It’s almost time for back to school around here, and I’ve suddenly realized we are NOT READY!  The incredibly hot weather combined with way too much screen time and not enough reading has turned my kids’ brains a little mushy.  So we got the computer going with only educational type games this morning (no more Fantage, thank you very much), headed to the library, then this afternoon we had a little math lesson combined with some fun (and chocolate!).


Baking is a great way to get your kids into the kitchen and teach them some math along the way.  My almost 4th grader knows fractions, so she measures and pours.  My almost 1st grader can read, so she’s our recipe reader and chief stirrer.  And Alex, well, he’s 4….he licks the bowl. He’s a bit rowdy in the kitchen.


Mini Chocolate Pies


3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 2/3 cups milk

4 egg yolks

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 recipe pie crust or 1 refrigerated pie crust

1 egg plus one tablespoon milk (egg wash)


Preheat oven to 450.  Roll out pie crust.  Cut into desired shapes.  Brush the shapes with the egg wash.  Bake shapes on parchment covered cookie sheet for 10 minutes, or until browned.  Let crust shapes cool while you prepare the pudding.


In a saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch.  Stir in milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Gradually stir about one cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks.


Return all of the egg mixture to the saucepan.  Bring mixture to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter and vanilla.


Pour pudding into individual cups. Top with pie crust shapes.  Serve immediately for a warm, gooey dessert.  Alternately, cover the pudding with plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator (can store overnight) for a cool, firm dessert.  Store pie crust shapes in airtight container.  Top pudding with crust when ready to serve.