Berry Hand Pies

Berry Hand Pies

I love pies. Like a lot. However, when I was little I used to say I didn’t and even though there was always a delicious array of desserts that were laid out in front of us at family gatherings, my cousin Amy and I would always just ask for a small bowl of freshly whipped cream. I would then proceed to eat it with a spoon. As I got older, my mom starting making more and more wedding cakes which led to me eating more and more ‘cake scraps’ as we called them (the domed piece that is sliced off to create an even layer), which led to me tiring of cake and turning my sights to pie. This recipe is a great way to make pie a more portable dessert that requires no cutting, plates or napkins. Feel free to still make the freshly whipped cream and eat a bowl while these bake!

Berry Hand Pies // Makes 12-16

Crust:

1 c unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes and placed in freezer

2c flour

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

4-6 T ice water, maybe more

Place dry ingredients in the bowl of your food processor or in a regular mixing bowl. Pulse or mix to combine, then add butter and cut in until the butter is in pea-sized chunks. Don’t over mix here, you want nice cold chunks of butter so they flake up in the oven! At this point, if you have used your food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl as you don’t want the butter to continue to break down as you stir in the water. One tablespoon at a time, add ice water, stirring in with a fork until the dough just comes together. Some floury spots should remain and will disappear as you bring the dough together with your hands and knead gently 1-2 times. Use a light touch and press into two thick rectangular shaped ‘disks’. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment.

Roll one piece of dough (keep other in fridge) into a rectangle that’s about ⅛” thick. This is where you can choose your own adventure with size. I cut mine into longer rectangles that would be folded over, but if you want four crimped edges, cut an equal amount of small rectangles that will serve as the tops and bottoms. Arrange rectangles on the baking sheet and place in the fridge while you repeat with the other half of the dough. Keep both pans in the fridge as you mix the filling.

Filling:

2 c frozen berries (I used a mix of blueberry and raspberry, don't thaw!)

3 T flour

3 T sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt

Seal/Top:

1 egg beaten with 1 T water

coarse sugar

Mix together all filling ingredients and remove one pan from the fridge. Place about 2 T on the right side of each long rectangle, leaving enough edge to seal. Brush the edge with the egg wash and fold the other side over the filling, pressing to seal. Do this to your first pie, to ensure the filling is the right amount and will seal properly. Once you have it right, place all the fillings, then seal them all. Using the tines of a fork, press the sealed edges to lock everything in. Brush the tops with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Make a few slits in the top and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately to cool on a wire rack. While the first batch is in the oven, fill, seal, crimp and sprinkle the second batch and bake in the same manner as the first.

These pies are so great just slightly cooled from the oven, but I took them along on a picnic and we ate them at room temperature and they were just as tasty! For a twist on this recipe that kids {ahem, and adults} will love, try spreading 1 tablespoon of your favorite nut butter then 2 tsp of your favorite jam directly onto the dough, then fold, seal, and bake in the same manner, with or without the coarse sugar, as the berry-filled ones! YUM!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie




 

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Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies w. Kettle Chips, Pecans & Toffee

Call them kitchen-sink cookies, garbage or trash cookies...I call them ‘oh yeah that sounds good, ooh! and that too, toss ‘em in!’ cookies. This whole experiment stemmed from an email from King Arthur Flour alerting me that it was National Chocolate Chip Cookie week. My husband loves my OG chocolate chip cookies, so I made those to appease him, but I wanted to try some variations too. The second one I made was actually an adaptation of my oatmeal raisin, but I subbed in dark chocolate for the raisins and it played nicely with the spicy and warm cinnamon. The third is the one I am sharing today - let’s nickname it the ‘Currently Craving’ cookie since you can pretty much change any of the add-ins to be what sounds good in the moment or what you have on hand!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Variety

Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies w. Kettle Chips, Pecans, & Toffee // Makes 4 dozen

¾ c vegan shortening

¼ c unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ c brown sugar, lightly packed

¾ c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

2 ¼ c flour

6 oz milk chocolate, roughly chopped

½ c toffee bits

1 c plain, salted kettle chips, broken into bite-sized pieces

⅔ c pecan halves, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together shortening, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy; 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and beat thoroughly for 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla, soda, and salt; mix to completely combine. Measure in flour, pulse lightly to start the process, then mix on medium speed until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and add remaining ingredients. Mix in with a wooden spoon until just combined, being careful not to crush the chips.

Milk Chocolate and Chips

Using a small scoop (2-3 tablespoons), portion dough onto parchment lined sheet pans and bake 8-10 minutes. I check at 7 minutes, turn if needed, then add more time. Cool for 2 minutes on pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I love the milk chocolate/toffee combo because it takes me back to the days of selling SEE’s chocolate bars to raise money for my 7th grade NASA science trip. Yes, I just said that. I’m also obsessed with salty-sweet and have always wanted to try chips in a cookie. Use whatever little bits and flavors you like, and switch up any of the ingredients after the flour to create your own unique cookie! 

Cookies and Coffee


Then have two with a cup of afternoon (or breakfast, I'm not judging) coffee. 

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie
 

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Triple Chocolate Cookie Bars

A classmate of mine has the terrible, horrible problem that her mom sends her ‘tons of really good Venezuelan chocolate that she doesn’t know what to do with'. Rough, right? Since she knows I love to bake, she entrusted me with several bars with the one caveat that some great recipes come her way so she can have a solution to her problem. I jumped at the chance and these bars are just the beginning...

Triple Chocolate Cookie Bars // Makes 10 large bars*

4oz (½ c) unsalted butter

¾ c sugar

¾ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp espresso powder

1 egg

¼ tsp salt

1 ¼ c flour

¼ c dark cocoa powder, sifted

⅓ c hazelnuts, toasted & chopped

3 oz  chopped good-quality milk chocolate

3 oz  chopped good-quality white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast, peel, and chop your hazelnuts. The easiest way to get the skins off is to place the toasted nuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub them together; the skins can be bitter so don’t skip this step! Prepare your pan by spraying and then lining with parchment that overhangs on each side; *I used an 8” x 5” baking dish but you can use two loaf pans for smaller portions and your yield will be about 20 pieces.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddles attachment, cream together butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy in texture. In a small bowl, stir together extract and espresso powder to mostly dissolve powder; add to butter mixture along with egg and salt. Beat to combine well. Add flour and cocoa, combining the ingredients in short pulses at first, then beat to fully incorporate. With a wooden spoon, stir in nuts and chopped chocolate until it’s thoroughly distributed.

Press dough into prepared pan and bake 22-26 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. The edges will be a bit more set and the center should still be soft when pressed as you want the centers to stay fudgy {notice there was no ‘if’ - you WANT the centers to stay fudgy}. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then grab onto the parchment wings to remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, slice the cookie in ½ inch pieces; if you cut them too thin, they will be a bit too fragile, unless you cut them in half crosswise or make the shorter ones. I think they look fabulous placed sliced-side-up so you can see the big chunks of delicious nuts and chocolate!

Triple Chocolate Cookie Bars

Now at this point I almost melted some dark chocolate and drizzled it over the cookies….but I resisted the urge, and it felt weird. So if you are a lily-guilder like me, drizzle on some chocolate and call these Quadruple-Chocolate Cookie Bars! Enjoy with a large glass of milk, or spiked hot chocolate as needed.

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

 

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