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.
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.
Makes about 32 cookies.
• 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
• 1 ½ 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
See the full recipe on Food52.
More from Food52:
Throw a Top-It-Yourself Pie Party, Never Choose Between Apple & Chocolate Again
Par-Bake Your Double Crust Pies & Join the Anti-Soggy Crust Crusade
Forget Flour: Roll Out Your Pie Dough in Cookie Crumbs
Figgy Pudding Butter Cookies
Pumpkin & Tahini Pie with Chocolate Pie Crust
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