Chocolate Hand Pies
Category: Desserts & Sweets | Blog URL: http://marthamiller.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/chocolate-hand-pies/
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
Photo: Martha Miller
This week’s recipe is a take on a childhood favorite, albeit a touch healthier than the version I knew back then. Hand pies are fairly ubiquitous throughout the South and in true Southern fashion are almost always fried.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was fortunate to grow up in a household with parents that placed great emphasis on healthy eating. From a very young age we were exposed to and even enjoyed the likes of asparagus, lentil soup, and brown rice. We ate plain Cheerios for breakfast, no sugary Honey Nut, and only on our birthdays tasted the contents of those colorful, cartoon character-fronted boxes that lined the cereal aisles.
Strict? Perhaps, but as a result I grew up healthy and with a taste for a wide array of flavors and foods that many of my schoolmates would scrunch up their noses at. Plus, we had a few characters in our life to sneak us a forbidden treat here and there. In addition to Mrs. Supler and her contraband KitKat Bars next door, there was our babysitter Tootie.
While Ash’s memories of her aren’t nearly as fond (she claims I was Tootie’s favorite) I will always remember the junk food secret we shared. A quirky lady to be sure, she had a gruffness about her and easily smoked two packs a day. She loved raw onions and would sit at our kitchen table with a knife, peel a layer, eat, repeat. She let us watch trashy daytime soap operas and eat Vienna sausages straight out of the can. And my favorite, she made stacks of Bisquick pancakes sandwiched around a stick of butter and doused in chocolate syrup.
Her husband James would occasionally drop by for lunch, the imprint of a chewing tobacco canister in the pocket of his workman’s trousers. He was the yin to Tootie’s yang with soft eyes and the kind of calloused hands that speak to a life of hardness. He always brought something for us. Sometimes a Moon Pie or two but more often than not, fried chocolate hand pies. I loved the feel of the waxy wrapper and even at a young age knew that this was the most sinful junk food of all.
So here I offer my version. Baked instead of fried and homemade as opposed to full of artificial sweeteners and trans fat, yet still no model for good health. But if growing up eating my vegetables taught me anything, it’s that we all earn a little sin now and again.