Cookie Monster Macarons

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I’ve seen these cookie monster cupcakes and macarons floating around pinterest and facebook, so I decided to try and make them. They were a little time consuming, but once you get some practice making the macarons, I think they’re definitely worth it.  I made them a couple of times now and each time they came out a little better. They came out so cute looking and I suppose if you didn’t make the cookies from scratch they wouldn’t be as time consuming.  I made the mini chocolate chip cookies from scratch using a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and shaped them to be a perfect size for cookie monster.

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やっとまたマカロンを作ってみました。セサミストリートのクッキーモンスターのマカロンやカップケーキは良くネットで見て作りたいなと思ってたので、やっと作って見ました。クッキーモンスターの目や食べてるクッキーを手作りの物を使ったから、作るのに時間はかかったけど皆んながとても可愛いと言ってくれて美味しかった。何回かは作ってみたけどやっぱり可愛くて時々食べるのが勿体ないとも思ったけど全部友達と食べちゃいました。

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-60g egg whites (about 2 egg medium whites)

-60g almond flour

-110g powdered sugar

-20g caster sugar (or extra fine granulated sugar)

-3 drops blue food coloring

Ganache

-1/2 cup heavy cream

-5 oz chocolate chips

Decorations

-12 mini chocolate chip cookies

– White fondant (for eyes) or candy eyes

材料:

-卵白 (60g)

-アーモンドパウダー (60g)

-粉砂糖 (110g)

-グラニュー糖 (20g)

-フードカラー青 (3滴)

ガナッシュ

-生クリーム (110ml)

-刻んだチョコ (140g)

デコ

-チョコチップクッキー

– 目玉のキャンデー(candy eyes

Directions:

  1. Make the macarons first by whipping the egg whites until foamy, adding the caster sugar in three increments and whipping until the egg whites are stiff and you can flip the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.
  2. Add the blue food coloring and mix.
  3. Sift in the almond powder and powdered sugar and fold into the egg whites (about 45 to 50 folds). If your macaron batter resembles pancake batter, you overmixed it. It should fall off the spoon and slowly start to incorporate into the batter in the bowl.
  4. Pipe the macaron on parchment sheet covered baking sheets and let them sit for about 30 minutes to an hour until a skin forms.
  5. Bake the macaron shells at 300ºF for 10 to 15 minutes or until the macarons easily release from the parchment.
  6. While the macarons are baking, make the chocolate chip cookies (if not using store bought).
  7. Make the ganache by heating the heavy cream and adding it to the chocolate. Blend until smooth.
  8. Once the macarons are cooled, sandwich the ganache, and put the chocolate chip cookie between the two macaron shells and decorate the top macaron shell with cookie monsters eyes.  Again you can use store bought cookies or candy eyes.  I made the eyes using white fondant and the pupils with melted chocolate.

作り方:

  1. 最初にマカロンを作ります。卵白をミクサーで混ぜ、泡立てる。グラニュー糖を加えまた泡立てます。ボウルをひっくり返しても卵白がビクともしない状態になったら、青い色を入れ混ぜます。
  2. アーモンドパウダーと粉砂糖をふるって、卵白に加え、jの文字でゴムべらで混ぜます。jの文字を45回から50回ぐらい書きます。
  3. マカロンの生地を鉄板にパイプして、30分から1時間乾かします。マカロンに指を触れても生地がつかなかったらオッケー。
  4. オーブンを160ºCで10分から15分焼きます。マカロンが焼きあがったら、そのまま冷ませます。
  5. マカロンが冷めている間、チョコチップクッキーを作ります。これは、普通のチョコチップクッキーのレシピを使ってマカロンより少し小さめに焼きます。
  6. 生クリームを温め、刻んだチョコと混ぜます。
  7. 白いフォンダンとでクッキーモンスターの目を作ります。または、キャンデーの目を使います。
  8. マカロンが冷めたら、上のマカロンに目を溶かしたチョコでつけます。ガナッシュを下のマカロンに乗せて、クッキーを乗せ、目のついたマカロンで挟みます。

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcakes

 

 

Wha’s this? What’s this? I was asked to bake some halloween cupcakes for Pat’s co-working space 6th annual spookiversary this weekend, so I made 3 dozen cupcakes: vanilla, chocolate and green tea.  I topped these cupcakes with chocolate ganache and meringue frosting (these are definitely my go to frosting recipes) and decorated them with homemade fondant.  This is what they look like!

