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

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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

105 Comments

  1. Hi. Can this be eaten in a day or two or is it for immediate consumption.

    1. The recipe says that you can store it at room temperature for 2 days or up to a week in the fridge.

  2. Hi Sally! What if I were to bake the pie crust in muffin tins, to make little tarts? How long do you think I would bake them for? 

    1. I’m not sure on the exact time, but it would definitely work. I would cover the little pies with a small circle cut-out of pie crust and seal shut. Direct heat on the ganache could scorch it. Let me know what you try!

  3. Oh my gosh. THEE cutest. And, as per usual for your posts, thee most delicious. These are totally going to make for the happiest heart day!

  4. I bet that filling would be good with a little coffee in the chocolate ganache! Or maybe a little orange zest? Hmmmm…crystallized ginger?

    Or maybe a big blob of cookie butter! ha ha ha!

    1. ALL OF THE ABOVE!

  5. Jennifer @Because Food Is Love says:

    These are adorable! I know my kids would love these for a special Valentine’s Day desserts. My son can’t have peanuts, so I usually sub in almond butter, however I’ve never added it to a ganache. Have you?

    1. Hi Jennifer! I personally haven’t tried it with almond butter, but you can leave out the nut butter entirely. If you want to try the AB though, go for it!

  6. Wow, they look delicious!!! 🙂

  7. Oh my goodness – Molly and Clara and I have been testing hand pies this week for a little Valentine’s Day fun. If I give those two-year-olds sprinkles, they’ll help me bake anything. 😉 But chocolate pie dough…I’m in! Next on our list!

  8. Tiffany at Weird Little French Cookie says:

    These are IN THE OVEN as we speak – I’ll report back on them! My dough was extremely dry, though, and I had to add probably an extra 2 tbsp of cream to it for a rollable consistency. I did use dark cocoa, so maybe it’s drier than regular cocoa? We shall see how they turn out 🙂

  9. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    GIRRRRL

    Chocolate pie crust filled with pb chocolate ganache???!!! THIS IS MY DREAM

  10. Rachael @ Rachael's Foodie Life says:

    OMG yum!! I have been searching for a chocolate pastry recipe forever and your recipes are always amazing!! I cannot wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing Sally

  11. Platt College says:

    No need to make them in the shape of a heart. I still want one!

  12. Simone | Wholesome Baker Woman says:

    Hi Sally,
    These really spoke to me, as soon as I saw them on twitter the other day! Ok, chocolate generally seems to speak to me and I do have a chocolate thing going on at the moment. I have been admiring all the heart shaped treats. I wonder if I can make them work as a gluten free version and replace the sugar with something like honey? Maybe I should try and turn them into a little tart and pipe a light coloured heart on top instead?! I am sure something like that would go down well at the bakery for Valentine’s Day. Thank you so much for your inspirations! x

    1. I haven’t tried any variations like that, but let me know how it works. I’m nervous honey in the pie crust isn’t a great idea. It may ruin the texture! Let me know how it goes.

  13. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    I love your chocolate pie dough, and that ganache filling is everything!

  14. Shellie Wilson says:

    Wow! these look amazingly yum. I am planning on serving them as dessert. Do I need a cream or icecream to go with them ?

    1. Ice cream would be tasty to serve with them!

  15. Tiffany at Weird Little French Cookie says:

    MADE THEM! – http://www.weirdlittlefrenchcookie.com/chocolate-hand-pies/

    – thanks for a yummy recipe!

  16. ColleenB. ~Texas says:

    I do have a football cookie cutter so think Il be making these for Super Bowl Sunday. I just might make some heart shaped ones as well. Thanks 4 the recipe :}

  17. Yaaay! I’m so happy you have these here. I make hand pies all the time, and I love to do cookie cutter shapes, but every time I try chocolate pies they aren’t so great. I’m super excited to try your recipe out! Now I won’t be limited to fruit pies. Thanks again Sally. You are always my hero! 

  18. Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Especially if your loved one is a chocoholic! 🙂

  19. Hey! Is there anyway to make this dairy free? My husband and I are lactose intolerant, but these look AMAZING!

    1. Hi Aunica! I’m really unsure with this particular recipe, I’m sorry!

  20. If I make the hand pies on the weekend and want to bring them to work on Valentine’s Day, how should I store them so they stay fresh??

    1. See step 8! 🙂

  21. Supriya Kutty says:

    It is very much adorable. I wish i could eat it from the screen of my desktop. i am gonna try this recipe this weekend. Thank you for sharing this.

  22. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    Oh my goodness… mmmmmm! These remind me of a super cute (and much tastier) version of pop tarts!

  23. How thin do you roll the dough? And what exactly do you mean when you say to bake until the edges are set? Will the middle seem undercooked?

  24. I made these but instead of peanut butter, I used raspberry preserves! Good stuff

    1. Such a great idea!

  25. Heidi Schuchman says:

    I made this for Valentine’s Day, but because of lactose issues, I subbed in vanilla soy creamer for the cream in both the crust and the ganache. They turned out great and delicious, highly recommend!

  26. Deepika Rathore says:

    Wow, It looks great and too yummy. All photographs are also beautiful.

  27. These are amazing! I made half the batch with my almond filling which was just as great. How long would a 9 inch pie need to bake for and would i need to pre bake the crust?

  28. Timothy Schroeder says:

    Can these be deep fried ?

    1. I can’t see why not.

    2. Curious….did you deep fry them. Timothy?

  29. Judy Kahansky says:

    I just love these hand pies! And will pin the recipe to make later for sure. I haven’t made a chocolate pie crust before, so looking forward to trying your recipe! Thanks.

    1. Chocolate pie crust is definitely worth trying!! Let me know how you like them!

  30. Would love to know if putting raspberry or strawberry filling instead of chocolate would work?

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