Chocolate Hand Pies

Bake my lava cakes next!

overhead image of heart shaped chocolate hand pies drizzled with chocolate topping

Happy national PIE DAY! Yes, today January 23rd is National Pie Day.

Let’s spread it all around. ♥

heart shaped chocolate hand pie on a silver plate

This past week, I’ve been working with chocolate/cocoa pie dough. It’s not heavy on the chocolate because I found that to be nearly impossible. However, there’s a slight cocoa taste that will surely complement a chocolate ganache filling. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and, well, because the world needs a little more love (and always more chocolate!) … I made HEART hand pies.

Today let’s look at step-by-step photos and chat about:

  1. Chocolate pie dough
  2. The filling
  3. Bringing it all together!

And add a heart shaped cookie cutter to your Amazon cart if you don’t already have one!

2 images of chocolate pie dough in a food processor

The chocolate pie dough is an all-butter pie crust. I prefer to make regular pie dough with a mix of shortening and butter, but I found the best results for *chocolate* pie dough with all butter. The dry ingredients are like regular pie dough, but we’ll sub out some flour for unsweetened cocoa powder. Since there are no leavening agents, you can use either dutch-process or natural cocoa powder. I use dutch-process. Add a little sugar since cocoa can be bitter. And Instead of ice cold water, use ice cold milk. Cocoa powder has the tendency to dry things out, so I suggest a richer liquid, like milk or cream, in the pie dough.

As always, keep your chocolate pie dough super cold at all times. These guarantee chocolate pie dough success: (1) cold ingredients and (2) chilling the pie dough before shaping it.

chocolate pie dough rolled out with a heart cookie cutter

After the pie dough has chilled, roll it out and cut into shapes.

Quick tip: place the heart shapes in the refrigerator so they stay cold as you prepare the hand pie filling.

The filling is a simple chocolate ganache made from pure chocolate and heavy cream. Pure chocolate like those 4 ounce bars you get next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle (Baker’s brand, Ghirardelli baking bars, etc). But here’s a little secret to amp up the flavor. Add PEANUT BUTTER. This, of course, is optional and you can make a plain chocolate ganache if preferred. But if you’re not concerned about the chocolate hand pies being nut-free, why not?

I’ll include the optional addition of peanut butter in the recipe. My pictured hand pies were filled with peanut butter chocolate ganache!! ↓

chocolate ganache in a glass bowl with a wood spoon

2 images of brushing heart pie dough cut outs with egg wash and spooning chocolate ganache filling onto the pie crust

When assembling the chocolate hand pies, make sure you brush the edges of the bottom heart with egg wash. This helps the top heart stick. Fill with a spoonful of ganache, then seal shut with a fork.

using a fork to seal the chocolate hand pies shut on a silpat baking mat on a baking sheet

overhead image of heart shaped chocolate hand pies on a baking sheet lined with a silpat baking mat before baking

Add a little egg wash and coarse sugar on top of the hand pies before the oven. The chocolate hand pies will take about 15-18 minutes in a hot oven. Don’t overbake! I overbaked my first batch and they tasted very dry. Tasty, yes… but I needed a gallon of water after 1 bite. You only want to bake them until the edges are pretty set. The filling should be warm and a little gooey. Deeee-lish.

Top with more chocolate (and you can melt it down with peanut butter!!) and you’ve got yourself a triple chocolate heart-shaped treat.

These sorta remind me of chocolate pop-tarts. And, actually, this is exactly how we make homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts!

heart shaped chocolate hand pies drizzled with chocolate topping on a white plate

Print
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overhead image of heart shaped chocolate hand pies drizzled with chocolate topping

Chocolate Hand Pies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 14 3-inch hand pies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

How to make delicious, warm, and gooey chocolate hand pies with chocolate pie dough and chocolate ganache filling!


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 needed*
  • 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 chopped*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream*
  • optional: 2 Tablespoons (31g) creamy peanut butter

Topping

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: Cuisinart Food Processor | Glass Mixing Bowls | Rolling Pin | Heart Cookie CutterPastry BrushBaking Sheets | Silpat Baking Mat
  3. Temperature Matters: I suggest whole milk, half-and-half, or even heavy cream for the pie dough. Make sure it is ice cold.
  4. Chocolate: 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.
  5. Heavy Cream: 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.
  6. Quantity: This chocolate dough yields 2 9-inch pie crusts.

