Chocolate Hand Pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons (24g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) cold milk or heavy cream, plus more as needed1
  • egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk or heavy cream
  • optional: 2 Tablespoons coarse sugar for topping

Filling

  • one 4 ounce bar (113g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped2
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream3
  • optional: 2 Tablespoons (31g) creamy peanut butter

Topping

  • 2 ounces (57g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped2
  • 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon (16g) peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and cubed butter into a large food processor. Pulse 15-20x until coarse crumbs form. Alternatively, you can use a large bowl and pastry cutter. Slowly drizzle in the cold milk or cream while pulsing (or stirring). After all the milk or cream is added, the dough should look slightly shaggy and be a little soft. If it's too dry, add another Tablespoon of milk or cream. Try not to overwork the dough. Divide the dough in half and form each into 1 inch thick discs. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 5 days.
  2. On a floured work surface (you can "flour" with cocoa powder too!), carefully roll out each pie dough with a rolling pin. Cut into heart shapes (using a 3 inch heart cookie cutter). Re-roll any scraps. Refrigerate the hearts as you prepare the filling. (I make room and refrigerate them on 2 baking sheets.)
  3. Make the filling: Place chopped chocolate into a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to boil, immediately remove from heat then pour over the chocolate. Stir gently and slowly using a wooden spoon until the ganache is smooth. Stir in peanut butter, if using. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes. During this time, it will slowly thicken.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  5. Remove the hearts from the refrigerator. Arrange on 2 large baking sheets if you haven't done so already. Brush the edges of half of the hearts with egg wash. Add a spoonful of filling on top of half of the hearts. Top with another heart (lightly stretch the top heart slightly if needed to cover). Press down the top edges to seal, then use a fork to crimp the sides to completely seal. Brush the top of each hand pie with egg wash. Top with coarse sugar, if desired.
  6. Bake the hand pies for 15-18 minutes, just until the edges are set. The tops of the hand pies may look a little soft. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before drizzling with chocolate and serving.
  7. Chocolate drizzle: Melt the chopped chocolate and oil (and peanut butter, if using) together in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. You can also melt in a double boiler if you have one. Drizzle over pies.
  8. Cover and store leftover hand pies at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make ahead tip: The chocolate pie dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. The hand pies can be prepared through step 5 and refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking. Bake hand pies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes:

This chocolate dough yields 2 9-inch pie crusts.

  1. I suggest whole milk, half-and-half, or even heavy cream for the pie dough. Make sure it is ice cold.
  2. For the filling and topping, the chocolate used should be pure chocolate. Not chocolate chips. Pure chocolate produces the best tasting-- and the best texture-- for both. Pure chocolate is typically sold in 4 ounce bars in the baking aisle. Look for Baker's brand, Ghirardelli, Lindt, Nestle, etc.
  3. Chocolate ganache is made with heavy cream/heavy whipping cream. Alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraiche. Instead of heating the sour cream or crème fraiche separately, melt either with the 4 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler until melted and combined. I find the best tasting ganache is with heavy cream.

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