 

Is Nightmare Before Christmas too early for Halloween? Either way, Pat was playing the soundtrack and my halloween decorations turned into Nightmare before Christmas and I think they came out really cute! I’m not going to lie, the fondant took me about 3 to 4 hours to complete, but I was pretty pleased with the results. This was definitely a 2 day task, but I was super happy that everyone enjoyed them.  Some people even told me I should cater for birthday parties or something :p I don’t know if I’m good enough for that, but I would love to give it a try.

I made these cupcakes again for another Halloween party and added some more characters like the Mayor of Halloween Town, Lock, Shock and Barrel, the Corpse Kid and the Mummy Kid 🙂 Next year maybe I’ll try some of the harder characters (i.e. the werewolf, a witch, the bone jazz group)

 

 

Anyway, let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
 Fondant
Meringue frosting 

Directions:

  1. Make your cupcakes
  2. While the cupcakes are cooling, make your fondant. Timing wise, it’s probably best to make the fondant a day beforehand (fondant lasts indefinitely if you wrap it well and store it in an airtight container, trust me, it’s literally just sugar and more sugar). Divide your fondant and make the various colors.  Obviously if you have a lot of food coloring, you can just buy the shades, but in case you only have primary colors (I only had red, pink, blue, yellow, green and black) and need to mix some colors together, here’s what I did:
    1. Sally’s hair, Dr.Fink’s brain and lips: drop two or three drops of red food coloring into the white fondant and mix to get a bright red. Add the smallest amount of black food coloring (too much and it could turn out bad) and mix to get a rusty red color. I actually like to just take red fondant and mix it with  a small amount colored black fondant.
    2. Hero’s nose and collar, pumpkins: Mix together equal parts red and yellow food coloring to get the orange color.
    3. Sally’s face: Sally’s face is a pale blue, so what I did was run my finger along the top of the food coloring to get the smallest amount of blue food color possible and mixed it with some white fondant.
    4. Oogie Boogie: Mix together some green food coloring with a dot of black food coloring to create a sickly swamp-y green.
    5. Purple: mix together equal parts blue and red. For a warmer toned purple, add more red, for a cooler tone, add blue. (Maybe I’ll make a fondant coloring post sometime)
    6. Grey fondant: Black fondant with white fondant. Alter amounts to control the shade of grey.
  3. And them make the faces! I used little dabs of water to make the fondant moist so that they would stick to each other. Also some chopsticks to help with the tiny details (i.e. stitches, eyelashes, etc.). Also wash your hands or wipe them after using dark colors like black and red or else the color will transfer from your fingers to the beautiful other pale colors, have a laptop handy so you can look up photos for reference and use PLENTY of powdered sugar if the fondant gets too sticky. Dust the surface with lots of powdered sugar. The worst thing that can happen is you finish your beautiful fondant decoration and it’s sticking to the surface that you’re working on.  You can always use a damp paper towel or q-tip to gently dab away the powdered sugar.Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.43.31 PM

