Growing up, when deciding what to bake my dad often floated around the idea of a black bottom pie. He would talk about how this was one of his favorite treats that his grandmother used to make.
Instead of a black bottom pie, I decided to make one of its close relatives, chocolate cream pie! While large pies are delicious and perfect for a crowd, I always love to make handheld desserts. Thus, I wound up with this recipe for these mini chocolate cream pies!
This recipe starts with the chocolate cookie crust.
Quick tip: I typically use a food processor to crush the cookies, but if you do not have access to one you can place the cookies in a sealed plastic bag and crush the cookies with a rolling pin or heavy pot. It definitely is a great way to get any lingering frustration out!
Quick tip: You may notice that this recipe calls for a lot of cookies compared to a regular cookie crust recipe. This is necessary since we are individually pressing the crust up the sides of each muffin tin. This creates more surface area and thus requires more cookie crumbs.
Mix the crushed cookies with the melted butter and press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of each tin.
Having tried this recipe both with and without muffin liners, I found it much easier and cleaner with the muffin liners.
Quick tip: If you do not have muffin liners, you can grease the muffin tins and press the crust directly into those. To get them out at the end if you are not using muffin liners, gently press one side of the crust and the mini pies should pop out.
Once the crust has been pressed into all 12 of the muffin liners, bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Place in the refrigerator once they have cooled. Since the pudding filling will be cold, we do not want it to melt in our crust!
To start the pudding whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and milk. Slowly add the milk mixture to the sugar mix. This ensures that the cornstarch and sugar are evenly distributed and that no lumps occur.
Now, turn the heat on and whisk until the mixture thickens and just boils approximately 5-8 minutes.
Quick tip: A good way to test whether the pudding is ready, is to dip a spoon in the pudding and try to draw a line through it on the back of the spoon. If a clear line stays, then you are good to go!
Whisk in the vanilla and instant coffee. Be sure you do not let the mixture cool before adding the instant coffee. We wouldn’t want undissolved coffee bits in our pudding!
Why coffee? The coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor and makes the pudding more well-rounded.
Then whisk in the melted chocolates.
Press the pudding through a fine sieve. Although this step is not necessary, it ensures that your pudding will be silky smooth and free of lumps. Press cling wrap directly onto the warm pudding and place in the fridge. By placing the cling wrap onto the pudding, it prevents a skin from developing. Chill for 2 hours or until cold.
Once the pudding has chilled, either scoop or pipe the filling into the crusts. Be careful not to fill them above where the crust ends. Chill again for at least 1 hour.
Remove mini pies from muffin tin and peel away the paper liners. Top with whipped cream no more than 3 hours before serving. Dust with cocoa powder and enjoy 🙂
- 2 cups ground chocolate sandwich cookies
- 6 tablespoons butter , melted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 and ½ cups whole milk
- 2.5 oz semisweet chocolate , melted
- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate , melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- ½ cup whipped cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small bowl mix the crushed cookies and the melted butter.
Press the cookie crust into each muffin liner, being sure to make a crust all the way up the sides. This ensures that your mini pies can be freestanding once you remove the muffin liner.
Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a small saucepan whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk.
Over medium heat, slowly whisk the milk and egg mixture into the saucepan containing the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and just comes boils, ~5-8 minutes.
Whisk in the melted chocolate and instant coffee until the chocolate is uniformly distributed. Push the pudding through a fine strainer, to remove any lumps and produce a silky smooth pudding filling. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the pudding is thick and cool.
Using either a spoon or a piping bag, place the pudding into the prepared crusts. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Remove mini pies from muffin tin and peel away the paper liners.
On high speed, beat the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar until the cream forms peaks. Pipe the whipped cream onto the mini pies. Dust with cocoa or decorate with chocolate curls. Serve and enjoy!
These can be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
- If you do not have a food processor, you can place the chocolate sandwich cookies in a sealed plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or metal bowl until they resemble coarse sand.
- Whisking the milk and egg mixture constantly over medium heat prevents any lumps from forming when the scrambling.
- For best results, make the whipped cream within 2-3 hours of serving. Without the whipped cream, the pies keep well in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- If you do not have a piping bag, you can put the whipped cream in a sealed plastic bag, pushing the cream to one corner. Snip the tip of the bag and you are all set to pipe!
- It is easiest to remove the pies from the paper liners before topping with the whipped cream.
- The chocolate pudding recipe was adapted from Gourmet magazine.