These are a cute idea you can use next year from Our Best Bites:
I had a total disaster while making something I had planned for today. You don't think Kate and I have disasters? Oh, we do. You're going to hear about mine around Christmas time (when I post the blue food that magically turned green when I cooked it against everything I tried to prevent it! ) So I realized I was going to have to scrap it and come up with something else and I was pounding my brain trying to think of something new and different. I started thinking about pie, but didn't want to make a pie because everyone makes pie. Then I thought about mini-pies, because miniature versions are always cool. Then I thought about a darling little sugar-coated cookie-ish topper that would make these things the coolest thing on the party table. Perfect. Adorable. Delicious. And pretty darn easy too since you can use store bought dough and canned pie filling. You can certainly substitute homemade filling, but I love the bright artificial color of the canned stuff :) Plus, it's easy. I like easy.
Star-Studded Mini Pies
Pie Crust Dough (or buy refrigerated ones in a pinch)
canned pie filling (something red and something blue)
2 T butter, melted
1/4 c granulated sugar
Preheat oven according to pie crust recipe.
Roll out your pie crust so it's about this thick:
Don't ask me how thick that is, I don't know. I have fat fingers if that helps you gauge it from the picture. If you're using a store-bought crust 1) Don't tell Kate, she'll TP your house in disgust. 2) Don't buy generic (especially Walmart brand) and 3) Roll it out about 2 inches larger than it comes and you should be about right.
Using a cookie cutter, or a cup with about a 3 1/2 inch diameter, cut out circles of dough.
Place each dough circle center in one of the mini-muffin tin wells. The edge should over-hang a little. Gently roll the edge down with your fingers and then crimp it so it looks pretty.
They really don't have to be perfect, I like that these little guys look rustic and homemade in the end.
Using a spoon, (I don't know what else you'd use...) fill each mini pie a little over half full with filling. Don't go crazy and fill them to the top. Catastrophic things happen. More on that to come.
Next you'll need your cute little stars. My star cutter is about 2" across and it was the perfect size. If you can't find a cookie cutter you could always print out a stencil and cut the stars with a knife. You'd have to want these pretty bad though to go through that effort. Look through your kid's playdough bin. That's where I found mine!
Now the fun part. Dip your stars (both sides) in butter and then dredge in the sugar. Make sure to lick your fingers after the sugar starts piling up and making buttery sugar globs on your hands. Curse because you just finished working out and canceled it out with one lick. Wash hands and repeat.
Place a star on top of each little pie. It's okay if it sinks down, it will puff up when it bakes.
Pop them in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remember when I told you not to fill them too full? This is what happens. Just so you know.
I filled the next batch only about 1/2-3/4 full and they still spilled over a bit, but I thought it was a perfect amount. I love how they spill out and look a little messy. It makes me want to just gobble them all up. And I love how festive they look with the red and blue.
You can serve them warm or at room temp. And they can definitely be made hours ahead of time.
2 pie crusts should be plenty to do 24 mini-pies. Depending on the recipe or brand of crust you use, you may be able to get closer to 30.
You'll definitely have left-over pie filling- make these if you need more treats (and really now, who doesn't need more treats?)
And if you're not into berries, try one of these ideas:
gooey cookie filling
quiche filling for breakfast or brunch
use shredded apples in this apple pie filling
Bake the shells and stars separately and fill with Kate's banana cream pie filling