Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2-fer! Chocolate Mini Pies and Baked Bars

Well, not my greatest successes. But neither was a complete failure, either.

With the Mini Pies, I thought I could make a miniature version of this pie. I didn't think through a couple of potential problems. 1. Part of what makes pie crust so wonderful is when it's thinly rolled out and bakes up crispy and flaky. That's pretty hard to manage with tiny crusts. I suppose I could have rolled it all out and then used a biscuit cutter to cut the right size rounds and then tried (emphasis on the "try") to transfer those to the pan, but that just didn't seem feasible. So, I just used my hands to flatten and press little balls of dough into as thin of a piece as I could and pressed those into the pan. Pierced them with a fork and baked for 10 minutes.

They were fine, just a little thick. So, then, 2. I could only fit a small amount of chocolate pudding in them and the proportion of dough thickness to amount of chocolate pudding IMO. And of course, 3. I was making these for a party and you can't exactly put whipped cream on a plateful of mini pies and then cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the car and expect them to survive. So, I had to do the last step of prep at the party. Which is silly.

But the bigger problem was that this chocolate pudding, although a wonderful, easy recipe, is just a little too mild. I think it's great if you're just having chocolate pudding. But I've had second thoughts about my "like" of this as a pie filler. I think in a pie you need something more rich. And possibly more dense. I'm not talking about French Silk, that's a whole different matter. Sometimes that's what a person wants. And sometimes a person just wants a simple chocolate pudding pie. Which leads me to: give me your homemade chocolate pudding recipe! Whoever you are. I need it and you know you want to give it to me.

The Baked bars...I have a hard time saying this...because I'm such a fan of their book...but...I just didn't like them. I imagined them being like the Magic Bars I remember from my childhood, but...richer, denser, even more delicious. I don't know, maybe my backyard is shrinking. Or maybe it was the butterscotch chips. I imagine these bars would be delicious for somebody who really loves butterscotch.

I like it well enough, but I thought the flavor overwhelmed the rest of the flavors in the bars. They're not difficult to make. At all. And I suppose it's easy enough to change the proportions of semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, and thereby just leave the butterscotch out altogether. But part of me thinks if I ever make something like this again, I'll go with the original.

TGIP Rating--A resounding MEH for both

Chocolate Mini Pies--probably not worth the time or the effort of trying to improve on them. Next time I'm bringing a whole pie to a party, enough of this finger-food.

Baked Bars--maybe you'll like them (if you had the book, and could see the recipe), but I really didn't.

Next Up: Key Lime Cheesecake. I just happened to find key limes at the grocery store, so I figured I'd try a little something new.


Heidi said...

Those bars were yours?!? I really liked them! Now that I know where I can find the recipe, I'm going to gain 80 pounds this Christmas! Awesome!

(I'm not saying that just to make you feel better--I really really did love them.)

April Fossen said...

Oh good! I'm glad you liked them Heidi!