Pie

We Could Eat One Million of These Pie Crust Cookies (And Probably Will)

We call 'em "pie crispies."

February 27, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

When it comes to pie, I always save the crust for last. Which is to say: It’s my favorite part. Don’t get me wrong—I love cinnamon-sugared apples, pumpkin custard, lemon curd, really whatever you can turn into pie. But the crust is so buttery and flaky and sugar-crusted and croissant-like, sometimes I could skip the filling altogether.

Hey. That’s an idea.

We just have to rewind back a couple of months first. I was developing a recipe for pie dough—made from start to finish in a stand mixer. During initial tests, I baked a lot of pie dough samples, or cut-out circles, brushed with egg, sprinkled with sugar, and baked until crispy. “Pie crispies,” I called them. These taught me a lot about the dough (you know, without having to make a whole pie). They also taught me that pie crust needs no costar—that it can shine all on its own.

A couple of the biggest dessert books from last year came to the same conclusion. In Sister Pie, Lisa Ludwinski has a recipe for pie cookies—2-inch rounds, sandwiched like whoopie pies with buttercream or chocolate ganache. And in Genius Desserts, Food52’s Kristen Miglore writes about Jeni Britton Bauer’s “Piekies”—2 ½ to 3-inch rounds, made from pâte sucrée (a French, shortbread-y tart crust), with fresh fruit baked on top.

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Top Comment:
“Our mother had strange ideas about pie crust though, she was going to make sure we got plenty of calcium, she always used milk instead of water. (No flaky pie crusts in out house!) We always ate well, both parents loved to cook & experiment, and all four of kids learned to cook, (2 boys and 2 girls). ”
— Chris G.
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Besides the egg (for color) and sugar (for crunch), my own recipe has no flourishes. It is pie crust, and only pie crust. Of course, you could sprinkle the crispies on yogurt or ice cream or chocolate mousse. And you could sandwich them with chocolate ganache or caramel or a combo of any jam and crème fraîche. But know that you could eat one or two or nine, just as they are, with a hot cup of coffee or tea, and your day will be so much better.

This recipe has a few more steps than the Stand Mixer Pie Dough it was based on—dreamed up in the test kitchen by our stylist Anna Billingskog, who reminded me that a few extra folds and rests in the fridge or freezer go a loooong way when it comes to those flaky layers. And when you’re only eating pie crust, doesn’t every layer count?

The last extra step is to our advantage: After cutting the pie dough into rounds (you can also use a pizza wheel to yield squares—no scraps left behind), you pop these in the freezer until firm. Then, you could bake them right away. Or you could collect them in a container or plastic bag, and have ready-to-bake pie crispies for whenever a craving strikes. This happens a lot.

What’s your favorite part about pie—crust or filling? Tell us in the comments!

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Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing stories about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now, she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter.

46 Comments

Yvonne H. April 25, 2019
It also works to use melted butter in place of the egg wash. Makes a sweet/salt flavour and very crispy.
 
Deborah April 25, 2019
So fun!
When I was a girl my mom would take the leftover pie crust, cut into odd shapes ☺️ Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, bake and called them pie crackers!
But now, I can make them on purpose! 👍🏼💗
 
Kathleen March 30, 2019
My husband LOVED pie crust. My mom made excellent, perfict pie crust. He loved her pie crust and begged her to make a batch and bake just for him. She did and he loved her for it. I wish he was still alive so I could bake this for him!
 
Regina F. March 29, 2019
I love this video! Erin is excellent teacher detailing all steps, tricks and tips. Besides, her pronunciation is easy to understand - I'm sure you know you have fans all over the world.
 
Claudine L. March 29, 2019
When we were kids my mother always took the pie crust ‘scraps’ and rolled them together. Then she smeared butter on them, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon,rolled it up and cut into little cinnamon rolls. She baked them and there was always a fuss to see who could get to them first! Now I make them for my grandson!
 
Linda Y. March 29, 2019
For those of us who use a scale, please show the measurements for flour, sugar and dry ingredients-and eggs in decimal form. This will provide accuracy, and consistency,especially for baked goods.
 
dave1101 March 28, 2019
Wondering if I could make the recipe using a food processor?
 
