Mini Chocolate Cream Pies
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)
3 1/2 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Add butter, cut into flour mixture until it is like coarse meal. Add shortening, cut in until well blended. Stir in water. Gently work the dough into a ball. Place dough in the middle of a piece of floured wax paper. Sprinkle flour over dough, then cover with another sheet of wax paper. Roll dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use small cookie cutters (square, round, flower, etc.) to cut out dough. Place dough cut-outs on prepared baking sheet. Prick dough a few times with a fork. Bake for 11 - 13 minutes or until browned on the edges. Cool completely before adding filling.
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
14 Dove Dark Chocolate Promises, unwrapped and chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk milk and egg yolks. Pour milk mixture into sugar mixture, whisking until smooth. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, being sure to keep the bottom and edges of pan scraped, for about 7 - 9 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Transfer hot filling to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to rest in contact with the filling. Refrigerate until cool, about 1 - 2 hours. Once filling and crusts are cooled, fill a pastry bag with the filling. Using a star tip, squeeze about 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons filling onto each crust.
Topping - Stabilized Whipped Cream
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Grated chocolate or toasted coconut for sprinkling
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water to soften. Scald 2 tablespoons of the cream then pour over gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Refrigerate until mixture is the consistency of an unbeaten egg white, about 10 - 15 minutes. Then beat mixture with a whisk until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whip beater, whip remaining cream and sugar just until soft peaks form; whip in the gelatin mixture, stopping to scrape the bowl twice, then whip about another 10 - 20 seconds. Fill a pastry bag with topping. Using a star tip, squeeze about a teaspoonful of topping over the filling. Sprinkle with grated chocolate or toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.