The official start of winter has not yet arrived, but we are here in snowy New England on our 4th snow day from school already. Kids have been dragging their feet completing their "blizzard bags" all.day.long. For those of you who do not live in a beautiful snow globe, "blizzard bags" are school work and assignments for the kiddos to complete on days when school is canceled due to weather emergencies. It would seem reasonable to think that we could complete this task by the time school would be over at 2:45 PM, but that's not how it works out in my experience. They are obviously much more focused at school or listen to their teachers more than their mother.
I don't know...I went to elementary school in Alberta, Canada and we never had school canceled for snow. There would be no school November through April if we did. Maybe that's changed now, but I still remember the first time we had a snow storm after we moved to New England when I was in the 8th grade. My brother and I patiently waited at the bus stop...and waited...and waited. No bus. A woman pulled over and told us there was no school because of the snow. We laughed our cold little butts off and went back up the hill to tell my mother...who thought we weren't telling the truth. We were. No school.
This recipe is very suitable for a snow day because chai tea, brownies and pie are three very cozy things...this recipe brings them all together in these little individual, cookie size brownie pies with just a hint of that chai spice that says "hey, there's something different about these...in a good way." And how can you be in a bad mood if you're holding your own little pie? Seriously.
I'm not going to reinvent the wheel and give you a pie crust recipe because it's a classic that's out there by all the baking greats. I use a Betty Crocker recipe from an old cookbook that I found at a flea market. Use your go-to, favorite two layer 9 inch pie crust. You can use a store bought and save some time too. You'll start this recipe by preparing your pie crust and getting it set up into muffin tins and then making the brownie batter that will gloriously bake and slightly spill over the edge of the flaky pie crust. Ok, here we go...
-2 layer 9 inch pie crust. Here is a similar to what I use
-1/2 cup melted butter
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup flour
-1/2 tsp espresso powder
-3 TBS chai tea (approximately 3 tea bags cut open if you don't have loose tea)
-1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a muffin tin generously with non-stick cooking spray. Prepare your pie crust, roll out one layer and use a glass or cookie cutter to make the first 8-10 mini pies. I used a round, 1 cup measuring cup to cut the circles. Carefully insert each circle of pie dough into a muffin tin and press down and around the sides. Combine the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, chai tea, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Melt the butter and cream it with the sugar in a stand mixer or in a separate large bowl with a hand mixer. Add in the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla. Stir until combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and gently stir until all mixed together. Don't over mix but make sure that you do not have any dry ingredients not mixed into the wet ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Using a small cookie scooper or spoon, fill each mini-pie approximately 2/3 full with the brownie batter. It's ok if you over fill a bit...the brownies will just rise a little more over the top of the pie crust. This happened to some of mine but they still taste de-lish. This batch will use approximately 1/2 of your brownie batter. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 26-28 minutes. Keep an eye on them towards the end as you want the brownies to have a little fudgy-ness but you also want the pie crust to be done so it's golden and flaky. I start checking mine at 25 minutes. Check the brownies with a toothpick and remove from the oven when it comes out clean or with a crumb or two. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire baking rack to finish cooling. Repeat the process with the second pie crust layer and second half of the brownie dough. This recipe makes 18-20 little pies.
I recommend topping with fresh whipped cream! Enjoy and stay warm!
New England wife and mom. Faith, fitness, yoga, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.