Why Pie Crust Cookies?

I suppose before I answer “why,” I should make sure it’s clear “what.”

Pie crust cookies, in case it’s not obvious from the photo below, are cut out cookies made from the remains of pie crusts. They don’t have to be cut out cookies, to be honest, but by the time I am making pie crust cookies, my counter is already a disaster, my rolling pin already needs to be washed, and my extensive cookie cutter collection is calling my name. Basically, at that point, the effort to make cut-out cookies is minimal. So, I do.

You’ll notice that the cookies aren’t frosted, but have an extremely generous sprinkling of sugar. This is because frosting & decorating would be a huge pain in the ass for maybe 10 cookies, add substantially to the clean up and not add much to the flavor. Sugar, though? That’s a requirement. Most pie crust recipes do not have any sugar in them. Those that do have very minimal amounts. So, for these cookies to be reasonably tasty, you need to add sugar.

So, why? Well, because I have almost always got some pie crust left over, and not enough to freeze for later. I suppose I could make some Frankenstein’s Monster pie crust dough from scraps some day, and now that I’ve thought of it I probably will try it at least once. But that doesn’t allow me to pull out some of the extensive cookie cutter collection…

A lot of times, for a two crust pie, you’ll also have leftover pie filling. Another non-waste option is to use a ramekin or similar and make a mini pie with just a top crust. I’ve done that a few times, but usually only if there’s a lot of filling left. If it’s just a little, typically Bill & I will snack on it while the pie is baking. Along the same lines, the possibility exists to make a hand-held pie. I’ve never done that, but you could.

But, there’s one more good reason for pie crust cookies. Actually quite useful, not just an excuse to use cookie cutters. Texture. Pie crust cookies will be made from the dough you’ve handled the absolute most. We’ve all heard that handling is death to pie crust. So, if the cookies (which you can eat LONG before you can eat the pie) come out nicely, you can bet the crust of the pie is probably good too. This is mostly important if you’re testing a new recipe (I am), but is helpful even if you’re not.

Finally? Let’s be honest. Sometimes you made that pie to take to a function. A dinner party. A bake sale. A pie contest. You know what sucks? Smelling delicious baked goods and having NO ability to eat delicious baked goods. Pie crust cookies give the snitchers of the family (in my house, it’s both of us) something to eat & helps keep their hands off your damn pie.

Anyway. That. Pie crust cookies. Tasty, tasty pieces of usefulness.

6 thoughts on “Why Pie Crust Cookies?

    • They were delightful. The second round was even better.

      I’ll make pie sometime. Your guy can bring his own dessert. Or maybe he’ll get lucky and there’ll be some cookies left. 😀

  1. Sorry to be late to this conversation! Those pie cookies look exactly like the pieces Bill’s dad and I would get as kids when Bill’s Grandma Mary baked pie. I liked them even more than the pie, because we could eat them right out of the oven.

    Aunt Katherine

    • What an lovely memory to share. Thank you, Katherine.

      My mother didn’t make pie much when I was growing up, though she’s very good at it. I don’t think I learned this trick from her.

      I remember one Thanksgiving, while I was in college, my dad mentioning that my mother had made the crust for the chocolate pie but not the pumpkin. First year the not-pumpkin was gone first. I remember my mother being amazed at that. (The crust was, indeed, far better. My mother has the knack.)

  2. My mom makes these, and has ever since she was a teenager, talk about blast from (my) past, seeing them on your blog. Except she never cuts them into cute little shapes. She just takes the leftover pie crust after cutting out the pie crust itself, and plops them into an aluminum pan, dusts them with cinnamon sugar, and then bakes them. I almost think they’re better than the pie itself, well, depending on the pie.


    • I totally agree, actually. Depending on the pie, the cookies can be better. I love using my cookie-cutters, though, so I will never pass up a chance to do so. 😀

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