blueberry lime basil hand pies.

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a pie in the hand is worth two in the bellay.

because when you can grab pie by the hand, it’s really easy to eat two. 😂

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jeeeez how cute are hand pies though? now that i’ve made these, my head is spinning with all the possibilities. i want to shove nutella in there with something so badly.

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these are a bit of a project, but you can totally use pre-made/pre-rolled pie dough and then this becomes super super duper easy.

i used alison roman’s “the only piecrust” again for this recipe - same that i used in the apple cheddar broccolini galette.

it’s my only piecrust recipe now. it’s just perfection.

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these hand pies were inspired by a plum hand pie recipe i saw in the beautiful pcc cooking from scratch cookbook. pcc is a community grocery store throughout seattle and the northwest, and the cookbook is just stunning!

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also inspired by the blueberry bourbon basil doughnut from blue star doughnuts in portland. have you seen it? have you had it? it is not only the most gorgeous color, but so soft & delicious.

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(^ i took this pic because it looked like a perfect sunny side up egg. 🍳)

with all the inspirational powers combined, these cute little tasty hand pies were created. the flavors are so so good and fresh, and they have such a great texture! don’t forget the raw sugar or coarse sugar sprinkled on top!

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if you make these, you should try to fit as much fruit in there as possible. i tried to add just enough to not have the pies exploding blue juices out everywhere. when they bake, a little pocket of air forms, leaving you wishing there were more blueberries inside. oh, science.

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peter thinks these are really tasty and even said “i would buy this for $5.” which is just about a perfect recipe critique in my book. 😊

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we’re both on christmas break now and popped these into the toaster oven on some tin foil this morning and had them nice and warm with coffee. sooo good! and felt so special to have a holly jolly hand pie for brekkie by the christmas tree. 🎄

you can totally enjoy them cold, too. they remind me of these mini apple pies some kid’s dad would bring into my first grade class and we’d always eat them cold, and they were amazing.

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these particular pies are made with goat cheese, but if you don’t like the flavor of goat cheese, i think another soft mellow cheese or ricotta or even some cream cheese would work just as well!

i’m off to make allllllll the pie combos now. actually i’m off to make this freakin amazing looking cookie recipe from bon appétit….snickerdoodle party cookies with cornflakes & chocolate toffee barz… whoa. need.

hap hap happy holidays to you!!! ✨

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Blueberry Lime Basil Hand Pies

Total Time: 1 - 3 hours (store bought pie dough vs. homemade), Active Time: 30 minutes

Makes about 8 large handpies + 3 mini pies

Ingredients:

For the Dough: (Recipe from Alison Roman’s Dining In Cookbook, “The Only PIecrust”)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 TB. granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled & cubed

  • 1 TB. apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups blueberries

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 TB. cornstarch

  • 1 TB. lime juice (half a lime)

  • 1 tsp. lime zest

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

  • 1 egg + 1 TB water, for egg wash

  • all-purpose flour, for dusting

  • raw sugar or coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions-

For the dough:

You can make the pie dough way in advance and keep in the freezer. Or make 1-4 days in advance and store flat rounds in plastic wrap in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. OR just use store bought pie dough!

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar & salt. Add the chilled butter cubes and toss to coat in the flour mixture, then use your hands to smash the butter between your fingers. Incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it appears shaggy and flaky.

Combine the vinegar and the ice water and drizzle it over the flour + butter mixture. Run your fingers through the mixture to evenly distribute the water through the flour until the dough starts coming together.

On a lightly floured work surface, knead the combined dough a few times to gather up and incorporate any dry bits. It will not be smooth or shiny. Knead the shaggy mass with your palms a few more times, then pat into a flat disk about 1 inch thick. Wrap the disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

For the filling:

In a bowl, combine the blueberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and lime zest. Toss everything to coat.

In another small bowl, mix together the softened goat cheese and chopped fresh basil.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment.

Roll out the pie crust on a well floured surface until it is 1/8 inch thick. I used the back of a plate to make 6 inch circles in the dough, and then cut out the circles with a knife. Re-roll out the dough scraps to make as many 6 inch rounds as you can. I made a few mini 3” ones with the final scraps.

In a small bowl, combine the egg and water to make the egg wash.

Place about 1 TB of the goat cheese basil mixture in the center of the pie dough, and cover with a scoop of the blueberry mixture.