    1. Sally (she is probably the hardest): Roll out the pale blue fondant and using a round cookie cutter, cut out the shape of her face. Cut small crescent moons for her eye lids. Take a small amount of the pale blue fondant to make her nose.  For her eyes, roll two small amounts white fondant to create little sphere and then squish it between your fingers to flatten into circles. Place the eyes on her face and top with the little pale blue fondant crescents. To make her stitches, I mixed some light grey fondant with the pale blue fondant. Roll out two thin thin ropes and place one across the circle for her mouth and one vertically across her left eyelid. Add the stitches using the same color. Next take some black fondant and make two small spheres (smaller than her white fondant eyes) and place in center of her eyes for pupils. Next roll out thin, short strings for her eyelashes. Take red fondant to make her lips and use the rust-red fondant to make her hair. I found that making an oval shape of fondant and rolling it out works perfectly. Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.43.36 PM
    2. Jack: Roll out the white fondant and using the same round cookie cutter for Sally’s face, cut out Jack’s face. Take the black fondant to make his eyes and stitches. Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.43.14 PM
    3. Dr. Fink: Cut out smaller cirlces of white fondant (about a size smaller than Jack or Sally). Cut off the top of the circle (about 1 cm, and gently pull the bottom of the circle to make his lips. I gently pinched the center and kind of pulled it out. Make his brains and lips using the rust colored fondant. Roll the rust colored fondant in a small string and gently cover the bottom portion of the circle (the area that is his lips). Then roll out longer thin strings of red and roll them around each other to make the folds of the brain. I made a spiral and then some waves and then more spirals. Make his glasses and his eyebrows with the black fondant. Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.44.17 PM
    4. Zero: Take a small sphere of white fondant and flatten it to make a circle. Pinch one end and pull it out a bit to make his muzzle. Make his ears by making thin short strings of white fondant and flattening them, making them more pointed at the top. Make his nose and collar with the orange fondant, his eyes with the black fondant and the rest of his body with the white fondant.
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    5. Oogie boogie: Take the swamp-y green fondant and shape it into a circle, take the top and kind of like what you did with Zero’s face, shape the top into a point of sorts. Roll out the face so it flattens a bit and arrange the top tip to look more like Oogie’s head. Using the black fondant make his eyes, nose and mouth. Using a chopstick or some other thin utensil, pul around the edges of Oogie’s mouth to make his mouth look more sack like. Fill his mouth with “worms” by rolling thin short strings of colored fondant and placing it in his mouth. Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.44.01 PM
    6. Graveyard/pumpkin patch: cut out a round circle of white fondant for the moon, roll out a bit of black fondant so that you get a lopsided log of sorts, it should be thicker on the bottom and thinner on the top. Flatten it a big and roll the thin side into a spiral. make mini pumpkins using orange and green fondant. 
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    7. Vampire doll: cut out small circles with your white fondant. Shape thin red fondant strings for the mouth. Place one horizontally across the middle and a shorter piece along the bottom edge of the fondant circle. Using black fondant, make the eyes, teeth, widows peak and ears.Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.44.50 PM
    8. The Mayor of Halloween TownScreen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.43.49 PM
    9. Corpse KidScreen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.44.57 PM
    10. Mummy KidScreen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.48.20 PM
    11. Lock
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    12. Barrel
  4. Let the fondant rest for a bit and harden on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. I found that rolling out fondant too thin results in breakage while transferring the fondant from wax paper to cupcakes.
  5. Frost your cupcakes with colored meringue frosting or ganache and top with your fondant decorations.

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

American Flag Cookies

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The 4th of July is coming up this week and what better way to celebrate with some patriotic treats? These flag cookies are actually super easy to make and fun too! The dough is simple, I’ve actually used it for my kumamushi-san cookies. This is definitely a go-to recipe for shaped cookies, I found that they hold their form better than any sugar cookie recipe I’ve tried.  Along with the dough you’ll need is red and blue food coloring. And maybe some white sprinkles, I had rainbow nonpareils and though I tried picking out just the white ones, it’s probably easier and much faster to buy white nonpareils. The hardest thing about these cookies is assembling, but even that was pretty easy. I used about 1 and 1/3 batches of dough for this, but it might actually be better if you used 2 and 1/2 batches. 1 batch each for the red and white and 1/2 a batch for the blue. I might test this out and let you know how it goes!

