I met Jennie Perillo back in Chicago when we both attended the Wilton Food Blogger Workshop. We were placed next to each other and little did we realize that later we’d be teamed up for a cake decorating event.

I tend to get along with Jen(n)s, a lot of them are my customers based on my company/blog name – but more than that Jennie and I were very similar. We both had young kids, we both were all about cooking healthy for our kids and we both shared a love of farmer’s markets. We also had the same minimalist design aesthetic which came in handy for the cake competition! After the trip I kept up with her on twitter and her blog.

A few days ago her husband Mikey died of a sudden heart attack, no warning, no time to say goodbye. I was devastated for her. Jennie posted that on August 12 she wanted people to make Peanut Butter Pie – Mikey’s favorite, and “share it with someone you love.” (Check out all the people who supported and participated on twitter with the hastag: #apieformikey)

I took her recipe and made it into cupcakes, so that I could share it even more easily. The kids and I are going to take them to our weekly family dinner at O.G.’s house. Slow down, take it all in – and cherish the ones you love today.

Individual Peanut Butter Pies
(adapted from Jennifer Perillo’s recipe, here)

8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Prep a cupcake pan with high-sided liners.

I used Trader Joe’s chocolate filled JoJos. By just smashing them up, cream filling and all, you don’t even need to add butter to make a proper crust.

Put them in a bag, smash with a rolling pin until you get a crumb. Press the cookie crumb mixture into the bottoms of the cupcake liners.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour evenly into each liner over the cookie crust. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts on top. Place in the fridge.

In the bowl of an electric mixer whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a separate bowl of the electric mixer cream the cream cheese and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Fold in the whipped cream until combined.

Pour evenly on top of the cookie/peanut mixture into each of the cupcake liners. Let set in the the fridge overnight before serving.