5 Ingredients or Fewer

Pie Crispies

February 22, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

Pie crust, meet cookies. Bite-sized and ultra-flaky, these are addictive as is—especially alongside milky coffee or tea. But they’re also A+ sprinkled on yogurt (bonus points for a jam swirl), ice cream (highly recommend pie-esque flavors, like pumpkin), and even chocolate mousse. You can sandwich two of them with this or that—think chocolate ganache, Nutella, caramel, or jam and crème fraîche. Here, I use an all-butter, stand-mixer pie dough (with a few extra steps for maximum flakiness), but feel free to swap in your go-to recipe and adapt the method accordingly. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes about 32 cookies
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1 1/2 cups (192 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a tiny pinch
  • 1/4 cup very cold water, plus more as needed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar, plus more as needed
In This Recipe
  1. Cut the butter into pieces—aim for 10 from the full-stick and 5 from the half-stick (so each one is slightly smaller than 1 tablespoon). Put the cut-up butter in the freezer for a few minutes, while you work on the dry ingredients.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a few seconds, just to combine, then turn off.
  3. Add the butter pieces to the dry ingredients. Mix on the lowest setting possible for 5 to 10 seconds—in short bursts if necessary, so the flour doesn’t fly out of the bowl—then turn off. Err on the side of undermixing at this step. You want each butter piece to be coated in flour and slightly bashed by the paddle, but most of the pieces should be barely smaller than when you started.
  4. Turn on the mixer to the lowest setting possible, slowly pour in the 1/4 cup very cold water. Once it’s all in, let the mixer run for a couple more seconds, then turn off and check in with the dough. The end goal is a very shaggy dough that holds together when squeezed, with some dough starting to grab onto the paddle attachment, and a few flour streaks on the side of the bowl. If the dough is still quite powdery and dry in some places and the sides of the bowl are still flour-coated, continue to mix while adding another tablespoon of water, and letting that incorporate for a couple seconds. (Repeat with more water—but only a very small amount!—if needed.)
  5. Use your hands to gather the dough into a mass and dump onto a piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to form the dough into a ball, then smush into a disc with your hands, so the plastic wrap is extremely snug. (You can wrap with another piece of plastic wrap for extra insurance, which I always like to.)
  6. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  7. Lightly flour a work surface. Unwrap the dough, but save the plastic wrap—we’re reusing it in just a second. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. (I like to do this by rolling the pin back and forth, then rotating the dough about 45 degrees, over and over.) Fold in half. Fold in half again. Fold in half again. Rewrap in plastic, pressing down on the dough so it’s a cohesive, roundish disc. Get back in the fridge for at least another hour or up to 2 days. You can also freeze it at this point for up to 1 month.
  8. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, crack the egg into a small bowl. Add the tiniest pinch of salt. Beat with a fork until totally smooth.
  9. Lightly flour a work surface. Add the unwrapped dough and lightly sprinkle with flour. Gently hit the dough with a rolling pin a few times to slightly flatten. Roll into a 12-inch circle, or until the dough is about ¼- to ⅓-inch thick (err on the side of thicker versus thinner).
  10. Use a 1 1/2–inch biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles. (You can save the scraps for something else—or turn them into randomly-shaped pie crispies!) Add to one or two plates, which will go in the freezer. (Note: You can also use a pizza wheel or knife to cut the dough into equally small squares—this means you won’t have any leftover scraps.)
  11. Freeze the pie dough rounds (or squares) for about 30 minutes, or until pretty firm. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F. Line two sheet pans with silicone mats or parchment. (Make sure the sheet pans aren’t sitting on top of the oven, which can warm them and compromise how the cookies bake.)
  12. Add the frozen pie dough rounds (or squares) to the lined sheet pans. Brush the pie dough with the egg wash, taking care to not let it slop over the sides (which can prevent the dough from rising properly). Sprinkle generously with raw sugar. And try to do both of these steps as quickly as possible!
  13. Bake the cookies for 25 to 30 minutes—rotating the sheet trays top to bottom and front to back halfway through—until they’re golden brown.
  14. Let cool completely before serving.

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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 articles 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. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.