A month ago I got a cute little Wilton mini pie pan. On clearance, of course. If you know me, you know I refuse to spend money on that sort of thing unless there is a good reason or a good clearance.
I realize that this sort of pan will not be used enough to blink at. I’m hopeful that I will find lots of reasons to use it and it will be fabulous. BUT, I am realistic enough to know that it will probably become one more kitchen gadget that I don’t have room for and it will live in the basement. It will end up a waste of money. And possibly a Goodwill donation two years from now.
Tim thinks I’m a little cheap. (Although he keeps that mostly to himself. Thank you, my love!) I prefer to think of it as smart and frugal. Don’t get me wrong. . .I may covet that sort of fun kitchen toy. A lot. I just rarely decide it’s useful enough to actually spend money on. Thank goodness for Target clearance. That’s where I got this baby for 5 bucks! And I’ve used it twice now!
This was my first try with this pan. With mixed results. It was delicious but the pan was not very easy to use for this particular crust. It took a delicate hand to get them to come out half way decent. A couple of the pies crumbled into a delicious mess.
These might be cute. . .but let me just tell you that it might be easier to make in a traditional pie pan or even an 8×8 pan. Next time I am making them like that.
I decided on a chocolate cookie crust for these so I bought chocolate animal crackers. YUM. I remember thinking animal crackers were SOOOOO boring when I was younger. I didn’t love them. What was I thinking?
Maybe I adored them as a toddler but as I got a little older, I could think of more exciting treats I would rather eat. Like cake. Or brownies. Or chocolate chip cookies. Animal crackers seemed the height of dullness. They aren’t even that sweet. They got lumped into the boring cookie category along with graham crackers.
It was another story when mom would buy my brother and I those cute little circus boxes of animal crackers when we were at the grocery store as kids. Now that was a treat! I mean the box had it’s own handle and you could carry it around the store like it was your own tiny purse full of cookies. Awesome! That’s what I call a purse. My brother may not remember it as a purse, of course.
Fortunately, (or maybe unfortunately) I have rekindled my love of animal crackers recently. And the chocolate ones are extra delicious. I have eaten A LOT of them in the past few weeks. Regular and chocolate. Thankfully, they are all gone now. I need to NOT buy more.
Actually, now that I think about it, there is one other animal ‘cracker’ I love. I’ve loved them for a while but I can’t get them where I live so I forget about them sometimes.
I used to live in Florida. I shopped at Publix grocery stores. They have their own brand of cookies and crackers and they make the best animal ‘cracker” It’s actually more like a cookie than a cracker. They’re sweeter and less cracker like. They are awesome! And their packaging is adorable. Plus the cookies are shaped like manatees and stuff. I miss them. 😦 I miss Publix in general.
Listen to me wax poetic about a cookie. I may have been known to pack boxes of Publix animal cookies carefully into my suitcase to smuggle home when I would visit friends in FL. Of course, I did that with wine, too. Not as successfully. Tim’s luggage ended up smelling of a delightful key lime wine.
I used this mini pie pan again just this morning. Since cookie crust didn’t work out fantastically, I tried a traditional pie crust this time. Better results but still a little hard to work with in such small pies. I made mini rhubarb pies this morning. They are so good. I love rhubarb.
Next time I am going to try puff pastry in this pan. Not sure what I’ll fill it with yet. Pumpkin, maybe? Apple? Thoughts?
You need to use a thick caramel to stir the peanuts into. Otherwise, it will just run right off the pie. I used a sundae topping, but I think dulce de leche would work better if you can find it. I was looking for it but struck out in my grocery store. Thus the sundae topping.
Who doesn’t love chocolate with peanuts? Classic.
4 cups chocolate animal crackers, finely crushed
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
Mix crackers, butter and sugar together. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
1 small box of brownie mix
Mix up the brownies according to the instruction on the box. While the crust is still hot spread the brownie mix into the pan. Bake at 350 until set. (See instruction on the box)
1 jar caramel sauce
1 1/2 cups salted roasted peanuts
Cool the brownie and crust completely. Mix the caramel with the peanuts. Spread onto the top of the brownie. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
Serve with ice cream for an extra yummy treat!
I made 12 of these mini pies with this recipe. But it would make one 9″ deep dish pie, or better yet, an 8×8 pan.