These fun little pie bites are perfect for a halloween party and can be easily adapted for sweet or savoury fillings. Get your children involved and make them together to help encourage them to eat some hidden vegies! Warning: you will not get picture perfect pies if you make them with children, but they will still be delicious!
(makes about 10 pies)
1 roll of ready made puff pastry
1 dash of milk
100g grated cheese
100g cream cheese
1 grated carrot
1 rasher bacon
While Boo was napping, I diced up the bacon and mushrooms for the filling and placed them in a frying pan with a tiny splash of oil. I wanted the filling to be quite dry as the pies are so small and liquid will make them burst open and leak. After they start to sizzle, add the carrots and stir until all the liquid from the pan has gone and the carrots are soft. Take off the heat and add frozen peas (this will speed up the cooling process). I then set up everything on our table so that Boo could help me make them when she woke up.
We got these amazing cutters for Boo’s birthday – there is a cutter for every occasion and they are large enough to make these mini pie bites. Perfect! Of course, they are available to Prime so you can get them in time for Halloween!
Making the pies was really simple and fun. First Boo mixed the cream cheese into the mushroom mixture then added a handful of grated cheese (whilst shovelling as much as possible into her hungry gob). In the meantime, I unrolled the puff pastry onto a board so that I could easily place it in front of her and move it away when she inevitably started ripping holes in it. What can I say, she’s a toddler! I used to be a ‘everything made from scratch’ cook. Then I became a mum and realised if I still wanted to enjoy cooking I would need to take shortcuts. Ready rolled puff pastry may cost a tiny bit more, but it is well worth it if you ask me!
I helped Boo position the cutter (so that there wasn’t too much waste), then cut pairs of shapes out. Boo also wanted a snowman and a teddy bear alongside her bat and cat. As the cutters are plastic, I needed to give them an extra push to go all the way through the pastry. Before filling, I removed the off cuts and saved them for a different recipe. You can roll it out again but it won’t be as puffy.
These mini pies don’t need much filling – a teaspoon will be plenty. I tried to position the small mound in the centre of one of the pastry cut-outs. Make sure you leave a small border around the edge. Don’t worry if your enthusiastic toddler adds more than you intended – it can be scooped off when they aren’t looking.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk. Again, expect egg to fly out over the sides and chaos to reign. I have a subscription for kitchen roll to arrive monthly for this very reason. On that note, if you are a parent and don’t have nappies, loo roll, kitchen roll, and wipes on subscribe and save you are missing a trick – it saves money and I don’t need to remember to buy them! They just turn up in a massive box that Boo can play in with the cats. Anyway, I digress …
With a pastry brush, dab a little of the egg wash around the edge of the halloween cut out. Try to make sure it it wet the whole way round but don’t worry if you miss a spot as you can use a fork to seal the little pies when you place the second cut out on top of the mound of filling. As the 2 sides are the same size, you will need to gently stretch the dough over the filling. Use a fork to go round the edge to seal the 2 sides together.
At this point you will remember that you should have preheated the oven to 180c. You will secretly be pleased that you haven’t because now you will have to chill the pies in the fridge for 10 minutes while the oven heats up. This will help the pastry puff. It is also an ideal time to teach your children about cleaning up by getting them to put dirties in the dish washer and wash their hands. Once the oven is hot, place on the middle shelf for about 25 minutes. Make sure you leave them a few minutes to coll before eating as the filling will be piping hot. Perfect!
Alternative filling ideas:
- Diced apple, cinnamon and icing sugar (it will soak up a little of the liquid)
- Sausage meat
- Mince meat (ooooh I see a Christmas treat coming up!)
- Salmon and cream cheese