Mom’s Pie Crust Cookies

My mother makes an excellent pie crust, which she most often uses for the base of her incredible apple pie.  Really, she makes the best I have ever tasted, mine don’t really come close.  Her apples are always perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked, it always cuts into cookbook picture pieces… I could go on and on, but that is for another post…the topic today is the pie crust!!

When my sister and I were little we would watch her making the crust dough, she uses Crisco (I know, to some a dirty word but to her pie crust it means FLAKY).  She would work the shortening in with a hand held metal pastry cutter and then sprinkle water in from her 1/4 cup measuring cup, an ice cube in it to ensure it was cold.  As she sprinkled she would toss the mixture with a fork till it came together.  As I envision it now, it was quite elegant.  At the restaurant I have to crank out a significant amount of dough in a short period of time, I have adapted the food processor method.  Let me tell you it is not quite as poetic, a whirling machine, sharp blades etc.  Don’t get me wrong it works…WELL, but when I am at home and baking for my pleasure I try to channel my mom’s much more peaceful method.

For those of you who have never made a pie crust I highly recommend trying it.  I know some of you usually turn to the store bought frozen ones, and I can’t say that I have never used one myself, however for this recipe you should go for the real deal.  One of the best things about making your own crust and then in turn a pie are the scraps of dough left over.  As my mother would fit her pie crust into the pie pan she would trim the edges nice and neatly so that they were only hanging over the edge about 1 inch.  The remaining dough she would turn into the following treats for Lindsay and I.  These treats where a way for my mom to use up the left over dough, let my sister and I “help” and were part of some very special moments between “the girls” in the kitchen!!!

I have been making these at the restaurant (thinking of my mother the whole time) with my scraps and everyone loves them, I recently decided that they might make it into my holiday baking repitoire!!! I hope you get a chance to try them and share them with someone you love.

Pie Crust

11/2 cups AP flour

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt (preferably kosher)

1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces

2 Tbsp shortening (feel free to use all butter)

About 5 Tbsp of ice water

Use the method described above or the following:

Gather everything but the water in a bowl and place in fridge for 10 minutes to cool all ingredients.

Remove from fridge and place everything in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse till it looks like course meal, and butter is fully incorporated.  While running add water 1 Tbsp at a time.  After it is all added, stop and pulse until the dough comes together, it will not be one solid mass but a few cohesive chunks with some crumbs.  Turn out onto counter, gather into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. (Make sure not to handle or knead the dough too much).  Refrigerate for a half hour.

Remove from fridge and allow to warm on counter for 5 min.  On a floured surface roll out to a 12 x 10 inch rectangle and cut in half so that you have 2, 5 x 12 inch rectangles.  Mix together 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 T white sugar and 1 T cinnamon.  Sprinkle over dough leaving a one inch of clear dough along the bottom.  (You may not have to used all of the mixture).  Sprinkle with crushed pecans (or other nut).  Using your finger wet the bottom edge of dough with water.  Starting from the top begin to roll dough up into a log.  Seam on bottom, mark log in half then each side in half and again so that you have 8 equal sized cuts.  Gently slice and place on parchment lines baking sheet.  Place in fridge for 10 minutes and preheat oven for 375.  Bake till golden, the filling may melt out a bit but don’t worry.  They are best served warm with a little coffee, tea or hot cocoa.  They do keep well and can be enjoyed for a few days.

The smell of these cookies is amazing and usually results in people making their way into the kitchen hovering around waiting for a bite when they come out of the oven!!!

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1 Comment

  1. Loved this post. I can picture it all and have to say a home baked crust from mom is like nothing else. Thanks for sharing!


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