Monday, August 1, 2011

A great reason to practice Pie crusts - Pie Cookies!

These were such a treat growing up, the more so because there usually weren't that many.  I think many people have their own version of pie cookies, some leave them flat but we pinwheeled ours.  And they are a delicious way to use up the scraps of pie making.  Occasionally, when there was a real hankering for pie cookies, mom would whip up a batch of pie dough just for the purpose.  I don't know whether it was the weather or psychological, but the few cookies you get out of scraps always seemed better than just a full batch of them.  Not that we ever complained!  You can make these delicious little gems out of just about any pie dough that you can blind bake.  Just tailor the amount of sprinkling sugar to any sugar in the dough.  It's not exactly a recipe, but great that way because the kids can help with no fear of messing anything up.  Plus it shows them not to fear pie crust!

Pie Cookies
makes as much as the dough will provide...

Pie dough scraps (or a practice batch of pie or tart dough)
softened butter
sugar (white or brown is fine)

Roll out dough as for pie in a squarish shape.  Dock all over with a fork and spread thinly with the softened butter.  Make sure you fill all the docking holes and just a little scraping over all.  Not too much or it will bake out into a puddle.  (Odd baker's admission: I've always loved the little crackly popping sound the butter makes as it fills the holes.)

Now you are ready to sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon.  If it is a plain pie crust, be generous with the sugar, it's the only thing sweetening the cookies.  Brown sugar is harder to sprinkle evenly but has great caramel/butterscotch flavor.  I made these with Dorie's tart crust once and they were out of this world.  That is a sweet crust and didn't need but a light sprinkling of sugar.  Sure made my daughter a pie cookie convert though!  Once you have the sugar evenly sprinkled, follow with the cinnamon.  Be generous.  I could have used a little bit more here.

Now roll the dough up just like you would for cinnamon rolls.  Cut them into spirals about an inch thick.  Maybe ¾" - just eyeball it as to how big you would like the cookies.  Then place them cut side up on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Now we would usually bake these at whatever temperature the oven was after the pie came out, until they were done.  For the purposes of guidelines, let's say about 375ºF for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and "sizzling".  They will "talk" just like a regular pie does when it's done if that's the kind of crust you use.  The cookies will be super flaky straight out of the oven, let them cool a bit before digging in.  Nothing burns your tongue like hot pie crust.  A lesson deeply ingrained since childhood...

They freeze fine though they never last long enough to go in the freezer.  Store at room temperature in an airtight bag or on a plate under plastic wrap.  Now, go forth and make pie crust!


Barefeet In The Kitchen said...

What a fun idea! I love this.

Anonymous said...

One word: Brilliant! I am a little nervous to make my own pie crust...but this recipe is tempting me!

Just found your blog through a comment you left on another site. Looks great- I'm bookmarking it!


Tami Dean said...

Hi, where can I find a recipe for the "tart pie dough?" Thank-you so much!:-):-)

hobby baker said...

Hi Tami! I have been happy with Alton Brown's pie crust recipe, along with a number of others as well. For my Coconut Cream Pie I used "Alan's Pie crust" : which turned out nicely even with spelt flour. You can find my version of Alton's crust on my Lemon Chiffon pie post: Let's see, King Arthur has many crust recipes and tips on how to make in a stand mixer. There's also the famous vodka crust recipe that everyone seems to have tried at least once for an easy to handle crust. Whatever you can roll up will work. Now specifically a tart crust, that's usually a richer or even partly sweet crust. I have one in my Almond Bakewell recipe post, not sure if I would use it for pie cookies. Maybe an unsweetened one. Simple Bites has a rich pie crust recipe that would probably work well for a tart. It has egg yolks added. If you are wanting a tart crust to try, I have this one pinned as something that looks great and I would like to try: