These Halloween Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies are an easy and frightfully fun treat to enjoy this October! With a chocolate pastry crust cut out in Jack-O-Lantern shapes and canned cherry pie filling, this handheld dessert will be a hit at Halloween parties!
Halloween Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies
I am so excited to share these spooky fun chocolate cherry hand pies with you today! October is my favorite month for so many reasons, including Halloween and my birthday, so I figured it only makes sense to start things off strong with a festive treat!
Last year I saw some jack-o-lantern pumpkin hand pies and fell in love. They were totally the inspiration for this post. But I wanted to go a different route from pumpkin, and instead do a Black Forest version with chocolate and cherries. My Aunt Becky's Black Forest cake has been my traditional birthday cake for as long as I can remember, and I thought it would be so fun to recreate those flavors in portable pie form. And besides, the Black Forest is spooky too, right?
I love these Halloween chocolate cherry hand pies because unlike so many goodies around Halloween, these aren't super chocolatey or overwhelmingly sweet.
It's difficult to make a chocolate pie dough that tastes intensely chocolatey without sacrificing the flakiness of pie crust. And adding too much sugar to pie dough creates even more issues, especially since I wanted to keep these more in the realm of pie crust, and not cherry filled chocolate cookies.
But there is a definite cocoa taste to the chocolate crust that pairs perfectly with the cherry filling to give you a sense of the classic Black Forest cake flavors.
And I love how the red cherry pie filling looks devilishly wicked in the grinning chocolate jack-o-lantern faces that I carved out using a sharp paring knife. I opted to go the cherry route with canned pie filling to make things easy, but this chocolate pastry crust would be just as delicious filled with pumpkin, nutella, or a peanut butter chocolate ganache.
I could also see making these for Valentine's Day and cutting out hearts instead of pumpkins.
How to Make Chocolate Pie Dough
Honestly, chocolate pie dough isn't all that different from regular pie dough except you sub in cocoa powder for some of the flour, increase the sugar a titch, and add a little more liquid.
Otherwise, the principles of making a good pie crust are all the same. Like using cold ingredients and chilling the dough before rolling it out.
Roll out the chocolate pie dough on a lightly floured surface. You can "flour" with cocoa powder, although regular all-purpose flour works just fine.
I used a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out the bottoms of each hand pie and transferred them to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet before mounding cherry pie filling on the top of each one. I just eyeballed things at this point but would say that I used about 1-2 tablespoons of filling for each chocolate cherry hand pie. The amount will largely depend on the size and shape of the cookie cutter you choose to use but you don't want to overfill the hand pies.
Use the same cookie cutter for the top "crusts" of the pies, but this time cut out Jack-o-lantern faces with a sharp paring knife. Not only does this look cute, but it allows the pies to vent while baking so the filling mostly stays put rather than bursting out the sides. Adding the slits in the top also gives some flexibility to stretch the top cutout slightly to fit over the filling.
Brush the edges of the bottom crust with egg wash before placing the top crust on to help it stick better. Seal each hand pie shut by pressing around the edges with the tines of a fork. Then bake the chocolate cherry hand pies for 15-18 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.
Then let the pies cool before eating them!
Keep scrolling past the recipe for tons more Halloween recipe inspiration from some of my favorite food bloggers!
More Halloween Treats
- Decorate Your Own Halloween Cupcake Board
- Halloween Sugar Cookies
- Healthy Halloween Snacks
- Dark Chocolate Halloween Chip Cookies
- Halloween Sugar Cookie Bars
- Halloween Chex Mix Muddy Buddies
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Halloween Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup butter, very cold and grated or cubed
- 10-12 Tablespoons ice cold whole milk, half-and-half, or cream
- 1 can cherry pie filling
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Slowly drizzle in the cold milk while pulsing or stirring with a fork, if not using a food processor . The dough will be slightly shaggy and soft, but if it is still looking too dry, add another tablespoon or two of milk. Divide the dough into two discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 5 days.
- When ready to make the hand pies, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll out one disc of chocolate pie dough on a floured work surface (you can "flour" with cocoa powder to keep things dark, or just use regular flour, which will mostly be absorbed into the pie dough anyway). Cut into pumpkin shapes using a 3 inch pumpkin cookie cutter and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of cherry pie filling right into the center of each pumpkin.
- Roll out the second disc of chocolate pie dough and cut out pumpkin shapes using the same cutter. Use a sharp paring knife to "carve" jack-o-lantern faces. Brush the edges of the bottom crusts with egg wash made by whisking 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water together. I just use my finger to moisten the edges so the top crust will stick. Gently lay the top crusts over the cherry filling, matching edges and crimping with a fork to seal the hand pies.
- Bake the hand pies for 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees F, just until the edges are set, but do not overbake. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.