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These cold winter months are perfect for hearty, comforting meals! One of my favorite comfort foods, that reminds me of my childhood, is sweet and savory pies! My Mini Heart Shaped Cranberry Hand Pies are an easy and festive dessert recipe to go with Valentine’s Day dinner!
I am so thankful that, despite a few arguments to eat the tomatoes in my salad, and sometimes seeming annoyed when my parents asked what I learned in school that day, that family dinner time was top priority for my family. In fact, I loved every minute of it!
Dinner time for our large family never lacked interesting conversation, as we poured over some of the simplest meals. If my Mom was cooking, it was usually Lemon Pepper Chicken or spaghetti and if it was up to my Dad it was tomato soup or savory pot pies.
Like I said, this winter weather is sure making me feel nostalgic!
To help bring me back to those days from long ago, I decided to whip up a simple, yet comforting dinner, just like I had growing up. In honor of my Dad, I made mini pot pies, Caesar salad (my favorite salad as a kid because there were no tomatoes!) and these Mini Heart Shaped Cranberry Hand Pies (in honor of my Mom’s famous fruit pies!)…. ahh… the perfect dinner to warm you up on a cold winter day!
Not only was this a comforting and hearty meal to warm up on a cold night, I loved sharing these favorite foods and cherished childhood memories with my husband. And even though this wasn’t a fancy meal by any means, this would be a great meal for Valentine’s Day, because it is simple, therefore allowing you to spend time with your significant other, and not in the kitchen all night cooking and cleaning. Yeah, some mini pot pies (store bought or homemade), a simple salad and these festive Mini Heart Shaped Cranberry Hand Pies all enjoyed by candle light or a cozy fire seems like a picture perfect romantic night.
Helpful Tips and Information:
Baking Tip: I have this large bucket of cookie cutters that I love because it has cookie cutters in all shapes and sizes, both generic and for various holidays. However, if you don’t want such a large supply of cookie cutters, you can usually find smaller packs of just heart cookie cutters, like this one, this time of year with the Valentine’s decor at most stores.
Make Ahead: This hand pie recipe can be made up to three days in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. To rewarm, wrap in a paper towel or place on a plate and microwave for 20 seconds. You can also freeze these mini pies, for 6-9 months, by wrapping them in foil and placing them in a freezer safe baggie.
If you like this recipe for Mini Heart Shaped Cranberry Hand Pies, then you’ll love these other pie recipes:
- 1 batch homemade or store bought pie crust,, enough for two crusts
- unbleached all-purpose flour,, as needed
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, (no need to thaw if frozen)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon all-spice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 large navel orange,, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup raw sugar, (granulated sugar may be substituted)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie crust to approximately 1/8 to ¼-inch thick. Using a 3-inch heart or circle shaped cookie cutter, cut dough into shapes. Set dough cut outs aside. Repeat rolling and cutting process with remaining dough and any dough scraps until all dough is used and 24 to 28 heart or circle shapes are formed.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together cranberries, granulated sugar, all-spice, salt, cornstarch, orange zest and juice to form pie filling. Reduce heat to medium and let pie filling simmer for 4-5 minutes or until filling begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Set aside cranberry pie filling to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water to form egg wash. Using a pastry brush or your finger, brush the outer edge of half of the pie crust hearts with egg wash. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon cranberry pie filling into the center of the heart shaped cut outs. Place a second dough heart on top of each filled heart. Using your fingers, gently press around the edge of the pie to seal. Then using a fork, crimp the edges together, fully sealing each pie. Repeat filling process with remaining ingredients.
- Carefully transfer pies to prepared baking sheet. Using a toothpick cut a small “X” into the corner of each pie. Brush tops of pie with egg wash and sprinkle each pie with 1-2 teaspoons raw sugar.
- Bake pies in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.