My baby sister is getting married next summer. We’re about ankle-deep at this point in trying to get some of the basics set. The thing is, she can’t really be related to me because she’s not a huge fan of cake. (I know! Right?!)
So, I’m thinking that if we can convince my mom, and perhaps my future brother-in-law… she can go with some kind of dessert bar.
Now, I would LOVE to be able to actually make such a thing happen for her all by myself, but given that the wedding will be in Texas, and I live in Minnesota, this seems unlikely. But perhaps I can make some recommendations… like these mini chocolate cream pies.
What You Need:
For the crust:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. butter
For the filling:
3/4 cup butter (at room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
5 oz. semisweet or unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs (or 3/4 cup ‘pasteurized egg product’ to protect from salmonella)
For the topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
In the bowl of a mixer, or in a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Add shortening and butter, and either mix on low or cut in with a pastry cutter just until you get coarse crumbs, like you see above. (About 30 seconds on low in my Kitchen Aid.)
Add the cream, with the mixer on low, until it just begins to form a ball (about 30-60 seconds). There will still be some crumbs. Do not overmix or it will get tough.
Turn the dough out onto some plastic wrap.
Knead it with your hands about 5-10 times, until it becomes one ball.
Wrap the dough, and put it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour. Unwrap the dough, and dust the top with flour. Roll out to about 1/8″ thick. Be sure you roll the crust very thin. If it’s too thick, it doesn’t wrap around the pan well, and you have fat, flat pie shells.
Cut out individual crusts using a 2.5″ – 3″ round, fluted or flower cookie cutter. (I used a 10-petal flower cutter that is just shy of 3″ in diameter.)
Press the shapes, as evenly as possible around the underside of a mini-cupcake pan. You want to be sure to get the sides to stick down or when they bake, they will bake more flat than like a bowl.
When you cover all of the cups, place the tray in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to help the crusts set in their shape.
Bake the crusts for 8-10 minutes at 425-degrees, or until golden brown.
For the Filling:
An important note… EVERYTHING needs to be room temperature for this recipe. The melted chocolate can be slightly warmer, but nothing can be cold, or you’ll get clumpy filling.
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and powdered sugar until it is creamy. (2-3 minutes)
Next, add the vanilla and melted chocolate, and mix until well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, or the pasteurized eggs 1/4 cup at a time.
Mixing well after each addition until it looks soft, light and silky like this. (You can see the difference in color between this photo and the one above where I add the eggs. That helps me know when it’s mixed well enough.)
**This is where you want to be a little careful. Try to use a low speed, and watch that you don’t overmix or it can separate a little, which is kind of what happens to mine almost every time because I forget to pay attention.
Load the filling into a piping bag fitted with Tip 1A, or just a piping bag with a hole cut in the bottom, or even a zip-top baggie, if you want.
Fill each cooled pie shell with filling.
For the Topping:
Here’s where I tell you that I cheated this time around. I have a few cans of whipped cream in the fridge, and I was pressed for time, so I just used that.
If you want to make the whipped cream, combine the cream & powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on high until stiff peaks form (about a minute). Add vanilla just before you turn off the mixer.
To help the cream whip best, put the bowl and beater(s) in the refrigerator for a while before you whip it.
I then topped the little pies with chocolate shavings, using a Hershey bar and my small cheese grater.
These were really good, and since French Silk Pie is my sister’s favorite, I’m thinking these might have a chance on the wedding table?!
PS- To make a super simple version of these… use store-bought pie crust, instant pudding mix, and the can of whipped cream. SO easy!!