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Mini Chocolate Cream Pies
Makes 18 pies.
- Chocolate Cookie Cups
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for rolling out the dough
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter softened but still cool
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate not unsweetened, melted
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate melted
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- To prepare the cookie cups, preheat oven to 350° F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixture on medium speed with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and stir on low speed until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and chill until firm, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- One at a time, roll out the chilled disks of dough to about 1/8-inch thickness on a counter generously dusted with cocoa powder. Using a 3 3/4-to 4-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter, stamp out as many flowers as possible. Gently transfer the dough to a greased muffin tin, tucking each flower carefully into one of the cups.
- With a toothpick or sharp skewer, prick holes in the dough around the edge of the cup, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, adding a few holes in the center as well. Gather the scraps, re roll, and stamp out additional cookies to fill the remaining cups. Bake for about 10 minutes, until just set, shifting the baking sheets halfway through for even baking. Let the cookies cool in the muffin tins for 5-10 minutes before running a thin metal spatula around the outside edge of each cup. Leave cups in the pan to cool completely before removing carefully.
- To prepare the pudding, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and yolks in a small heavy saucepan until well combined. Add milk in a stream, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking constantly for 1 minute (filling will be thick).
- Force filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, then whisk in chocolates, butter, and vanilla.
- Place the bowl containing filling in a larger bowl containing ice and water. Whisk filling until it feels just warm to the touch, adding more ice to the water bath if necessary. Pipe or spoon filling into cookie cups and chill uncovered for at least 3 hours.
- Just before serving, beat heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until it just holds stiff peaks. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream on top of each pie. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles or shavings.