You can practice folding the dough over to see how much fruit you can actually fit in there. Keep at least a half an inch border around the edges. Brush the half inch edge all the way around with the egg wash, and fold the dough over to create a half circle and enclose. Press the edges down firmly with your fingers, then crimp with the tongs of a fork to seal. Repeat these steps with all the pie dough rounds.

Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet as you go. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle raw or coarse sugar all over. Cut a few 1/2 inch vents in the top of the pies.

Bake 25-30 minutes (mine came out at 29 minutes) until golden like a croissant and the fruit juices are bubbling out. Let them continue to cook on the hot pan a few minutes before serving.

Store in a covered or airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the toaster oven if desired!

Enjoy!

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chai blondies with pumpkin cream cheese frosting.

would you like a bite of fall?

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these blondies are exploding with fall flavor. they taste and smell like the months of october, november, and december combined.

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make your own chai blend! this has been so cozy to have extra around for sprinkling on various thangs. it smells amazing, and it’s pretty to boot.

adding the chai spice to hot water with some raw sugar is a super easy instant chai tea and is super spicy and flavorful. it would also be amahzing in hot apple cider, on ice creams, on oatmeal, yogurt, etc etc etc!

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the blondies are made with olive oil, which is pritty kewl. you can make them with butter if you prefer. the texture will be delightful either way.

i know there are two very serious camps of pro-nut and anti-nut in dessert people - but i just think these are sooo great with chopped walnuts within. they’d also be delicious with hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. if you’re an anti-nut, leave em out. wahhhhh. :(

boy. i had no idea how tricky this frosting would be when i decided to make it pumpkin cream cheese. sounds simple, yeah? whell, it took me 3 tries to get it right.

i’m super glad i didn’t throw in the towel, because the final product turned out mega deliciouuuus.

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i was getting way confident in how much pumpkin purée i could throw into the frosting……turns out, that just ain’t allowed. unless you fancy grainy glop on your brownies and/or cakes.

never fear, failed frosting #1 actually ended up becoming a pumpkin sweet bread recipe the next day with a bit of tweaking, haha. i do not like to waste.

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you can only add barely TWO TABLESPOONS of pumpkin to the frosting. or else, grainsville. my first attempt - i put in 1 CUP of pumpkin. lololol. what a mess. also, sifting the powdered sugar is very important.

then use pumpkin pie spice and the chai spice blend to bring out that pumpkin flavor without adding any extra liquid to the frosting.

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the bars are perfectly chewy and spiced like chai - with some bits of walnut, which i love. and the frosting has a combination of sweet and sour(ish) flavors with the pumpkin, powdered suga and cream cheese.

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these are an all around fall’s delight.

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Chai Blondies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 9 Bars (8 x 4 pan for 1” thick blondies)

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Blondies - (slightly adapted from Molly Yeh!)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 1/2 tsp. chai spice blend (make the spice blend separately, then add 1 1/2 total tsp. of the combined spices)

Chai Spice Blend - (easily multiplied or halved - store in airtight container)

  • 2 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice

  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting -

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (half stick), room temperature

  • 2 1/2 TB. pumpkin purée

  • 1/2 tsp. chai spice blend

  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted!

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions -

Make the blondies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 4 inch (for 1” thick bars) or 4 x 4 inch pan (for 2” thick bars) with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. If doubling the recipe, use an 8 x 8 inch square pan and also about double the bake time.

In a large bowl, combine the dry base ingredients for the blondies. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Make the chai spice blend in a completely separate bowl or container to store for later. Chop the walnuts.

Add 1 1/2 tsp. of the chai spice blend to the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl and stir to combine. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

Spread batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of the blondies comes clean. Allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully lift the parchment to set blondies on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting:

In a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the pumpkin purée and mix again (DO NOT add more pumpkin than the recipe calls for - frosting will turn very grainy as a result). Add the chai blend and pumpkin pie spice to bring out the pumpkin flavor.

SIFT the powdered sugar before slowly adding to the mixing bowl. Sifting is key to keeping the frosting smooth. Continue to mix/whisk on medium speed until all the powdered sugar is added and frosting is fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and mix for a couple more minutes.

Lift the cooled blondies onto a large cutting board. Use spatula, butter knife, or offset spatula to spread the frosting onto the blondies. Carefully cut into squares with a large knife. Serve same-day!

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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