Chocolate and marshmallow filling sandwiched between a flaky, homemade pastry crust make for delectable, easy to hold s’mores hand pies.
During my childhood, my dad would occasionally refer to myself and my five younger siblings by birth order/number as though we were Borg drones from Star Trek (myself being One of Six, my next sister being Two of Six, and so on…).
While I loved the sci-fi reference, I never was much of a fan of the antagonistic Borg Collectives with their “hive minds” and requisite of assimilation. However, this weekend my siblings made their truly Borg-like nature crystal clear in terms of their own insistence for assimilation, at least when it comes to watching certain TV shows.
Saturday night, Four of Six and Five of Six derailed my evening baking plans and infiltrated my house with loud, obnoxiously off-key singing, an appetite for junk food, and a single purpose. They came to make me to watch The Walking Dead, a show that I’ve been resisting for ages (“I just don’t think I’d like it”), but that the rest of my family is entirely and utterly wrapped up in.
They would not be dissuaded: Resistance is futile.
And so it was, and Zach and I found ourselves wrapped up (after just two episodes) in a show that will likely keep us occupied for at least a few months to come. And, as we watched (undeterred by the abundance of gore and gruesome violence), we feasted on an early edition of freshly baked s’mores hand pies, for which resistance was also futile.
The first version of these pies I made with graham cracker crumbs directly in the pastry crust, but much to my annoyance no one could tell that it was even present, and the addition lent itself to a less flaky crust that was also more difficult to work with. So, it was nixed, and I opted instead for a generous sprinkling on top of the pies instead, which adds a nice texture to the pies.
The filling is a simple combination of marshmallow fluff and milk chocolate fudge (which you will have extra of, I recommend spooning the excess out into a plastic container and cutting and serving as-is once cooled).
These pies can be a bit tricky to get just right as the marshmallow is eager to houdini its way out the sides of the pies (cinched together with a fork or not) if you use too much, as happened with my first batch. However, if this does happen to you, allow the pies a few moments to cool and as they do so the tops should settle back down quite nicely.
Don’t let these hand pies cool too much, though, because as with real campfire s’mores they are best eaten fresh and warm, and, from my experience, with The Walking Dead on in front of you and some good company by your side.
(Oh, and if you’re calling me a nerd in your head for the Borg references, just know you’re not alone; I would bet a significant amount of money that my husband has done so while rolling his eyes no less than three times while reading this post).
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter cold and cut into pieces (about 1 Tbsp-sized pieces)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- In food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt.
- Sprinkle in chopped, cold butter and pulse until coarse crumbs begin to form.
- Add sour cream, pulse until mixture begins to clump.
- Pour dough out onto clean, well-floured surface and lightly dust with more flour (mixture will likely be very sticky).
- Knead dough, adding flour as needed until it is cohesive and no longer sticky (you may need to add as much as 1/4 cup flour).
- Using your palm, flatten the dough on your clean surface.
- Fold dough into itself, repeat flattening process (this helps encourage flaky layers in the crust) and then form dough into a disk, wrap tightly with clear wrap and place in fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove dough from refrigerator and preheat oven to 400F.
- Remove clear wrap from dough and turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.
- Use a rolling pin to roll dough to approximately 18"x18" square (approximately 1/8" thickness, if you do not have enough space for an 18"x18" square, divide the dough in half and roll out to 1/8" thickness, one at a time.)
- Using a biscuit cutter or a glass with a 3" diameter rim, cut out circle-shaped pieces of dough and place half of them on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets and set the other half aside (these will be your top layers).
- Once you have cut out all you can from the dough, gather the scraps and knead them together and then roll out into a 1/8" thick square again to cut from that, repeating until you have no scraps left.
- In small saucepan, heat chocolate chips and condensed milk on medium-low heat, stirring until chocolate chips are melted.
- Reduce heat to low (as low as possible) and stir in vanilla extract.
- Portion 1 tsp of marshmallow fluff on top of the pastry circles on the cookie sheet.
- Gently portion 1-1 1/2 tsp milk chocolate mixture over the marshmallow, taking care to keep the filling in the center.
- Place the set aside pastry circles over the filling and press down around the edges with the tines of a fork to seal in the filling.
- Gently beat together the egg and the water for an egg wash and brush over prepared hand pies.
- Use a sharp, non-serrated knife to cut vents in the top centers of the hand pies and then sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
- Bake on 400F for 15 minutes, allow to cool at least 10 minutes before eating.
These hand pies are best served warm and fairly fresh, as with regular s'mores.
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