunions, there were two male cardinals always on the edge of my nephew Peter's backyard. Coincidence? I don't think so. I think my husband, Guy, and his brother were letting us know they were there celebrating with us ...

I wandered into the kitchen Saturday afternoon and found two of my grandnieces smashing Butterfinger candy bars. I also spotted a jar of peanut butter and Cool Whip nearby. Nothing wrong with that combination. After supper, they unveiled their masterpiece — a Butterfinger pie. All I can say is, wow! (And yes, I did see the recipe on the counter later and noted where it came from ...) Be warned, it's very rich and a thin slice is more than enough, although my nephew, Peter, would disagree!

BUTTERFINGER PIE

Recipe courtesy of spicysouthernkitchen.com

INGREDIENTS:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 (12.5-ounce) bag fun-sized Butterfinger bars, crushed (reserve 2 bars to sprinkle on top)

1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

1 store-bought Oreo or chocolate graham cracker crust

DIRECTIONS:

Beat cream cheese and peanut butter with an electric mixer until smooth.

Mix in vanilla.

Beat in powdered sugar until smooth.

Fold in crushed butterfingers.

Fold in Cool Whip.

Spread filling in crust. Sprinkle reserved butterfingers on top.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.


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