Welcome to the second installment of our Homemade Holiday Cookies Recipes series! Last week, we shared an easy gingerbread cookie recipe. This week, we're talking about pie crust...pie crust cookies, that is!
Are you one of those people who think the crust is the best part of the pie? If so, this pie crust holiday cookie recipe is dedicated to you.
Photo via CakeSpy
It should come as no surprise that these cookies are made with -- you guessed it -- pie crust. Becoming a master at making crust is easy with the Craftsy course Perfecting the Pie Crust, which teaches you everything you need to know about constructing perfect pie crusts, from mixing ingredients to pressing it in the pan to fluting a perfectly decorative crust.
Once you've got the crust, these cookies are just about the easiest food and cooking project you've ever taken on. All you have to do is roll out a pie crust, cut out cookie shapes, brush with homemade butter and dust with cinnamon sugar, then bake. They're simple fare, but completely delicious, with a flaky texture and rich, spicy-sweet flavor that is all rounded out with the flavor of rich, creamy butter. They're extremely versatile, too -- they take to a number of different flavored spice toppings, and are fantastic when sandwiched together with buttercream, dulce de leche, or whatever filling you'd like.
- You can make these pie crust cookies with virtually any classic pie crust variation. It won't work with a cookie crumb crust, of course, but any butter, lard or shortening crust will work.
- Of course, because of the fact that every pie crust recipe is slightly different, keep a close eye on your cookies as they bake. Certain ratios of fat in a crust may require different baking times.
- This recipe starts with a full pie crust recipe, but you can make them with any amount of pie crust. For instance, if you have a bit of uncooked crust left over from making a delicious pumpkin pie, you could use those scraps to make a few pie crust cookies. But watch out, these cookies are addictive! You may find yourself making more dough just to have a batch of these cookies.
Brushing the cookies with butter is key, but from there, you can take a number of different variations. Instead of sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar, consider the following:
- Homemade vanilla sugar
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Finely diced orange or lemon zest and sugar
- Sweetened cocoa powder
Pie crust cookies are fantastic when they're sandwiched together with a filling. Some tasty fillings include:
- Dulce de leche
- Melted white or dark chocolate
- Cream cheese icing
- Homemade jam or preserves
Just be careful when filling the sandwiches, as the cookies can be somewhat delicate and you don't want them to crush. (Although, if they do, they taste awfully good crushed over ice cream.)
Cute visual variations
Photos via CakeSpy
Instead of using a cutter, you could cut the pie crust into strips and make "pie fries." Adorable? Yes, indeed.
Use a whimsically shaped cookie cutter. If you decide you'd like to make your pie crust cookies into cookie sandwiches and your cutter is not symmetrical, remember to flip half of the cutouts upside down so that you can sandwich "like" sides together.
Cut the pie crust into strips and roll up the strips so that they look like snails. This is a popular pie crust cookie and is sometimes called a "snail," "roly-poly", or any number of regional or family nicknames.
Pie crust cookies recipe
Yield: 12 to 14 cookies (approximately 3-inch diameter)
- One classic pie crust, unbaked
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour your work surface and your rolling pin generously.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Stir until combined. Set to the side for the moment.
Place your dough on the floured surface. Flour your hands (just to keep things from getting sticky). Using a rolling pin (or, if you don’t have a rolling pin, a heavy bottle, such as a wine bottle or glass water bottle with smooth sides, will work), begin to roll the pie dough. It will become easier to roll as you work it. Lift a corner to check that it is not sticking to the work surface.
Roll your crust until it is about 1/8" thick. If you like a thicker cookie, don't roll it quite so thin, but just keep in mind that you won't get as many cutouts from your dough.
Once your dough is the desired thickness, it's time to make some cutouts. Using a floured cutter (or the floured rim of a drinking glass), cut out as many cutouts as you can from the dough.
Once you've used all of the dough, gather the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more. Repeat until you've used all the dough. Place the cutouts on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Since they won't spread too much, you can place them fairly close together. Using a fork, lightly prick each cookie a few times -- this will keep them from puffing up when they bake.
Melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, use a pastry brush to gently brush each cookie generously with butter. Sprinkle each cookie with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Use a little more than you think you need, because some of it will melt into the butter. You still may not use all of it; that is OK.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until set and dull on top and lightly brown on the bottom (lift one using a spatula to check).
Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Keep in mind that these cookies are rather delicate, so try to store them in a single layer.