Anyway let’s get started!

Ingredients:

 -1 and 1/4 cup AP flour
-1/3 cup powdered sugar*
-1 stick softened butter
-2-3 drops blue food coloring
-2-3 drops red food coloring
Optional
-white nonpareils
 
*If you don’t have powdered sugar, just grind 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tsp of cornstarch in a spice grinder or coffee grinder! Trust me, it really works 🙂

Directions:

  1. Mix together the butter and the powdered sugar. Add in the flour and mix until just combined.
  2. Add in the food coloring until you get the desired shade. I found that for half a batch, about 3 drops of red food coloring did the trick.
  3. Once all the colors are made, divide the red and white doughs into three equal sized portions and two slightly smaller portions. In this sense, you should have 5 portions each of the red and white doughs and one portion of the blue dough.
  4. For the assembly it’s best to use two separate sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out one of the red portions into a long rectangle about 2 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long. Place this red dough on one of the sheets of plastic wrap.
  5. On the other sheet of plastic wrap, roll out a portion of white dough into the same sized rectangle. Gently transfer the white dough so it’s on top of the red dough.
  6. Repeat this with all three portions of red and white dough.
  7. Take the blue dough and roll it into a cylinder about 6 1/2 inches long and about 2/3 an inch wide. Shape the cylinder into a square and place it on the right on top of the layered red and white dough.
  8. Use the remaining red and white dough and shape them into rectangles about 1 inch wide and 6 1/2 inches long. Layer them next to the blue square. You should now have a log 
  9. Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and neaten the edges by gently tapping the dough on a straight surface. Place in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.DSC_0640
  11.  Slice the log, place the slices on the parchment line baking sheet (if you’re using nonpareils, sprinkle them over the blue part of the flag) and bake for 10 minutes.DSC_0641

And that’s it! Let me know if you’re having trouble with the steps, I’ll try and take reference photos 🙂 I had a lot of fun making these cookies and now I’m tempted to try and make more flag cookies. I’m trying to come up with an excuse to make Japanese flag cookies, but alas since we’re out of the FIFA World Cup, I may have to resort to just making other flags. Speaking of, you could probably make these cookies for watching soccer games too, I mean the USA is still in the FIFA World Cup! I’m also going to be making more 4th of July treats, so stay tuned!

 

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Kumamushi-san Cookies!

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Kumamushi-san or tardigrade is a water bear. Okay, so she’s not really a bear, she’s a water-dwelling segmented microorganism with eight legs.  She’s possibly the cutest thing in the entire world and she’s also the office mascot at the immigration law firm I intern at.  So I decided to make kumamushi-san cookies and they came out pretty cute! I took a normal slice and bake cookie recipe, added cocoa powder, colored a small portion of the dough black and shaped them into kumamushi-san’s shape! Everyone at the office loved them, so I will for sure be making them more often!

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Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1 stick softened butter (1/2 cup)
-1 cup flour
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-2 tsp instant espresso
-1 drop black food coloring

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add in the cocoa powder and the flour and mix to combine.
  2. Roll into a oval log and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Cut off the ends of the log and mix the dough with the espresso powder and the black food coloring.
  4. Slice the rest of the log in 1/4 inch thick slices. You may have to reshape the ovals.
  5. Using your fingers or a chopstick, shape kumamushi-san’s little legs. I found it easy to do by pinching the bottom into little leg shapes.
  6. Once the kumamushi san is shaped, place on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Carefully pinch off a small portion of the black colored dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten it against the kumamushi-san shaped cookie to make the eye.
  8. Repeat until no more dough is left.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes.
Kumamushi-san with her cookies :)

Kumamushi-san with her cookies 🙂

I had a lot of fun doing these kumamushi-san cookies and I’m thinking maybe I’ll try some more fun themed baked goods! Let me know if you have a character-themed baked good that you would like me to do!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Bacon Pancakes

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This weekend I finally got around to making bacon pancakes. I’ve been dying to try making them since I saw Jake (from Adventure Time) making them in one episode. These were super simple to make and really delicious. I used a plain buttermilk pancake recipe and then chopped up some bacon, fried them up and topped them on the batter while cooking them. I do think though that I’ll mix the bacon pieces (cooked of course) straight into the batter next time. I think that way there’ll be more bacon in every bite!

