3 cans (14.5 ozs) pitted unsweetened cherries (*Save the juice from one of the cans.)
1¼ cups sugar OR ½ cup + 2 tablespoons organic sugar/stevia blend
4 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
½ powdered lemon zest
10 tablespoons butter
3 cups of gluten-free (powdered) chocolate chip cookie mix
3 cups of gluten-free chocolate cookies
In a sturdy saucepan, mix the cherries plus the liquid from one can with sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla bean paste and powdered lemon zest. Keep stirring the filling over a medium-low flame and allow a slow bubbly boil. (About 10 minutes.) The filling will thicken and look slightly jellied. Take the saucepan off the stove. Let the mixture cool.
Melt the butter (1 minute in the microwave.) Pour the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix, the gluten-free chocolate cookies and the butter into a food processor. Pulse until well combined.
Press the mixture into cupcake cases. (½ tablespoon for minis, 1 tablespoon for regular sized cupcake cases.) The extra cookie mixture will serve as crumble for the gluten-free chocolate cherry pie minis.
Scoop the cherry filling into the cupcake cases. (½ tablespoon for minis, 2 tablespoons for regular sized cupcake cases.) Sprinkle the mini pies with the leftover cookie mixture.
Bake in a 425° oven. 5-6 minutes for the mini gluten-free chocolate cherry pies. 7-8 minutes for the regular-sized cupcake cases.