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Dark Chocolate Mini Pumpkin Pies

I am a pumpkin pie fan and I’ll churn out quite a few of them during the fall baking season. I’m not a purist, however, and I enjoy the opportunity to put a fun twist on a classic from time to time. My zebra-inspired Chocolate Striped Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake are just two delicious examples of how you can make your pumpkin pie a little different – and the case of these Dark Chocolate Mini Pumpkin Pies, you’re also making your pumpkin pies little!

These mini pumpkin pies are baked in muffin cups, but have a wafer cookie crust and a pumpkin-rich filling that is packed with pumpkin pie spices. The filling also contains a generous amount of dark chocolate, which makes these more decadent than your average pumpkin pie.

For the crust, I used graham cracker-flavored Oreo cookie wafers. Oreo cookies in general are a great crust option for mini pies and cheesecakes because they hold up well to baking and are exactly the right size to fill the bottom of a muffin cup. The Apple Pie Oreos I tried this season have a graham cracker wafer cookie, so I simply removed the filling and popped the cookies right into my pan. If you don’t have graham cracker wafers, use regular Oreo wafers (filling removed), as they work well with the chocolate filling.

Dark Chocolate Mini Pumpkin Pies

With a full sized pumpkin pie, I like the filling to be a tender enough that it almost melts in your mouth. After all, the filling of a pumpkin pie is a custard at its heart, even though it is loaded with pumpkin! I bake my pies until they are just set and have a slight jiggle to them. These mini pumpkin pies are a touch firmer – and, yes, fudgier – than their classic counterparts. The denser texture is in part due to the chocolate in the filling, but it works very well for the mini pies because it makes them easier to handle and serve. They can be unwrapped neatly and plated individually, or simply eaten right out of the wrapper!

The mini pies are absolutely delicious and perfect for fall entertaining. This recipe makes 16 mini pies. You can halve the recipe if you only need a few, but they’ll keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days, so you may just want to make the full batch and keep the leftovers around for snacking.

Dark Chocolate Mini Pumpkin Pies
16 graham (or chocolate) Oreo wafer cookies
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (approx 1 3/4 cups)
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. Place one wafer cookie in the bottom of each cup.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Melt in 30 second intervals, stirring regularly, to ensure chocolate does not burn.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk and melted chocolate. Add in eggs, salt, spices and vanilla and whisk until well-combined. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. It is ok for a portion of the batch to sit out on the counter if you need to bake in batches (allowing the pan to cool between each batch).
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the pie filling is set and does not look liquid when the pan is jiggled.
Allow pies to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before refrigerating.
Serve chilled.

Makes 16.

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