Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Pie Pops with Nutella Filling
This week I was tasked with baking something for the Buchanan Library story time participants. I wanted to make something Valentine's Day related and did some aimless searching on the Internet. This is far more fun than working. I thought about getting some smaller heart shaped cookie cutters. I have a BIG one. I even went so far as to put a set and a few other things in my cart on Amazon.com. I purposely spent more than $25. Love that free shipping.
Uh-oh. Yes, I had forgotten that free shipping was only if I spent $35. I could spend 9 more dollars for free shipping, or spend $14 and get just what I wanted shipped.
Well, that irritated me. So I went to A.C.Moore and looked there. I found cutters for Linzer cookies from Wilton . You cut out two heart shapes from rolled out cookie dough. Then cut a smaller shape in the middle of one of them. Sandwich the two hearts together and fill the center cut-out with jam. Bought it. No shipping charges.
I also wanted to visit The Cook's Nook, a store for, wait for it, COOKS. As long as I was making the trek into Roanoke, I thought I would check out the store and see what they had. It was full of fun stuff for baking and look what I found. A Tovolo pie pop kit.
The premise here is you cut out circles of dough. Then you fill the center with a sweet or savory filling, add a stick and the top crust, press and bake. Then you have pie on a stick. How cute it that?
Because it was for a Valentine's Day themed party, I chose a chocolate filling. Next time I want to try the onion, bacon and gruyere filling. And maybe leave out the sticks. That is for display and I just want to gobble them up. No gobbling at the moment. Diet. sigh
Pie Pops with Nutella Filling
2 Pie crusts, I used store bought
raw or Turbinado sugar for sanding
2 cups Nutella
2 eggs, divided use
1/4 cup flour, plus for dusting
First make an egg wash. Crack one egg in a small bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons water and whisk. Set aside. Save the whisk to stir it up from time to time.
Pre heat the oven to 350°. Prepare the baking pan that came with the set.
It has little depressions that keep the pie pop from being flat on the bottom. It has a non-stick coating, but I buttered and floured it just in case. Butter and flour the inside of the little red cutters.
Sprinkle some flour on your very clean and dry counter top. Unroll one pie crust and cut out as many shapes as will fit without overlapping. Use the top grid to press gently into the cut-outs. These are the tops. Set the tops aside and cut the bottoms of the crusts. I got 14 from one and only 13 from the other. What's up with that? I kneaded and rolled up the scraps to cut one more. This made a total of 14 pops.
If you want, you can roll out the left over bits of crust, brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Use a pizza wheel to cut them in rectangles and bake along with the pops. Yum. I didn't, but I remember the yum. sigh
Now to make the filling. You can purchase pie fillings. Everything from lemon curd, apple, even mincemeat. The apple would have to be chopped up into smaller pieces, though. I wanted to make a chocolate filling, because nothing says Valentine's Day like chocolate...unless it is jewelry! But I didn't want the little darlings to break all their teeth, so I went with chocolate.
This recipe made almost twice as much as I used for 14 pops. You can cut it in half or make more pops. But then you would need more pie dough. Up to you.
Place the Nutella, egg and flour in a mixing bowl. I used a Kitchen Aid. I was supposed to beat until smooth, but it kept getting tighter, so I stopped. I think that may be because it is so cold here. It was hard to get the Nutella out of the jar. In the summer it is easier. I noticed it is 80 degrees in LA. So make these in LA. : ))
Now for the assembly line. Pick up a bottom (one with out the grid) and hold it over the bowl with the egg wash. Use a pastry brush to paint egg wash all around the outside edge. Place it in the press with the little tongue towards the indent for the stick.
I used the smallest cookie scoop to set a ball of Nutella in the center of the crust. Gently press a pie pop stick into the Nutella ball. Get it all the way in the pie clear up to the edge, but not touching. I tried, once to just get it partway in to avoid biting it, but then the pop has no stability and falls over.
Hold a top crust over the egg wash and paint the inside edge. Place the egg wash side on top of the Nutella and stick. Take the top of the press and firmly press closed. It gets easier after the first few pops.
There is a convenient hole in the bottom press to push up on the pie and get it out of the mold. Do not hold it by the stick. Place it in one the indentation of the pan with the grid up and finish making pops.
When the pan is full, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. This will make it shiny and sweet with an extra bit of crunch.
Bake for 11 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Don't over bake or the tops may split. My tops wouldn't brown and I kept increasing the time and a few split. Next time I will increase the heat for my oven to 375°...wonky oven.
While they are baking you can assemble the rest of the pops. They hold their shape well when held from the bottom.
Let cool a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack. The top of the kit holds them for display. Be careful when removing them. The top wants to come with the pops.
Take them to the Buchanan Library and display them with all the other goodies for those lucky kids. But first give one to Sara. She is a regular at the library and volunteered to be my taste tester and model. It is a bad idea to poison children as a way to increase attendance. At least that was my thought.
It occurs to me that I didn't have the same care for a potential poisoning for Sara. But the little kids are so sweet and cuddly! And Sara is a teenager. : )) Well, in truth, I wasn't worried about poisoning, merely that it would taste good. And Sara is a good sport and photogenic. And she liked them!
And so did the kids. Well, really, their parents liked them better than the kids. They went for the drinks and the chocolate. But if you can get the parents in, they will have to bring the kids and then the library has more patrons. And that's a good thing.