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I always find when I make a dessert “mini” sized that people are more likely to grab a bite – and these cheddar apple hand pies are no exception. They’re a bite-sized take on the traditional apple pie with just a few adjustments to make them feel exciting and new. I served them with a spiced caramel whipped cream that acts as a dipping sauce for the hand pies – made with cinnamon, nutmeg, and rich caramel swirled into a homemade whipped cream made with Hood Heavy Cream.There are a few things that make this dish special. One is that homemade pie dough, which is buttery and flakey, and has a sharpness to it from the cheddar folded into the layers. Want to make quick work of your pie dough? Add the dry ingredients and butter into a food processor and blend to combine, while streaming in the cold water. Once it’s come together as a ball of dough, remove it from the food processor and lightly knead in the cheddar cheese. The dough takes on a slightly savory note that balances the sweetness of the apples inside. The spiced caramel whipped cream is another element that makes this dish a knockout; homemade whipped cream– made with high-quality ingredients like Hood Heavy Cream — tastes much more appetizing than the pre-made alternative.  One of the fun parts about making these apple hand pies bite-sized is that they make perfect vehicles for the sweet, rich homemade whipped cream “dip” that can be served on the side.Using Hood Heavy Cream to make the whipped cream also keeps the texture of the “dip” smooth and creamy, and it holds its form much better – it won’t deflate right away. It gets flavored with just a bit of seasonal spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and then swirled with caramel. It’s so decadent and tasty; you just might want to sneak in a double-dip. I brought these to a recent event and they were gobbled up and gone in just a few moments, the true test of a new dessert recipe! Get the full recipe below:

Apple Cheddar Hand Pies and Spiced Caramel Whipped Cream.
Serves: 18 Hand Pies
  • 2 ¼ Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 16 Tablespoons of Cold Butter (2 sticks)
  • ⅓ Cup of Cold Water
  • ½ Cup of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples, Peeled and Diced
  • ¼ Cup of White Sugar
  • 2 Tsp. of Lemon Juice
  • 1Tsp of Cornstarch
  • 1.5 Tsp. of Cinnamon, divided
  • 1.5 Tsp. of Nutmeg, divided
  • ¼ Tsp. of Allspice
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups of Hood Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbsp. of Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. of Caramel Sauce, plus more for garnish
  1. To make pie dough, sift together flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into small pieces (or shred on a large box cheese grater quickly while it’s still very cold). Add the butter to the flour mixture and work the two together until crumbly. Add in the cold water slowly and continue to work with your hands until the dough is crumbling. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese into the dough at the end and lightly knead it in. Roll the dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for about one hour.
  2. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combined peeled and diced apple pieces with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, 1 tsp. of nutmeg, and the allspice. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then drain off any excess juices at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. To assemble hand pies, roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Use a 3” round biscuit cutter or the top of a glass to cut circles out of the dough until you have about 18 pieces. Fill each dough round with a heaping spoon of filling and use your fingers to seal the edges so that you’re left with a stuffed, half circle shape. Use the back of a fork to press the edges closed and create a decorative edge.
  4. Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl, and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the top of each hand pie with the egg wash.
  5. Bake the hand pies on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside and let cool.
  6. While the hand pies are cooling, prepare the whipped cream. In a stand mixer, combine heavy cream, confectioners sugar, remaining ½ tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg, and the caramel sauce. Turn the mixer on medium and let the ingredients come together until they form a fluffy, whipped cream. Transfer the whipped cream to a serving bowl, and drizzle with more caramel sauce before serving alongside the warm apple hand pies.