Keywords: hand pies, chocolate hand pies, heart pies

heart shaped chocolate hand pies on silver plates with a glass bowl of chocolate topping

106 Comments

  1. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    ahhhh the crust looks so chocolate-y!! i know you said that it’s not really, but combined with the ganache and glaze, i’m sure it’s the perfect dose of chocolate (:

  2. So cute, Sally! And there are so many awesome cookie cutters…flower and butterfly ones for spring! Also, I’d love to use cherry-pie filling, since cherries and chocolate are about the only combination with chocolate that I like as much as citrus 🙂

    1. I was thinking cherry! So good!

  3. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    These are so cute and look delicious!  Happy National Pie Day!

  4. Looks great! Did you try melted peanut butter in the middle? Also, melted peanut butter drizzle?
    I might try that way and yours too!?!?!

    1. I was going to have the drizzle be ONLY melted peanut butter but decided for chocolate and peanut butter instead. So good either way!

  5. Sara @ Last Night's Feast says:

    Sally, these are so so cute! I am a sucker for heart-shaped treats =)

  6. In honor of Valentines Day, I might make it into a tart and swirl chocolate and raspberry. I do love chocolate and peanut butter though. Getting some SERIOUS IDEAS here!!!!

  7. I always thought pie day was on Pi day! Welp, I won’t object to TWO pie days…especially when it involves chocolate-filled chocolate-crust.

  8. These look so cute and perfect for Valentine’s Day! I always loved handpies, turnovers and treats like that and always thought about a chocolate hand pie version but never actually thought about making them. I don’t know why though, because it’s such a good idea and look how nice yours turned out! I had no idea it was national Pie day… I have to make some sort of pie to celebrate right??! And these handpies definitely cause a stir in my forever chocolate loving heart 🙂

    1. Hope you try them!

  9. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    These chocolate hand pies look so amazing and definitely perfect for Valentine’s Day. But chocolate pie dough <3

  10. These look awesome! Do you know if coconut milk could be substituted for the heavy cream? My son would love these but is lactose intolerant. I can usually sub lactaid milk and Earth balance butter with good results but I have been hesitant to try any cream recipes. These look too good to skip!

    1. Heidi Schuchman says:

      FYI I am dairy free and have had great success substituting soy or almond milk creamer for heavy cream in dessert recipes!

    2. I’d say full fat coconut milk could work in the ganache– and any milk works for the crust!

  11. Oh, man. I wonder if a copy cay oreo filling would work here. Ohhhhh, and I have really dark cocoa from KAF, too, to mimic oreos. (Perhaps it would not work in this crust ratio?)

    1. I’m unsure how to make an oreo-ish filling and bake it, but it SOUNDS really good!! The dark cocoa would be great in the crust.

  12. Brittney @ BrunetteLovesBrownies says:

    These looks so yummy! I love anything that involves ganache, in fact when I worked in a bakery I would often just eat a spoonful of it from the large tub we kept at all times! I have never thought about using it as a filling this way but I think I will need to! This would probably make a great crust for tart shells as well to add just a subtle chocolate touch!

    1. Yessssss I love ganache too. All you need is a spoon.

  13. Osama sulaiman says:

    Hi sally 
    I just wanted to step by from instagram to say that i have already used your pie dough recipe with a little variation a year ago to make one of the best chocolate pop tarts ever

  14. Rebecca Blackwell says:

    What I wouldn’t do to have one of these in front of me right now. I love that they include peanut butter. Chocolate and peanut butter are one of my absolute favorite flavor combinations. I might also try these with Nutella instead of peanut butter. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. YES!! Nutella would be amazing!

  15. I found what I’ll be making my sweetheart for Valentine’s Day! These are absolutely perfect! Chocolate and peanut butter are 2 of his favorite things!!! I’m very curious as to how the chocolate pie dough will taste. Such a brilliant idea 🙂 Thanks Sally!!

    1. You are welcome! I hope you both love them!

  16. Oh my!  These look divine!  Just in time for a tea I’m hosting this week! Thanks!

  17. Sally-as expected your chocolate pie crust looks amazing. The sweet little hand pies are lovely too! I see other people’s thoughts on using the pie dough and I love the raspberry idea!
    Here’s to making pies!

