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.

Join The Conversation

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.

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!


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......?
Paula K. March 3, 2019
Has anyone heard of putting Baking Powder in pie crust? I make an oil crust. I wanted to make my crust cookies today. I thought I would try different recipes; including the one in this article. I saw one on line too. It also seemed like a good recipe. However, it called for baking powder. So, I got carried away and made a 1 crust recipe with each recipe. I made the one included here, mine, and the one with BP in it. I thought the one made with BP was an icky texture. Does anyone use baking powder? Tired....I probably repeated myself.
bjm March 3, 2019
This has been a family favorite for many, many years - grandmother, mom and me. It is a great way to use up little dabs of fruit, jam, cheese, etc. lingering in the frig. When I was a youngster, my brother and I would always stay close to the kitchen when the pie baking was taking place so we could have these treats as soon as they were cool enough to eat. My children did the same - never any leftovers.
Rosalie March 3, 2019
Nothing ever went to waste in our home. My mom always took the pie crust scraps and re- rolled. Sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar and some small pieces of butter. Rolled it up like pinwheels and cut, but did not separate the cut log. I think it keeps the filling inside and doesn't make them dry. Once cool, separate into individual cookies. We called them sneakies. As in, you would sneak them off the plate once cooked. I regularly make all kinds of pies and my kids look forward to the sneakies.
liz16 March 3, 2019
Yes - me too, another case of like mother, like daughter. As kids we would anxiously await the cinnamon rollup to come out of the oven. As an adult I think of it as the chef’s payment (and I confess to occasionally now making a double batch of pastry and making up a cinnamon, brown sugar and butter roll along side whatever pie is being made!)
Louise C. March 2, 2019
One of my Thanksgiving favorites is an apple pie. I use Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cheddar Pie Crust. One year I had scraps and didn't want to waste so I made cookies out of them. I cut them with people cookie cutters, brushed with egg and sprinkled with turbinado sugar, then baked them off. They were so popular that even if I don't make an apple pie at TG, I must make the cookies or there will be an uprising.
Chris G. March 2, 2019
Like "Paula," I have been around for a while. When my mom made pies, she would take the
scraps and roll them out, cut them with a water glass, put a dollop of homemade jam on one side, fold them over and crimp the edges with a fork, poke a few holes in the top and a little melted butter or margarine, (and a sprinkle of sugar), on the top, plus a couple of pokes with a fork and bake them for us kids. 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).
Paula K. March 2, 2019
Those sound very good. I have some filling. I was going to make my crust cookies today. I have a rare stomach disorder. My diet is very limited. I am wondering what does the milk do differently than water with the crust. I know you said not flaky, but what is the texture? When I make my crust cookies, I would also like to make your filled recipe.
Hollis E. March 2, 2019
those jelly-filled hand pies are just begging for some thick clotted cream to dollop generously on top. strong coffee/tea on the side. cream for the coffee, whole milk for the tea. that's what they're going to look like when i make them.
Kathy K. February 27, 2019
Repurposed/twice-rolled pie crust pieces are opportunities to be creative. We bake them on a cookie sheet w/out even shaping them (leftovers from cut-outs of stars, hearts, etc.) and hand them out to customers waiting in line at our pie shop. They are good on their own, but sometimes we adorn w/a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or chocolate glaze. People LOVE to be surprised w/a hot from the oven treat!
Jean H. February 27, 2019
Such tasty memories! My mother would sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the scraps of pie crust. No re- rolling just modern art pieces! Sadly I have not carried on the tradition, may try it with my grandkids.
witloof February 27, 2019
Yes! Pie crust scraps baked in the toaster oven covered with cinnamon sugar. OMG I have leftover pie crust dough from Christmas in the freezer...
Paula K. February 27, 2019
I am 70 years old. This recipe will be a definite one for me to try. However, I have had a different version of what we called “crust cookies” I have made since I can remember. They started with my grandmother, my mother, and then l.
These were made from left over pie crust. In fact, we made extra pie crust pastry. We, however sometimes made an oil crust.
All we did was roll out the left over pie crust pastry to desired thickness, and cut them with cookie cutters, knife, pizza cutter, or whatever. We made different shapes. Then we generously sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. We put them in the oven on a cookie sheet and baked them like we would if baking a pre-baked pie crust. We all loved them and so did my kids, and grandkids.
HalfPint February 27, 2019
A few years ago, I met a lady from Kansas at a holiday pie workshop. As we were working with pie crust, she told me that she made cookies with the pie scraps. By dusting the re-rolled pie dough with cinnamon sugar and baking, she made what she called "moonshine". What a sweet woman. She was there with her daughter and granddaughter as part of a "girls' weekend", which I thought was totally cool.
Author Comment
Emma L. February 27, 2019
That sounds like a dream girls' weekend to me! I love repurposing pie scraps, too—here's an article I wrote a couple years ago about some of my favorite ways to use 'em: https://food52.com/blog/17761-hold-onto-those-pie-dough-scraps-turn-them-into-10-other-treats
Alletha February 27, 2019
When baking a pie, my mom, when we were kids, would take the leftover bits of pie dough, roll them out, spread the top with a thin scraping of butter, sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar, cut them into long thin strips (sort of like a bread stick), put them on a cookie sheet and bake them. They were a favorite treat with a cold glass of milk. Good memories.
Dick M. February 27, 2019
When I make pie, the left over crust is my favorite part. Roll out crust, spread a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, a little corn syrup on the crust .add a few raisins and nuts. Roll up and cut pin wheels just you would do
cinnamon rolls. These are very popular with all. I have made them from scratch with no pie, just these little rolls. Delicious. I will sometimes spread a pecan paste on the rolled out pie dough.
Author Comment
Emma L. February 27, 2019
Linda K. March 2, 2019
When my mom and I were finished making pies, she would make a batch of pinwheels (with walnuts too) just for me - no one else was allow to touch them. I miss her!