Mini White Chocolate Blackberry Pies

Soooo. 
Let’s talk about work. I thought it was going to be rough getting back into work again. Even though, as I mentioned the other day, I was looking forward to a normal schedule and routine, the thought of work after a long vacation was not pleasing to my brain. 
For some reason, the transition has been surprisingly okay though.

Maybe it’s because I have a full month of more fun things planned like my step sister’s wedding back home in Columbus, followed by our good friends’ wedding in New Orleans. 
Maybe it’s because reality is starting to set in that my very own wedding is in about 4 1/2 months. That’s still more than a third of the year, but it seems so soon to me. After not doing too much planning for the past several weeks, I all of a sudden feel like there are 100 things I can be doing and it’s getting really fun again. 

Or maybe it’s because it’s January and it’s in the 50’s/60’s outside. Even though I’m still cold most of the time because I’m just weird like that, I am so thankful to be back in Charleston after spending part of Christmas in Columbus where temperatures dropped well below 30 degrees every day. That was a lot of capital letter C’s in the same sentence, but here’s some more: Cold. Cold. Cold. 
No thank you.

Anyway. I know it is only a matter of days until I’m wishing I was back on vacation, but for now I’m going to embrace this feeling. 

And eat a mini pie while I’m at it.  

Mini White Chocolate Blackberry Pies
Makes 14-16 pies
Ingredients:
1 package refrigerated pie crusts (two crusts total)
1 cup fresh blackberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, add blackberries and sugar. Stir to combine and let sit about 30 minutes (this will really help to bring out the juices).
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
3. Roll out the pie dough and cut into 3-4 inch circles (a cookie cutter will work best, but cut by hand with a knife if you need to). Lay half of the circles on the greased cookie sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between each one. Use a spoon to scoop blackberry mixture on top of each pie crust circle. Place another cut-out on top of each filled crust. Use a fork to seal around the edges. Slice three small slits across the top of each sealed pie.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool about five minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool at least another 15 minutes.
5. While cooling, prepare white chocolate drizzle by melting chocolate chips in the microwave according to package directions. Immediately drizzle on top of each pie. Serve warm.

*Store any leftovers in airtight container for 2-3 days.

Mini Red Velvet Brownie Pies

The little sugar-loving devil inside of me won the fight. You know, the internal fight I have with myself on a daily basis to make the best choices possible when it comes to what I eat.  Yeah, that fight. It can be very violent I tell you. The claws come out and there may even be hair-pulling. 
Ok, no not really. 
Healthified” and “gluten free” desserts were well and good this past week, but it was only a matter of time until I indulged in a homemade treat like this again. A dessert with full-fat butter, sugar and that notorious refined white all-purpose flour rarely disappoints. And I was going to enjoy every last bite. 

This is one recipe I have been hanging onto for several months and now can finally announce with certainty I will not be letting it go anytime soon. It lived up to every expectation I had. 
This is how it started…
Jessica made red velvet browniesDorothy adapted that to make a red velvet brownie pie. Now I have adapted that to make Mini Red Velvet Brownie Pies. 
So. dang. cute. 
I’ll take three.
After a couple of late nights out this weekend, spending a lazy Sunday afternoon enjoying something like this is just what I needed. 
Mini Red Velvet Brownie Pies
(Adapted from How Sweet It Is and Crazy for Crust; I halved their recipe which is reflected below)
Makes 9 mini pies
Ingredients:
Refrigerated pie crust, cut into 9-3inch circles (using a circular cookie cutter is the easiest way)
For the brownies-
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon red food coloring
For the cream cheese whipped cream frosting-
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray. Place one circular pie crust into the bottom of 9 of the wells and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand-alone mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, then 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until well combined. 
3. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, food coloring and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir thoroughly. Add to stand-mixer and blend. Add flour and salt. Continue to mix until well combined. 
4. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter on top of the pie crusts in the wells. Spread in an even layer with spoon, or gently tap pan on counter to flatten batter. 
5. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of a mini pie comes out clean.  
6. While pies are baking, prepare frosting. Beat heavy whipping cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar. Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream. 
7. Once pies have cooled completely, frost as desired!