    1. I’m definitely trying raspberry soon!

  18. Cori @ Sweet Coralice says:

    Sally…these look like pure perfection! I’m not a big milk drinker but now I’m really craving a tall glass of it with a plateful of these! My son LOVES making pies and we were just talking about a chocolate pie crust the other day. Now we’ve got one! Can’t wait to make it when he gets back from his vacation trip!! Thanks for the share 🙂

    1. I’m excited for you to try them!!

  19. Heidi Schuchman says:

    This is the most fun recipe I’ve seen in a while, and I need to tell you that in all my years of baking, I’ve never made pie or pie crust before, but I need to try now, because CHOCOLATE. AND PEANUT BUTTER. AND HEARTS! Can’t wait to try it, will be subbing almond milk creamer for the heavy cream in the ganache to make them more tummy-friendly! Thanks for spreading the love, Sally!

    1. Let me know how they turn out!

    2. How thin should these be rolled? 1/4 inch or thicker??

  20.  These look amazing! I do have a question about a potential spin-off of this recipe. As much as I love the heart shaped pies, would I be able to make tarts instead? I’d feel less guilty eating petite tarts as opposed to these adorable hand pies. Following the same premise as your Pecan Pie Tarts (they’re phenomenal and I make them frequently), can I cut the dough out with a round 2.5″ cookie cutter, stuff it into mini muffin pan cavities and fill it with the ganache?  If so, how long would you suggest I bake them for and at what temperature? Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Hi Jordana! I’d definitely say so! But I would cover the mini pies with another small circle cut-out and seal shut. Direct heat on the ganache could scorch it. I’d say 400F degrees, maybe 15-16 minutes? Or a minute or two longer. Let me know what you try.

  21. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    Oh my gosh these look amazing! In a away it kind of reminds me of a chocolate poptart- crispy crust and smooth inside. I’m a major chocoholic so I would definitely enjoy this!

    1. They taste like pop-tarts too!

  22. I was waiting to see what you were going to create with that chocolate pie crust Sally and it has exceeded all expectations!!  I am so going to bake these up for my man on Valentines Day, I just wish that it was today and not a couple of weeks away.

  23. Michelle @ Brown Butter and Biscuits says:

    These look INCREDIBLE!!! What an awesomely creative idea!!

  24. SALLY! This crust recipe opens up SO MANY OPTIONS for new pie flavors. Did you test it at all in a full size pie?

    1. As of today, not yet– but I hope to soon!

  25. Pinned these look perfect. On a side note…is peanut butter ever optional??? haha

    1. Haha….not in my book 🙂

  26. Blogtastic Food says:

    The is a wonderful dessert to have for national pie day. Also good for valentines day (;

  27. Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says:

    These look like the BEST possible homemade version of a chocolate fudge Pop-Tart. In LOVE.

  28. This might be the one recipe that finally convinces me to try from-scratch pies. I love the idea of hand pies, looks easier for a beginner. Though what I really want to try is this pie crust in the chocolate pudding pie recipe!
    I might try this over the weekend and make simple rectangle shaped hand pies. I could just cut out squares and fold it over
    Also, love the variations people have suggested! I’m all for a black forest version with cherries and some cherry liqueur. Or maybe a cream cheese filling swirled with cherry preserves?

    1. I love the idea of a cream cheese filling– do let me know if you test anything out though!

  29. ARE YOU TRYING TO BLOW UP THE UNIVERSE? I’m on a DIET for pie’s sake! This is the worst and BEST recipe that’s ever happened to me. I hope you’re proud of yourself, I have to drop everything and make these IMMEDIATELY.

    PS: It may be “pie” day but it’s not PI day, which is actually March 14. Look it up, smarty pants.

    1. Oh trust me, I know Pi day is a whole other thing!! So excited!!

    2. London. Having a homemade hand pie once in a while won’t ruin your diet. And these probably freeze well. So you can keep them in the freezer for one e in a while treats .
      And as far as pi day goes , I really hate math. But i would much rather celebrate
      Pie day.

  30. I am so in love with your photography!

    1. Thank you so much, Jillian!!

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