Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chocolate Cream Finger Pies

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whole milk
8 ounces chopped dark chocolate
1 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Ingredients for the topping:
stabilized whipped cream or 1 cup heavy cream whipped and sweetened slightly
grated chocolate or chocolate sprinkles or toasted coconut or other decorative topping

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Ingredients for the pie crust:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 T butter
3 T vegetable shortening
3 T ice cold water
flour for dusting

Preparing the pie crust:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut 4 tablespoons of butter into flour until it looks like coarse meal, and then cut in shortening until well blended. Add ice water and stir with fork. Then use your hands to gently work the dough into a ball.

Flour a rectangular sheet of wax paper, place dough ball in the middle, flour the ball, and cover with another rectangular sheet of wax paper. Roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/8-inch. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough roughly into 1.5-inch by 1.5-inch squares or other shapes

Place dough pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Prick each piece a few times with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees F for 11 to 13 minutes, or until browned on the edges. Remove from oven. Cool completely.

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Preparing the chocolate cream:
In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk milk and egg yolks until combined. Pour milk mixture into pan while whisking. Whisk until smooth.

Place pan on burner set to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, making sure to scrape bottom and edges of the pan, until mixture starts to thicken, about 7 to 9 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately whisk in chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Transfer hot filling to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap rests in contact with the filling so a skin does not form. Refrigerate filling until cool, 1 to 2 hours.

Once filling and crusts are cool, spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a quart or gallon size zip top bag. Also place whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

Squeeze about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling onto each little crust. Then top with about a teaspoon of whipped cream. Top it all off with sprinkles, grated chocolate, or toasted coconut. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes 60 to 70 bite-sized pies


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