You know how kids are, right? Imitating and copying others, changing their minds at the drop of a hat? Well, my (not-so) little Boy announced one evening that he now likes pie best. This, coming from a Boy who I know definitely likes cake more than pie any given day. I prodded a bit and out came the truth. His teacher asked his class the age-old question. Do you like pie or cake, and what kind? Some smart aleck started off by saying he likes chocolate pie, and believe it or not, the whole class now likes chocolate pie. Or so it seems!
So, he now wants chocolate pie. Hmm… that does sound interesting. Chocolate pie… I can definitely see the possibilities. Only thing is, Boy hates pie crust more than he hates pie. No graham cracker or shortcrust pastry for him; puff pastry might work, but I am not really sure. I gave it a day and tried to come up with alternatives.
But let’s forget the crust and think about the filling for a moment. I wanted something easy and chocolatey, made with just ingredients I already had in the pantry. So a recipe that required chocolate chips or gelatin were out. I then remembered my vanilla ice cream recipe made using eggless custard powder, which is basically just cornstarch. I replaced the milk powder in the original recipe with cocoa powder and did not use heavy cream, as I wanted a thicker texture for the pudding.
The method is pretty straight-forward. Cocoa powder and cornstarch are sifted (very important whenever you use cocoa powder, as it has a tendency to just lump together) and mixed with a little milk. The rest of the milk is heated slowly, and just before it begins to boil, the cocoa-cornstarch-milk paste is added and cooked on a medium flame till thickened. This is then chilled and allowed to set. The result is a delicious, smooth and glossy chocolate pudding, and you won’t even miss the eggs.
While that cools down, let’s go back to the crust. Let’s see what goes with chocolate. Cake? Uh-huh… didn’t you read the first para? Did someone say cookie? Well, of course! So cookie cups it is. Just mix, bake, shape, chill and fill. As simple as that. And you’ve got yourselves cookie cup chocolate pies or chocolate pudding cookie cups or whatever one may call them.
Making the cookie cups seemed tricky and I found some very useful tips here on how to shape the cookies into cups. You can use any soft cookie recipe. I followed a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe from Allrecipes, but replaced some of the flour with cocoa powder and did not use any chocolate chips. I told you I didn’t have any, remember? Cocoa powder also ensures that the crust is uniformly chocolatey and it nicely compliments the pudding filling.
The cookies are baked in standard cupcake/muffin pans till just a tad under-done, but not entirely gooey. Use a small round bottle or lid to press down on each cookie center. If it feels too gooey and sticks while shaping, pop it back in the oven for a couple more minutes. My batch was perfect at around the 14 minute mark. Shape the cups, cool them slightly in the pan, use the tip of a knife or thin spatula to remove them and then cool completely on a wire rack. (If you leave the cups too long in the pan, they will harden and crumble when you try to remove them.)
Fill the cookie cups with chilled chocolate pudding just before serving. You can try any number of other fillings too in these cookie cups – ice cream, nutella, jam, peanut butter, whipped cream, cake frosting, berries and more. Remember to fill only as many cups as you need at a time. Store the leftover cookie cups in a sealed container in the freezer. This way, they stay absolutely fresh for many days or even weeks. And, there’s nothing better than knowing you have a cookie treat in the freezer!
CHOCOLATE PUDDING COOKIE CUPS (Makes 12 servings)
EGGLESS CHOCOLATE PUDDING
You will need:
- Milk – 2 1/4 cups, at room temperature
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
- Cornstarch – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 6-8 tbsp (as per taste)
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Sift the cocoa powder and cornstarch together. Mix with 1/2 cup milk, ensuring there are no lumps whatsoever.
- Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan on medium heat. When the milk is heated and you see tiny bubbles around the edges, add sugar and the cocoa-cornstarch-milk slurry/paste to it. Use a fine mesh strainer to add the slurry if it seems to have lumps.
- Keep whisking continuously and cook till the mixture boils, maybe 5-7 minutes. Once it boils, keep whisking vigorously and cook for 2 more minutes or till the mixture thickens and turns glossy.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from heat. Pour the pudding into a glass bowl, using a fine mesh sieve if the pudding has formed lumps in spite of all the whisking. Cover with cling-wrap, touching the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature and then in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Keep the heat throughout on medium, never on high or too low.
- The chocolate pudding can be poured into individual dessert bowls or glasses and then chilled. But since we are filling cookie cups, we will chill the pudding first and pipe it in the cookie cups right before serving.
CHOCOLATE COOKIE CUPS
You will need:
- All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups minus 2 tbsp
- Unsweetened dark cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
- Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Butter – 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature
- White sugar – 1/2 cup
- Brown sugar – 1/2 cup, packed tightly
- Egg – 1, large
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg. F and grease a standard size cupcake pan.
- Sift the dry ingredients together, taking care to combine the cocoa powder thoroughly with flour, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.
- Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed till well combined and creamy.
- Mix in the dry ingredients to form a dough.
- Scoop and drop dough into the cups of the greased cupcake pan, dividing the dough evenly. A cookie dough scoop or ice cream scoop works well here. Or you can use the classic two-spoon maneuver!
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or till the cookie cups are just about done.
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool in the pan for just a couple of minutes. Then use a small container or glass to shape each cookie into a cup. Cool for a further 8-10 minutes, then remove them and cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
ASSEMBLING THE CHOCOLATE PUDDING COOKIE CUPS
You will need:
- Chocolate cookie cups – 12 (recipe above)
- Chocolate pudding – around 2 cups (recipe above)
- Sprinkles, chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips – for decoration (optional)
- Chill the chocolate pudding thoroughly. Completely cool the cookie cups too and store them in the freezer till needed.
- Take the chocolate pudding in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe pudding in the cookie cups.
- Decorate with multicolor sprinkles, chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips and serve immediately.
- Fill only as many cookie cups as you need at a time.
- Store leftover cookie cups in an airtight container in the freezer.
- Try any number of alternate fillings in these cookie cups – ice cream, nutella, jam, peanut butter, whipped cream, cake frosting, berries and more.
These sweet little cups were a smashing success. We absolutely loved it. Such a fun treat!
It is the perfect party dessert as the individual components can be made ahead and then assembled right before serving. Nothing beats the ease of something like that!
Do try this easy dessert recipe and let me know if you like it.
Tell me, do your kids make any weird demands? And have you come up with something unique just for them? Do share.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Home Stories A To Z
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- The Turquoise Home
- Living Well Spending Less
- Design Dining and Diapers
- The Novice Gardener
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Thirty Handmade Days
- Crafts a la Mode
- Love of Family and Home
- DIY Show Off
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn