Contributed by: Sara Perry of Valentine Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family
From Valentine Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family by Sara Perry.
Pies are always a treat, and these are no exception. To celebrate Valentine's Day, the flakey pies are shaped into hearts you hold in your hands and pop into your mouth. The tender chicken filling goes together in a flash. This is comfort food at its best.
To make the filling, in a bowl, combine the potatoes, chicken, carrot, peas, and chees. Sprinkle the beau monde, garlic powder, salt, and pepper over the mixture and toss. Set aside. (Makes 1 3/4 cups)
Preheat an oven to 375 F. Set aside a 5-inch heart cookie cutter or muffin cutter and two greased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
To make the pastry, in a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the shortening and use a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingertips to combine the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the ice water, stirring until the dough holds together. Do not overmix.
With lightly floured hands, gather the dough into a ball. Divide in half and flatten each half into a disk. Leave one disk out and refrigerate the other, wrapped with waxed paper or plastic wrap.
On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out hearts, collecting the trimmings to roll again. Use a spatula to transfer the hearts to the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between them. Repeat with the remaining dough until you have the twelve heart cutouts. Spoon about 3 tablespoons filling on top of six of the hearts. Place the remaining hearts over the filling. Use a fork to crimp the edges and poke a set of holes on top. Brush the tops with the melted butter.
Bake until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool until the crust is just warm to the touch. Otherwise, the filling can be too hot for children. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, preheat an oven to 350 F and bake uncovered until heated through, about 12 minutes.
Mamasita's Chicken Filling
In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup frozen sheredded hash brown potatoes, 1/2 cup finely chopped uncooked chicken (about 1/2 whole chicken breast), 1 can (4 oz) Calidfornia green chiles, seeded and chopped, 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon chile powder, and continue as directed. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Spicy Beef And Raisin Filling
In a skillet, saute 1/2 pound lean ground beef and 1/4 cup minced onions in a frying pan over medium heat until the onion is limp and the meat browned. Discard the fat. Stir in 3 tablespoons raisins, 3 tablespoons chopped ripe black olives, 1/4 cup tomato-based purchased or homemade chile sauce, 1 teaspoon chile powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground gumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander. Salt and pepper to taste, and continue as directed. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
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