Apple Pie Cookies

Have you ever found it troublesome to serve an apple pie to a big group of people? When the apple pieces fall everywhere and the flaky pie crust collapses… that the amount of apples and crust are no longer at the right ratio… AND especially when you do not have enough plates and utensils… These “apple pie cookies” (I would also name them apple pastry, mini apple pie etc.) can avoid all those problems! They are also delicious, adorable and impressive looking. It is recommended to make the pie dough a day ahead (it can keep fresh in freezer for up to 4 weeks) and keep fresh in the freezer. One downside of this recipe is its time consumption. You have to reserve at least 2 hours to make these pastries. Only make it when you have plenty of time to kill that day!

This is my first attempt while I am still playing with the thickness of the pie crust and the thickness of the apple, in order to get the right ratio. This is the key. So, please take my advice and follow the thickness guideline!

You can also prepare this ahead of time. You can make a larger batch of these (complete step 1-6) and keep them frozen until needed. When you need them, you can complete by egg washing, sprinkling with coarse sugar; and bake them directly from the freezer, just adding a couple minutes to the baking time.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 24 cookies

Pie Dough Recipe
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cup water, very cold (I pour 1 cup and add ice while I work, then measure 1/2 cup from it when I need it)
Bread flour for dusting the table

Filling Recipe
2 medium Granny Smith apples
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Egg wash (1 egg and 2 tbsp of water)

Pie Dough Direction

1) Cut the cold butter into 1.5 cm cubes. Rub butter into flour until reduced into irregular pea sized crumbs.

2) Dissolve salt and sugar in cold water. Make a well in center of the flour mixture add the water mixture in the well all at once. Mix just enough to incorporate.

3) Flour a large area of your table. (Use bread flour for flouring) Transfer the dough to floured table. Slightly knead a few times and shape into a thick roll.

4) Use immediately. If it is not used immediately, it can be kept in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Place the pie dough in the freezer until ~an hour before you want to roll it out. Avoid any chance of melting the fat, so make sure the whole process is quick.

Now, to make the apple pastry…

1) Get everything ready! Line up 6 small dishes. In the first one, pour some water. Leave the second one empty; you’ll place your apples here in a bit. In the third one, mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and any other spices you like in your pie. In the fourth one, place a little bit of bread flour to dust your surface and dip your fork for crimping. In the fifth one, prepare the egg wash. In the last one, place some coarse or regular sugar for decorating the tops of the pies.

2) Prepare your apples: Peel your apples. Cut thin (3 mm thick) slices from one side of whole apple, stopping when you hit the core. Repeat on opposite side. Use the smaller of your two cookie cutters (mine was about 1 2/3 inches) to cut the apples into cute little discs that will fit inside your pie cookies. Place them in your second bowl, covering them with a few drops of lemon juice if you find that they’re browning quickly.

3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4) Roll out your pie dough: Flour your counter with bread flour generously. Roll out your pie dough pretty thin, ~2-2.5 mm thick. Lift and rotate your dough as you roll it, to ensure that it rolls out evenly and so you can be sure it’s not sticking in any place. Use the larger of your two cookie cutters (mine was 2 1/2-inch) to cut as many rounds as you can from the dough. Transfer them to parchment-lined baking sheets and keep them in the fridge until you need them.

5) To assemble: Grab your first disc of chilled dough and lightly brush the rim on one side with the water. This is to help it seal.

6) Take your first disc of apple and toss it in the cinnamon spice sugar generously. Place it on the damp side of the bottom disk. Place a second disc of dough on top. It is easiest to seal it by picking the whole thing up (this is when you’ll be glad that your dough is cold and semi-firm; if it’s soft and getting sticky, chill it until it’s easy to pick up) and press the tops and bottoms around the apple with your fingers.

7) Back on the floured counter, cut decorative slits in your “pies”. Dip your fork in the flour and use it to create a decorative crimp on the sealed edges. I have also made some decorative holes in the middle with a toothpick.

8) Brush your cookie with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Replace on baking sheet and chill while you prepare the others.

9) Bake your apple pie cookies for 25 minutes, or until puffed and bronzed and very pie-like. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool and store in air tight container. 


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