I found this idea on Bakerella's site, and changed the filling recipe and the size, but it was definitely from her idea. On her site, she used mini muffin pans, but I used a regular muffin pan, thinking that that more closely matched the size of a slice of pie. These are so delicious, and they can be customized with whatever design you like. Will actually asked for these for his birthday, and I made an extra batch for him to take to work. He likes to bring sweets, but doesn't really bake at all so that means I get to make new stuff and don't have to eat much of it (my butt likes that arrangement) although I would like to consume it all. The recipe as I have made it is as follows:
1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
half teaspoon salt
1.5 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup skim milk
one half cup half and half or cream
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 eggs beaten
2 crust pie crust, either from scratch or the roll out kind found by the refrigerated cookie dough.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients, and whisk around to break up any chunks. You could also sift, but I never take the time to do that and it comes out just fine. Add in each of the wet ingredients, starting with the pumpkin. Mix well, and scrape the sides of the bowl several times. Using a large cup ( the one I used was 4 inches across), or cookie cutter cut out 12 circles, one at a time. You will need to stretch it out a tiny bit, and then put it in the muffin cup, being sure it reached the top of each cup. Push together the extra dough and squeeze it into a stem shape. (They shrink up a bit, so make them a little bigger than you think they should be) Pour the pie mixture into each muffin cup, filling slightly shy of the top. They will puff up in the oven, so be sure to leave enough room at the top when pouring, or the filling will spill over making it very hard to remove the finished product. Carefully place the muffin tin in the oven. Cook at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 for approximately 20 more minutes, or until the tops look set. Allow to cool completely. If you want to add the cute faces, all you need is some semi sweet or any other kind you like and a bit of vegetable oil. Melt the chips in the microwave in 20 second increments. When completely melted, add a few drops of the oil and mix until smooth. Pour into a zip loc bag and snip a tiny tip off, and decorate as you wish. These are delicious. This recipe will make 12 - 14 muffin size, or 24-28 mini muffin size treats!