Make these absolutely adorable stocking and pine cone hand pies for the holidays
Sorry not sorry, you’re going to have to tell people all night that these are edible and not decoration
Get ready to have to explain to guests, visitors, your kids and giftees, that these stockings are not decorations and these pinecones are not real! They are edible, sweet little pastries that you made yourself! Who else but our favourite pastry pro, Arlene Lott, could have come up with something so special, and with all the instructions you need to make these yourselves — yes, including the adorable little stencils you’ll want to make your holiday creations just as impressive. Move over elves, new superstar in the workshop, coming through...
Santa Stocking and Pinecone Hand Pies
By Arlene Lott
These treats are like the best toaster pastries you've ever had (and a lot more festive too). You might want to make a whole batch of these as they are, but making even just a couple is a terrific way to use up any pastry scraps you may have after a session of pie-making.
- 3 ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- ¾ cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- ¼ cup cold vodka
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 egg for making an egg wash
Filling for the stockings:
- 1 ½ cup Strawberry Orange Marmalade Jam (or use your favourite jam or pie filling)
Filling for the pine cones:
- 1 cup Speculoos Cookie Butter (President's Choice sells a version)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
For decorating the stockings:
- Unflavoured red food colouring gel
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp meringue powder
- 4 tbsp room temperature water
- Coarse white sugar
For decorating the pinecones:
- 3 tbsp coffee extract
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- Icing sugar
Print out the stocking or pine cone template at 4.5" tall.
Combine flour, salt and sugar in food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until pastry is rough with lumps about the size of lentils. Add in cold liquids and pulse in two second intervals until the pastry comes together in a ball. Remove dough from processor, shape into two even discs about an inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
Roll out the pastry to a ⅛-inch thickness. Place the rolled pastry onto a cookie sheet and chill in the freezer for five minutes. This helps with cutting out the shapes.
With this dough, you can move on to making the stockings (16 of them) or the pine cones (about 12).
Santa Stocking Hand Pies:
Place the template on top of the chilled pastry, and using a very sharp paring knife or art knife, cut out two stockings for each hand pie, then, cut out details for the cuff, heel and toe onto one of the stockings in each pair from the remaining pastry.
Make an egg wash. Place the bottom layer onto a cookie sheet. Brush around the edges of the bottom layers with the egg wash. Add about 1 ½ tablespoons of filling, keeping away from the edges by about ½-inch.
Take a top layer of pastry, gently pinch around the edge of the stocking to stretch out the pastry a little bit to allowance for the space the filling will take up. Place over top of the filling, pressing close to the filling to keep out excess air. With a fork, press around the outside of the hand pie to secure the layers and to give the impression of stitching around the edges, but leave a tiny gap at the cuff to allow for steam to escape.
Once secured, apply the cuff, heel, and toe pieces with a little more egg wash. Place in refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Decorating the stockings:
To paint the stocking hand pies, add some unflavoured red gel food colouring to the remaining egg wash and brush it onto the exposed areas of the stocking.
Bake for 35 minutes.
If the pastry colour cracks while baking, apply a little more of the red egg wash when they come out of the oven, and place back in the oven for a couple of minutes to cook the touched up areas.
Make the royal icing by mixing the icing sugar and meringue powder in a small bowl. Add water a little at a time, stirring quickly until icing comes together but doesn't become runny. (Royal icing will set over time into a firm, glossy frosting.)
Spread over the cuff, toe, and heel areas. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Allow to set for an hour.
Pinecone Hand Pies:
Place the template on top of the chilled pastry, and using a very sharp paring knife or art knife, cut out two pinecone base shapes per hand pie. Reserve the remaining pastry.
Make an egg wash. Place the bottom layer onto a cookie sheet. Brush around the edges of the bottom layers with the egg wash. Add about 1 ½ tablespoons of filling and a teaspoon of dark chocolate chips, keeping away from the edges by about ½-inch.
Take a top layer of pastry, gently pinch around the edge of the stocking to stretch out the pastry a little bit to allowance for the space the filling will take up. Place over top of the filling, pressing close to the filling to keep out excess air. With your fingertips, press firmly around the outside of the hand pie to secure the layers.
Roll out the remaining pastry thinly to about a ¹/₁₆-inch thickness. Place in fridge to chill for 5 minutes. Using a 1-inch circle cookie cutter, cut approximately 40 circles per hand pie. Pinch together one end of the petal so it resembles a teardrop shape. Apply the petals of the pine cone with a little more egg wash. Apply starting at the pointy end of the hand pie, overlapping the next layer approximately halfway over the first layer, repeating till fully covered. Shape a small stem out of a scrap of pastry and apply to the wide end of the cone.
Decorating the pine cones:
To get the rich depth of colour in between the layers of pastry, combine the coffee extract and espresso powder in a small bowl, and brush randomly over the petals of the cones, making sure you get into the centre of the pine cone.
Place in refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Before baking, poke a few holes discreetly into the hand pie to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 35 minutes.
When you remove them from the oven, if there are any areas where there is pale pastry exposed, touch up those areas with a little more of the coffee paint. Allow to cool.
Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.