Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Apple Spice Hand Pies with Cinnamon Cream

Why are little girls so mean to each other?  My 8-year old daughter and I were on a field trip with school together and were having a great time.  At the end of the day, we were to all meet in a central location.  My daughter sat on a brick half-wall next to a girl in her class and Girl Scout troop.  They were chatting and having fun.  Along comes (well, hobbles, as she has a broken ankle) another girl in their class, who is also in their Girl Scout troop.  My daughter's friend asked her if she could sign her leg cast, and she said yes and handed her a Sharpie.  Then my daughter asked her if she could sign her cast.  The girl looked her square in the eyes, cocked her head, hand on her hip, and said, "Um, no."

My daughter hung her head for a second, shrugged her shoulders, and then started doing some clapping rhyme thing with another kid.

It really hurt my feelings to see someone treat my baby this way.

Moms always want the best for their kids, and for all other kids to be kind to them.  Wouldn't you want your baby to be treated with love and respect all the time?

And how do you think your mom feels when someone is unkind to you?  I can tell you ~ it breaks her heart.

So my poor, sweet, loving daughter and I came home and made some Apple Spice Hand Pies.  And ate several of them each.

The best part?  The cinnamon cream sort of melts and gets all creamy and gooey.  Like a cherry cheese danish with apples in a hand pie form.  Unreal.

Apple Spice Hand Pies with Cinnamon Cream
Makes 16

4 Granny Smith apples
2 T. butter
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. cloves
1 c. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. vanilla extract
pinch salt
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
4 pie crusts, uncooked
1 egg
3 T. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 425*.  Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Peel and chop apples.  In a large skillet, melt butter over med-high heat.  Saute apples for 5-10 minutes or until beginning to soften.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and saute 1 minute to bloom the spices.   Add brown sugar and saute 3-5 minutes or until syrupy.  Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water.  Add to apples and cook 1 minute, or until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

While the apples are cooling, whip (by hand or with a mixer) the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and cinnamon until light and fluffy.  Set aside.

Using a 5" biscuit cutter or similar (I use a funnel), cut rounds of the pie dough, rolling scraps as necessary to make 16 rounds.  Fill rounds on one side with 1-2 tablespoons of apples, leaving a 1/4"-1/2" edge.  Dollop 1 teaspoon or so of the cream cheese mixture on top of the apples.  Dip your finger in water, run along edge, and fold over pie dough to seal.  Crimp with a fork by rolling the fork so the twines push down on the border.

Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in separate bowl.  Brush tops of hand pies with egg wash.  Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating and switching pans halfway thru.

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