Annie Bell's Easter Cutie Pies

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and butter two baking sheets. First make the cookies. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor until softened and well blended, then incorporate the egg.

Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder together and add to the butter and egg mixture, followed by the salt, vanilla and finally the milk. Drop rounded tsps of the mixture in neat mounds on to the baking trays, spaced 6cm-7cm apart (they will spread to about 6cm in diameter). You may need to bake in batches.

Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes until risen and firm, but without crisping at the edges: they should be soft and cake-like. Immediately loosen them with a spatula and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container if not assembling immediately.

To make the chocolate glaze, break up the chocolate and allow to melt gently with the butter in a medium bowl set over a pan containing a little simmering water, then stir in the orange juice. Set aside while you make the marshmallow filling.

Blend the egg white, sugar, orange juice, cream of tartar and salt in a medium-size bowl using an electric hand whisk. Set the bowl over a pan containing a little simmering water and whisk at high speed for 5 minutes until you have a thick, moussey glaze that stands in peaks.

Now add the marshmallows and stir for several minutes until they begin to soften and melt, then whisk until the mixture is smooth and they have completely melted. Remove from the heat.

Sandwich the cookies in pairs with about 1 tsp of the filling, taking it almost to the edge and matching top and bottom sizes as evenly as possible as the cookies may not all be identical. Put to one side for 30-60 minutes for the filling to set. Carefully dip the tops of the assembled cutie pies in the chocolate glaze.

Hints 'n' Tips

Arrange the cutie pies glaze upwards on a plate and, if wished, decorate with mini eggs or other Easter decorations and grated chocolate or sprinkles. Set aside in a cool place for a couple of hours to set. They will keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days in a cool place.

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