There comes a time when you must make hand pies. Why not make that day today? I’ve made all sorts of different hand pies. Marionberry and lemon ones in the form of a pop tart. And apple blueberry turnovers. So there’s no time like the present to enjoy these chocolate cream hand pies.
The crust can make or break a recipe. I find a combination of unsalted butter and shortening make for a flaky, yet firm dough. Firm enough to handle a filling without the support of a pan.
Whenever I make pie crust, chilling the dough really helps with the flakiness. If the butter is too warm, the burst of hot air won’t create that great flaky texture. Chilling the dough prior to rolling it out, as well as after you’ve cut your shapes, also ensures the dough will hold its shape and bake up nicely. King Arthur Flour is an excellent resource for recipes and how-tos in the baking world. Here’s a great link explaining the different types of flours if you are wanting to use something different. And as always – weigh your ingredients! It’s so much more accurate, especially in baking.
Another thing I recommend is using a heavy bottomed saucepan. Sur la Table has an excellent collection of sturdy pans. They come with lids, which is great to curtail any spills or splatters. Especially helpful for me since I make a huge mess anytime I’m cooking. It’s so much more fun cooking than cleaning up. Am I right?!
If you are pressed for time, you could always buy a pre-made pie dough. No judgment here. Use a large circle cutter and chill the rounds before filling. I also run the pin a few more times over the cut dough to make sure it’s thin enough. The crust poofs up quite a bit. If the dough is too thick, the filling to crust ratio is off.
Hope you enjoy these chocolate cream hand pies as much as I did! Leave a comment if you make these and as always, tag me in your photos on IG.
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Chocolatey goodness fills a flaky pie crust for the best of both pie worlds.
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups | 12.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shortening, chilled
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, chilled
- 6–8 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
To make the crust:
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl.
- Add the chilled shortening and work it with your fingers until you have evenly crumbled pieces.
- Add the chilled butter and working with a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture is blended. Leaving little chunks of butter is fine – this will create nice air pockets when baked.
- Add in 4 tablespoons of ice water and toss gently to combine. Continue to drizzle water into mixture until it is fairly cohesive and holds together when gathered and squeezed in your hands.
- Be careful not to add too much water or overwork the dough.
- Divide dough in half, roughly shape into two discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least one hour.
- To roll out dough, lightly flour a work surface and roll one disc at a time to desired thickness. Use a large round cutter and place discs on parchment lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate at least one hour, remove and roll out discs several more times to produce a thinner crust. Pop back in freezer while making the filling.
To make the filling:
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine cocoa powder, brown sugar, cream, salt and roughly half of the chopped chocolate.
- Over medium-low heat, whisk until melted. Continue cooking on low heat and a gentle simmer, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add remaining chocolate, cut up butter, and vanilla. Stir until mixture is smooth.
- Set aside to cool (if in a hurry, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes.)
To assemble pies:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment and place four rounds on pan. Using a pastry brush, dab water around the edge of the disc.
- Add 2 tablespoons of chocolate filling to eat round in the center. Fold one side over the filling, pinching edges together. Use a fork to seal the edges. Pop back in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Check if crust is golden brown – if not – put back in for 3-5 more minutes.
Keywords: chocolate, chocolate cream filling, hand pies, mini pies