Candy2006 March 28, 2019
You probably could, just add the sugar. I'm not sure about the egg but as long as it is cold it could work. I might increase the baking powder a bit because the egg would make the dough heavier. I recommend Rumford baking powder, it has the highest CO yield. I was a Home Ec Ed major in college and had to test baking powders on an assignment. The same recipe, of course, made with Clabber Girl, Calumet, and Rumford. The baking powders were all fresh new products instead of something on hand as most of us have. Clabber Girl produced the lowest rise, Calumet was in the middle and Rumford the highest. Rumford had a better flavor because it has no aluminum in it. I am not an hysteric about aluminum and know that it does not cause Alzheimer's. The most interesting thing I learned other than the CO level is that all 3 are produced in the same factory in Terre Haute, IN. I did not test Royal Baking Powder because it was not stocked in the grocery stores in Plattsburgh, NY where I went to school. Some people I have recommended Rumford to have come back to tell me that their baking has improved with it, and were really pleased. They told me that they bought CG because it was the cheapest.
 
Candy2006 March 28, 2019
I make pie crust in my food processor using Greg Patent's recipe. I use 1 stick FROZEN European (or style) butter and about 1/8th tsp. baking powder along with the salt and iced water. The European (style) butter has a higher fat content and less water, both desirable in a good crust.
 
Yvonne H. March 28, 2019
What a great idea. My grandson has to sharply control his sugar intake. This way I can make cookies with him he can actually enjoy.
 
Elizabeth G. March 28, 2019
My mom taught me to make and crimp pie crust when I was 5! I was allowed to roll out, shape, and decorate the leftover pie crust to my heart's content, and eat the results!
"Simmon Sugar" was always applied!
Still make them, and I'm 56! Thank you!!
 
Joyce P. March 28, 2019
Or you could leave out the sugar and make these savories. Adding a sprinke of parm!
 
Joyce P. March 28, 2019
Oops, I should have scrolled down, there are delicious "savory" ideas already!
 
Shawn C. March 28, 2019
Pesto or a pepper based spread are phenom
 
Elizabeth G. March 28, 2019
OMG...there went my diet, I gotta try that! Thank you!
 
L. W. March 28, 2019
These look so flaky they look like close cousins to Palmiers.
 
Alicia March 28, 2019
My mom used to call these "stickies". The scraps of her pie dough, extra thin, sprinkled with cinnamon and a little more sugar, then rolled up like rugelach. YUM! I still make these for my kids whenever I make a pie.
 
Shawn C. March 28, 2019
We'dtake the scraps, roll out, sprinkle cinnamon sugar, roll up like cinnamon roll and cut I to 1/4 " rounds and bake. Crispy little cinnamon roll cookies!
 
Karen March 26, 2019
My mom used to cut the leftover into squares, poke a few holes in each with a fork and sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on them and make crackers!
 
Gordan March 4, 2019
Try a very light dusting of cayanne pepper, some salt and then some grated asiago cheese.
 
LindaD March 4, 2019
We used to make these as children! My Mom sprinkled them with cinnamon/ sugar and called them ‘petit galettes.’
 
Anne C. March 3, 2019
When I was a kid (and I still do) we always used leftover pie crust scraps to make pie crust cookies. Just sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake!
 
connie S. March 3, 2019
meant to say "why give only....."
 
connie S. March 3, 2019
Why not give only the flour in grams? Now I have to go look up how many grams of butter 12 TBS., or 1 1/2 sticks are. A tad annoying, but .......
 
Paula K. March 3, 2019
Probably just like when I read a recipe in grams and I just google what the conversions are in what I understand! Pretty easy.
 
connie S. March 4, 2019
No problem indeed. Just looking for some consistency here. Like proofreading......?
 
L. W. March 28, 2019
Why give flour in grams? What, you don't have a gram/ounce scale!! Sacrilege!! Any, way weight will give you a more accurate rendering of the recipe. Too much flour won't give you that nice, flaky cookie.