Special equipment: a 3-inch round cookie cutter; a flower pot or vase; a Styrofoam ball (roughly 3 inches in diameter or wide enough to fit your flower pot); pink ribbon; a small heart-shaped cookie cutter (about 1/4 inch wide); nine 5-inch lollipop sticks; a skewer
For the pie dough: Place the flour, butter, shortening, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub the mixture between your fingers and thumbs repeatedly until the lumps of butter are much smaller and the entire mixture has a breadcrumb-like texture. This should take 2 to 3 minutes.
Next, slowly pour in the ice water (you may not need all of it), mixing it into the dough with your hands as you pour. Add just enough water to the point where all the flour on the bottom of the bowl has been absorbed, the dough has formed into a rough ball and the bowl appears clean.
Once you've incorporated the water, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands 2 to 3 times; gently shape into a flat disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for 1 hour. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Once the dough has chilled, place it onto a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out evenly until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 16 discs of dough. If you do not have enough dough to cut 16, simply re-roll the scraps of dough and cut out the remaining discs. Place the discs onto the prepared baking sheet.
For the filling: Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter (roughly 1/4 inch wide, but you can make the hearts as big as you want!) to cut hearts out of the center of 8 of the discs. On each of the remaining 8 discs, place 3/4 teaspoon of jam in the middle and lightly egg wash the edges with a pastry brush. Place a 5-inch lollipop stick into the center of each jam disc. Place a heart disc of dough on top of a jam-covered disc. Gently press the discs together at the edges, sealing them against the egg-washed edge. Using a spare lollipop stick, seal the 2 pieces of dough together by pressing the edge of the lollipop stick into the dough to create a small indentation of the stick all the way around the outside of the disc. Repeat with the remaining discs. Lightly egg wash the top of the discs, then sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the top of each.
Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
To serve, place a Styrofoam ball into the bottom of a flower pot or vase. Using a skewer, gently pierce a hole in the ball, then take a cooled pie pop and push the lollipop stick into the hole you just created. Repeat, creating holes all over the ball until you have filled it with you pie pops. Using some pink ribbon, tie a small bow around the outside of the flower pot and serve!
If the Styrofoam ball is unstable in the flower pot, pour some rice underneath to help keep it in place, or use sticky tape to secure it to the side of the pot. Ensure that the pie pops are evenly distributed across the ball so that the weight is even and it does not topple!
Recipe courtesy of Topless Baker
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