Hershey Kiss "Cutie Pies"
This past week I had quite a few requests to bake for different events. Since I had actual orders to fill (and they were all items I had baked before so I didn't photograph them), I didn't have a lot of spare time to try new recipes. On Friday, however, I had a few hours to experiment while waiting for a cake to cool. Again, not a lot of time available, so it had to be something quick and easy.
I recalled a recipe for Hershey Kiss mini-pies I happened upon awhile ago, which fit the bill. All that's needed is rolled out pie crust dough (either pre-made or homemade), Hershey Kisses, an egg wash (egg white whisked with a bit of water added), sugar, and some melted chocolate (if desired). What could be simpler?
I began by unrolling out one of the pie crusts (take the dough out of the refrigerator ahead of time so it's room temperature) onto a floured surface. Next, I unwrapped some Hershey Kisses and placed them on the dough. I used a set of graduated circle cookie cutters, but you can just as easily use a knife to cut a circle around the Kiss.
Be sure the circle is large enough to wrap around the Kiss. At first I cut out a circle that was a bit too small, making it difficult to wrap the dough around the top of the Kiss. As I continued, I cut out the circles using the next cutter size up.
To fold the dough over the Kiss bring the top and bottom part of the circle together over the top of the Kiss and seal it by pressing the dough together. Then, do the same with the sides of the dough folded over the Kiss and sealed tightly.
After you have used up all of the pie crust dough (I re-rolled the scraps and continued making pie crust circles). Brush some egg wash over the crust and sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.
You can sprinkle confectioners sugar on top for some extra sweetness. I did not, and after tasting one right out of the oven, I was not impressed. The Kiss did not melt into gooey chocolate and, in my opinion, there was too much crust. They weren't terrible, just not quite my taste. Perhaps with some sugar added to the crust I would have preferred them.
I believed some improvement could be made, however, so I decided to melt a few chocolate wafers and drizzle the chocolate over the mini pies. I was much happier with them! Again, they are not overly sweet and chocolatey, but in some instances they can be the perfect thing to serve, such as an afternoon snack with coffee or tea.
I just love the Hershey Kiss shape in the middle when you bite into it. So cute!!
UPDATE: I changed my mind. I tried one today with some tea and I actually loved it!!
Cherry Pie Poppers
I found myself with little more time and one more pie crust to use. I didn't want to make any more Hershey Kiss mini-pies and I had a can of cherry pastry filling (which, looked essentially to be cherry pie filling with the cherries cut up into bits) in my pantry, so I decided to give cherry pie poppers a try.
I used two different sizes of circle cutters to make the pie crust dough circles - a larger one for the pie shell, and a smaller one to top the pie popper. As with the Hershey Kiss pie, you can also use a knife to cut circles out. Continue rolling out and cutting the dough scraps until you've used it all. With one circle of pie crust I was able to make 12 pie poppers (using a mini-muffin baking pan).
I lined the mini-muffin pan with the crust circles and then spooned the pastry filling into them.
After each pie popper is covered and pinched together, use a knife to slash a line through the top of the pie popper crust:
Brush each pie popper with egg wash:
And bake for 19-20 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350 degrees.
Oh, they looked and SMELLED so delicious!! I couldn't wait to try one, and they did not disappoint. Another thing I love about these poppers is the portion control. For me, two were quite satisfying, rather than eating an entire slice of pie. This is good for those of us who are self-control challenged.
Obviously, I could use some work on pinching together seams, since these split. Then again, I like the bit of color peaking through. If I were wrapping these in treat bags the overflow would be a problem. I suppose it will be a case-by-case decision! Overall, I am very happy with them and can't wait for an opportunity to bake them again.
Some improvements for the next time: I will add more filling to the pie crust shells. This was my first time making these and I wasn't following a recipe or instructions, just kind of winging it. I didn't know how much filling a pie popper would hold. I could have used more. Also, I think the placing of a bit of butter under the top crust (as I do with full sized cherry pies) will achieve a nice, buttery crust taste. Lastly, in the future I will not be using canned cherry filling. I much prefer my homemade sour cherry pie filling and will make that instead.
As for using pre-made pie crust, well, I am intimidated by making it from scratch. I have been using pre-made pie crusts and that has worked out fine. Since I've started to experiment with baking processes more, I think it's time to give pie crust a try. My friend Karla promises me a tutorial, since she is known to be "pie crust Queen." We'll see how that goes!
I'm excited to make these pie poppers in additional flavors, such as blueberry, pumpkin, chocolate, etc. I'm so happy pie season is here!!! Are you?
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