Dessert from the Pantry – Mini Chocolate Pies

As I mentioned yesterday, Calvin spent last Friday night with my parents. They live about an hour away, and after we picked him up on Saturday I was daydreaming about dessert on the drive home (everyone daydreams about making dessert, right?). Saturday is dessert day around our house and I wanted to make something quick and easy, but different from our usual fallback of chocolate chip cookie bars or brownies.

We had part of a package of Double Stuf Oreos in the pantry. I figured it was just about enough to make crusts in my four mini pie pans. We always have the ingredients for Microwave Chocolate Pudding. And if “someone” (Rich) ran to the store for cream to whip, we would be all set for Mini Chocolate Pies.

Here is the method, with links to the chocolate pudding recipe:

Crush, or grind in a food processor, about a third of a package of Oreos. We had Double Stufs, but I think regular ones would have been better. The extra filling made the crust just a little too sweet, and you could see the flecks of white filling. Rich and Calvin thought it was just fine, though.

If you don’t have mini pie pans, you could probably do this in a regular 9-inch pie plate or small casserole dish. You might need more Oreos, or you could just press the crumbs in the bottom and not worry about going up the sides.

Press the crumbs into the pie pan(s). The cookie filling takes the place of butter or sugar in the crusts and holds the crumbs together. I first saw this on “America’s Test Kitchen” on PBS several years ago, so I can’t take credit for the method.

Bake the crust(s) in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5-7 minutes. Stay in the kitchen and let your nose tell you when they are done – they will smell chocolatey and sweet. You can’t tell by the color, because the crumbs are so dark in the first place. These go from just done to burnt in seconds – I rescued mine just in time.  Let the crusts cool on a rack while you make the pudding. We used Microwave Chocolate Pudding, but any pudding will work.

Pour the pudding into the crust(s) and lay plastic wrap directly on the pudding surface to avoid a skin on top. Place in the fridge to cool.

We took the lazy route and got whipped cream in a can. Feel free to whip your own. Top the pies just before serving. Garnish with a few chopped chocolate chips or chocolate shavings, and maraschino cherries (Rich’s choice), if you like.

These are best the same day, or at most the next day, if they last that long.