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Chocolate Brown Butter Hand Pies With Banana Hazelnut Filling

Chocolate Brown Butter Hand Pies

Every month I look forward to Bake Together, Abby always comes up with a delicious recipe to challenge and entice. Septembers Bake Together is a party, to celebrate the release of Abby’s new cookbook, Mini Treats & Handheld Sweets ~100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat! The pie dough is amazing, it’s really adapted from a cookie dough in her book. There is brown butter and brown sugar and each pie is filled with a delicious fruit filling. I took Abby’s wonderful recipe for Brown Butter Apple Hand Pies and added my own touch, I thought it would be fun to make a chocolate crust filled with banana’s and hazelnuts with a hint of orange, a bit of a change from your traditional filling. Abby’s pie’s were rectangular I decided to go for round, using a fluted cutter. The banana mixed with the nuts, brown sugar and orange zest is delicious.

For the  chocolate brown butter dough
16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup (7 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup+ 1 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
4-5 medium size ripe but firm banana’s chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar not packed
1/2 tsp orange zest
Make the filling right before you are going to assemble the tarts, place chopped banana, hazelnuts, orange zest and brown sugar in a bowl and toss to combine, the brown sugar should coat each piece of banana.

Make the dough
Put the butter in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until nutty brown and the milk solids are dark brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Slide the pan from the heat and add the brown sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar is almost dissolved, then set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Using your fingertip, check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm but not hot. If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a few more minutes before continuing with the recipe.

Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Add the flour and cocoa and stir until a smooth, soft dough forms.

 Arrange two pieces of plastic wrap on the counter and scrape the dough onto the center of one. Divide the dough in half (about 14 3/4 ounces each) and put half on the second piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic as a guide, shape both into 5-inch squares.Wrap in the plastic and set aside at room temperature until firm enough to roll, about 3 hours. (You can pop the dough into the refrigerator for a hour or so, but you don’t want the dough to be too chilled. It would be impossible to roll.)

Assemble and bake
Line two cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick liners. Put the egg and water in a small bowl and, using a fork, mix until well blended.

Working with one piece of dough at a time on a lightly floured piece of parchment (this dough is soft, so the parchment is a must for successful rolling), roll out to a rectangle slightly larger than 9×15 inches. Using a sharp paring knife or a fluted roller and a ruler, trim the edges to get a neat 9×15-inch rectangle, then cut into 3 x 2 1/2-inch rectangles (for a total of 18 rectangles).  Arrange the pastry rectangles about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets and cover with plastic. Roll out and cut the second piece of dough as you did the first one. NOTE: I made round pie’s so I did not make an even rectangle.

 Uncover the dough on one of the cookie sheets. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the filling onto the center of each rectangle and spread down the center, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edges. Using a small pastry brush, brush the edges of each rectangle with egg wash. Lay the remaining rectangles over the filling. Using the tines of a fork, press (or crimp) the pastry edges to seal. Lightly brush the top of each hand tart with egg wash. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, cut 2 small slits in the top of each hand tart to let steam escape. Sprinkle the tops with some of the turbanado sugar and slide the cookie sheets into the fridge while the oven heats up. (NOTE: because I used fluted rounds I brushed the edge of each with the egg wash, laid the top on and gently pressed all the way around to seal)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake on center rack in oven for approximately 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on pan then remove to wire cooling rack. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
21 Comments Post a comment
  1. That last shot got to me definitely, who can resist a pie so good looking? With chocolate, hazelnut and banana? 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    September 13, 2012
    • Yes, a bit odd i know. The banana mixed with the brown sugar, orange zest and hazelnuts caramelizes in the pie. It’s good!! Thank you so much.

      September 13, 2012
  2. petit4chocolatier #

    Excellent recipe; as always!! I fell in love with the chocolate brown butter dough. The pies looks so tasty!!

    September 13, 2012
    • Thank you, I love the chocolate dough. I only used half of the recipe and froze the rest. I think I will make wafers for ice cream sandwiches with the rest of it.

      September 13, 2012
      • petit4chocolatier #

        Wafers for ice cream sound wonderful!

        September 13, 2012
      • Thank you, I love ice cream sandwiches and this dough is the perfect consistency they will hold up beautifully.

        September 13, 2012
  3. Julia Fairchild #

    This looks so good, how would peanuts or toffee hold up as a hazelnut substitute?

    September 13, 2012
    • Funny you say that, I almost used peanuts and a caramel drizzle (I guess thats similar to toffee) I think it would be delicious. Thank you!

      September 13, 2012
      • Mmm, since I can’t have [tree] nuts I try to find good substitutes, in a lot of recipes the texture wouldn’t hold up, or peanuts aren’t a good flavor to mix in…

        September 16, 2012
      • I love peanut butter and banana, it’s one of my favorite snacks, I think peanuts would be a great substitute for the hazelnuts and would make no difference at all in texture. Omitting the nuts entirely would also be fine, I was thinking adding chocolate would make an even more decadent dessert.

        September 16, 2012
  4. What an incredibly addictive-looking little dessert!!! I love your take on Abby’s, and will now have to go to her site to see what she’s up to this month!

    September 14, 2012
    • Thanks so much, I love Abby’s recipes and her monthly bake together is so much fun.

      September 14, 2012
  5. Oh wow, it all looks so good. I like that you did a non-traditional filling. The chocolate dough is genius! 🙂

    September 14, 2012
    • Thank you, I am usually a traditional sort of gal when it comes to pies but I thought the banana’s would go really nicely with the chocolate dough.

      September 14, 2012
  6. Wow! These sound like they would be a flavor explosion!! I love chocolate and bananas together and the addition of hazelnut sounds like it would just be incredible. Lovely pies!

    September 14, 2012
  7. Wow! These look like they would be a flavor explosion! I love chocolate and bananas together and the addition of hazelnuts sounds like it must have just been amazing. Lovely pies!

    September 14, 2012
    • Thank you so much, they are delicious and Abby’s recipe is amazing. Chocolate, banana’s and nuts whether peanut or any kind of nut really are so perfect together!

      September 14, 2012
  8. Um, those look insulin worthy – wow!

    September 16, 2012
  9. Wow! So rich and decadent! Those look amazing!!!

    September 18, 2012

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