For the pancakes, follow this recipe

Ingredients:

-Buttermilk Pancake batter
-6 slices of bacon (more if you want)
 

Directions:

  1. Make the buttermilk pancake batter
  2. Slice the bacon and cook until the nice and crispy
  3. Mix most of the bacon into the batter, leaving some to top onto the pancake while it’s cooking.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and pour batter in. Top with bacon. IMG_4012
  5. Cook until the bubbles on the outer edge start popping (about 2 to 3 minutes), flip and cook until the other side is nice and brown (about 2 to 3 minutes)

And you’re done!

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Hugs and Puppies!

Mimi

 

 

 

I mustache you a question…

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But I’ll shave it for later! So today marks the first day of NYU Welcome Week! It’s when all the incoming freshmen at NYU get a week full of events to get to know each other, attend fun events and basically get familiar with the campus. My room mate, Natasha, is a Welcome Week Captain. She has a group of Welcome Week Leaders (all NYU students) who basically run and plan and set up the events and make sure that the freshman don’t get lost or confused. While I wanted to be a Welcome Week Leader, I kind of lost my chance due to technical difficulties (ie my interview e-mail went to spam and so I never got to set it up. Whoops). So instead, I’ve decided to sent some welcome week leaders some sweet treats! Mustache cookies! Because the NYU Welcome Week theme this year is “I Mustache you a question!” Well I hope they enjoy the cookies, I made them in two parts and they were pretty fun to make! I also think they kind of look like two fish kissing. Eh?

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Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Mustache Part:
-1 stick unsalted butter
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1 cup AP Flour
-3 tbsp cocoa powder
-1 tsp instant espresso powder
Background:
-2 sticks unsalted butter
-2 1/2 cups AP Flour
-1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Make the mustache part first. Mix the softened butter with the powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the AP flour, cocoa powder and the espresso powder. Divide the dough into two equal sizes and roll them out into thin logs. Take the first log and make an indentation along the bottom half of the log, to create one half of the mustache. Repeat with the other log so that the mustache is complete. Put the two of them side by side, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.
  2. Make the plain portion of the dough. Mix the softened butter with the powered sugar. Add in the flour and mix until incorporated. Take out the mustache and carefully fill the plain dough around mustache until the mustache is entirely covered. YOu should be left with one huge square log.
  3. Rewrap the dough and refrigerate. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.IMG_3634
  4. Once the dough is chilled, take it out of the fridge and slice it about 1/2 an inch thick. Lay them out on a baking sheet with about 1/2 an inch to an inch between each cookie. They don’t spread out much so don’t worry about it too much.IMG_3635
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Once the cookies are out of the oven, let them cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack (otherwise they will break in half. I say this from experience)

I thought that these were going to come out very badly because I wasn’t really able to mold the mustache shape as well as I wanted to. Not to mention the dough would crack or split while I was working with it. But I’m glad it turned out well and I really hope that the Welcome Week Team Tasha enjoy them!

Until next time, hugs and puppies!

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Mimi

Happy (belated) Pi Day!

