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    Mini Salted Caramel Pies

      Servings:   24

    Ingredients

      Pies:

      24 mini pre-baked tart/pie shells (1 1/2 inches)
      1/2 cup heavy cream
      4 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips, divided
      kosher salt for sprinkling

      Caramel:

      1/2 cup heavy cream
      2 tablespoons butter
      1 cup granulated sugar
      2 tablespoons light corn syrup
      1/4 cup water
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions
    1. Place mini pie shells on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
    2. Heat heavy cream in a small sauce pan set over medium low heat until hot and just starting to bubble.
    3. Place 4 ounces of the bittersweet baking chips in a medium sized bowl and pour cream over the chips. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
    4. Whisk chocolate and cream together until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Allow ganache to sit for about 10 minutes.
    5. Scoop 1/2 teaspoon of ganache into each pie shell and allow to sit at room temperature until chocolate is set.
    6. Add cream and butter to a small sauce pan set over medium heat and stir until butter is melted and cream is warm. Cover and remove from heat.
    7. Add sugar, corn syrup and water to a heavy bottomed sauce pan (at least 6 cup capacity) and stir to combine. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot so that the tip of the thermometer is submerged into the sugar mixture, but not touching the bottom of the pan.
    8. Set the pan over medium high heat, stirring the mixture until the sugar dissolves.Once the sugar dissolves, stop stirring and allow mixture to bubble until the temperature reaches 350°. The color of the sugar will be very quickly turn dark amber toward the end of cooking.
    9. Once the temperature reaches 350°, remove from heat and gently pour in the cream and butter mixture. The caramel will bubble up furiously and then settle a bit. Once mixture has settled a bit, stir with a heat proof spautula or wooden spoon.
    10. Add vanilla extract and salt and continue stirring until caramel is smooth and even in color. Allow caramel to set for about 5 minutes.
    11. Scoop 1/2 teaspoon of caramel onto each mini pie and allow to set at room temperature until caramel is set.
    12. Place remaining bittersweet baking chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat heating steps until chocolate is melted.
    13. Transfer to a zip top bag and snip off a very small amount of one corner, creating a fine piping bag. Drizzle melted chocolate over caramel. Sprinkle with salt. Allow chocolate to harden and serve.
    14. Quick Tip: Use store bought caramels in place of the homemade caramel for a quick alternative.
    15. Unwrap 12 soft baking caramels and place them in a microwave safe bowl.
    16. Add 1 teaspoon of water and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat heating until caramel is melted. Allow caramel to sit for 1 minute.
    17. Scoop 1/2 teaspoons of caramel on top of each mini pie. Allow caramel to harden.