Saturday, December 10, 2011

Snickerdoodle Pear Mini Pies

This pie was a total accident.  Luckily, it was a delicious accident.

My husband loves snickerdoodles and always asks me to make them.  I usually just ignore the request, but since it was Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to indulge him.  

The night before Thanksgiving, I whipped up a batch of snickerdoodle dough and baked off half of it.   I stored the rest in the fridge thinking I would finish baking it later that weekend.

The next day {Thanksgiving}, I decided to make two different pies - banana cream and mini pear pies.  I am not a huge pie crust fan, so I used the left over snickerdoodle dough for the mini pear pies.

I wasn't too sure how they would turn out...but they ended up being a-maz-ing.  So good and so easy.  Pie crust can be a bit fussy, but this snickerdoodle crust was the opposite of fussy. If you can make cookies - you can make this crust!

Snickerdoodle Pear Mini Pies {makes 8 pies}

For the filling:
-4 pears, diced {you can also use apples or four cups of fresh berries}
-1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 tablespoons brown sugar

For the Snickerdoodle Crust:
-2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup shortening
-1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
-1 1/2 cup white sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 large eggs
-cinnamon + a little sugar for dusting

**Note - you will have snickerdoodle dough left over, feel free to bake it into cookies, freeze it for later, or do what I do - eat it!  I love cookie dough :).

1. In a medium saucepan, cook the pears, brown sugar, and vanilla extract over low heat for about 10 minutes - until they are nice and syrupy.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar {for the dough}.  Add in the eggs - one at a time - and the vanilla extract.  Mix until all is completely incorporated.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add these dry ingredients to the mixer and blend until just incorporated.
4. Put the dough into the refrigerator for a few hours so it is nice and firm when you use it for the pies.

5. Line the bottom of small ramekins with a small amount of dough.  Since this dough is much sweeter than traditional pie crust - don't make the lining too thick.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of each pie base and fill the ramekin with the cooked pears.
6. Take another small piece of dough and flatten it into a disc the size of the ramekin.  Cover the top of each dish with one of these discs and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar.  Cut an X into the top of each mini pie and place them all onto a baking sheet lined with foil {mine bubbled over a little}.  
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes - until the top is golden brown. 
8. Allow the pies to cool a little before serving. 

Enjoy these amazing little pies!

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