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I know this is a really late post, but like I said I was a little busy with midterms and spring break planning and hostel booking and picking up Pat at the airport and showing him around Madrid to write this Pi day post. We’re currently in Paris until wednesday! So if any of you have suggestions about places to visit let us know! We’ve already done: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysee, Sacre Coure and we’re planning Notre Dame and such. Pat’s not all into the touristy stuff and it being my fourth time in Paris, we’d like to do some other none touristy, yet amazing things. But I totally digress from the actual point of this post, which is PI DAY! So March 14 (3.14) is pi day because, well the number (Pat likes to call it steak and blow job day, but seeing as he wasn’t in Madrid on the 14th, I just made pies with my friends. Granted, my friends didn’t have measuring cups or rolling pins (the apartments in Madrid don’t really come equipped for bakers) so I had to improvise. By that I mean eye ball everything and use cups to cut out the pie dough. But don’t worry, I have measurements for you lucky bakers at home with the right equipment and the pies still came out delicious! We made handheld pizza pies, which I will have to make a post for soon, and apple pies! These pies take so little time and have so many simple ingredients it’s absolutely hard to mess up! We made the pie crust from scratch and the apple filling and it was done in a snap!

So let’s get started and next year you can make pies for Pi Day! And maybe for dinner some steak and stuff for the holiday that the guys enjoy 😉 Hey, that way everyone’s happy right?

Ingredients:

Crust:
-1 1/4 cup AP Flour
-1 stick (8 tbsp) COLD unsalted butter (I recommend you place the butter in the freezer for at least an hour or two before you use it. Overnight is great!)
-3 tbsp of ice cold water (in a glass pour in cold water and add a few ice cubes and let it sit for a while)
Filling:
-2 to 3 large granny smith apples (diced) Granny smiths are great because they’re tart and don’t contain a lot of moisture. This way your pie filling won’t come out mushy and apple-saucey
-about 4 tbsp of unsalted butter
-a few squeezes of lemon juice
-1 tbsp cinnamon
-about 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar
-a few pinches of flour
Pie crust topping
-one egg
-a few splashes of milk
Optional
-granulated sugar
-apple spice filling (I’ve never used it, but I may in the future)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the crust. Mix together the salt and the flour. Add in the cold  butter in small pieces (about 1/4 inch pieces). Take a pastry cutter or tow knives and cut the butter into the dough until they are about the size of peas. Scoop up the flour and butter and rub it through your fingers until the contents of the bowl resembles coarse cornmeal. Add in the water and mix until the dough just pulls together. You don’t want to add too much water or the pie dough will NOT be nice and flaky, but biscuit like (but if that’s the kind of pie crust you like than go for it). Leave it in the fridge while you prepare the filling
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line some baking sheets.IMG_1771
  3. Dice the apples and squeeze a little lemon juice over them so that they don’t brown. In a sauté pan (with relatively high sides) melt the butter down and add in the apples. Sprinkle the apple with the brown sugar and the cinnamon and stir. Cook the apples until they are just about to get soft (now if you want mushy apple pie, cook them until their about fork tender. Don’t forget that you will be cooking them again in the oven so you don’t want to cook them down too long). Set aside.
  4. Roll it out on a flour surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick and using a large round cookie cutter (or a cup with a large diameter) cut out dough circles. Now if you don’t want round pies, you can always cut out the dough to be heart shaped or square or you dont even have to cut if you are so inclined. Make the egg wash by combing the egg and the milk in a small bowl.
  5. Lay one dough circle down on a clean floured surface and carefully mound about 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the apple filling. You don’t want to overfill them. brush the edges with egg wash (I usually just dip my index finger and trace the edges with it) and gently place another dough circle on top. Press the edges together and create a seal. Now you can either take a fork and press the tines down on all sides or you can crimp the edges like you would on a regular pie.IMG_1772
  6. Once the edges are sealed, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with more egg wash. If you want a nice sugary crust, sprinkle some granulated sugar over the egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

I think handheld pies are my favorite thing to make, they’re just so easy and simple. Not to mention a great thing to make with friends. This way, everyone gets to make their own personalized pie with their own favorite fillings without having to seem picky. Plus you can make a variety without having a ton of half eaten pies in your fridge for weeks on end. I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did! I’ll definitely be making these again. If you want to check out some more fun pie fillings, check out my other post on handheld pies!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

p.s this also means pie is not just for pi day! Everyday can be Pie day! 😀