Morning or night person? Which one do you identify with?
I’ve always regarded myself as a night person. Recently though, I realized it is the act of getting out of bed that is the most difficult. Once this (excruciating) task is accomplished, I quietly go about my morning until my first cup of tea or coffee. The knowledge that I will consume some sort of caffeinated beverage soon is what motivates me to get out of bed. Indeed, I am the stereotypical, highly caffeinated mama, trying to get as many things done while her children eat breakfast.
This morning though, my routine went off course. While multitasking, I knocked a clean saucepan off the counter and into the open dishwasher. The saucepan fell onto my French press beaker glass, breaking it into pieces which then went all over the clean dishes. It was not a good start to a morning that came too early. It is the reason that this post is up later than planned.
Otherwise though, the day has been beautiful (not to mention having an excuse to treat my daughter and myself to a trip to a café). I think if I had broken the beaker in the evening there may have been some tears on my behalf. I’m realizing mornings are joyful and a time where I can focus and move on if needed. They are filled with promise and that is what I chose to pursue moving forward.
Chocolate Hand Pies
Makes: 12-20 hand pies depending on the size of cookie cutter used
Time: Prep time (15 minutes) + Resting time (1 hour) + Assembly (30 minutes) + Resting time (15 minutes) & Baking time (18-22 minutes)
Chocolate Pastry Dough
225 g (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
190 g (1½ cups) all-purpose flour
60 g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
40-50g (1/3 to 1/2 cup) ice water
Nutella/ chocolate- hazelnut spread
Red currant jam
Egg wash: 1 large egg, beaten mixed with 1 tbsp whole milk
4 tbsp demerara sugar
Chocolate Pastry Dough
1. Prepare the butter and then place back in the refrigerator.
2. Pulse the flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar and salt in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, whisk the ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add the butter and pulse or break up with 2 knives or a pastry cutter. There should still be some larger chunks of butter (about the size of your fingernail).
4. Add the water by hand using a spatula. Start with the least amount of water and add more only if needed. Stop adding water when the dough holds together.
5. Divide into 2 and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for 1 hour.
Assembly and Baking:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Dust the work surface with cocoa powder or all-purpose flour (cocoa powder prevents discolouration of the dough so that you get a consistent coloured pastry). Unwrap 1 disc and roll to 6mm to 1 cm (1/4 – ½ inch) thick. Cut using a round cookie cutter. I used a scalloped cutter that was 88 mm (3 7/16 inches).
3. Choose your filing or try all of my recommendations. Measure ¾ tbsp. to 1 tbsp of Nutella or jam or peanut butter (being carefull not to overstuff your pies). Place filing on half of the cut cookie round leaving a 6mm (1/4 inch) border around the edge. Prick the other side of the round with a fork. Brush the beaten egg along the edges of the dough. Fold over and seal with your fingertips. Place onto the prepared cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Clean up with the pies are in the refrigerator.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove from the refrigerator. Brush with the egg wash and then sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack. Pies are best eaten the day they are made but can be consumed up to 4 days after baking them.
Enjoy with a latte and fruit if eating for breakfast. In the evening, serve with a side of ice cream.
Pie crust adapted from Craftsy.
PS. How do you prepare your coffee? I am in the market for a new device to make my morning brew and would love to hear your suggestions.