It happens to all of us who bake pies from scratch. What does one do with leftover scraps of delicious, homemade pie crust after we've trimmed, crimped & sealed a flavorful pie? The solution is a simple one. Gather the pieces of buttery pastry and chill them in the refrigerator for up to one day, well-wrapped, and when you're ready simply shape them into mini pie crust cookies.
At home, whether I've made a single or double crust pie, I always trim off the excess pastry, gather it up and then flatten it into a disk. I like giving this smaller disk of pie crust about 1 hour to chill in the refrigerator (usually this is done while the pie I'm baking is in the oven). When I'm ready to bake the mini cookies I simply roll out the dough to approximately 1/8" in thickness and cut them with a star-shaped cookie cutter. The tiniest amount of jam, not jelly, gets centered on each cookie and the tips of the exposed star get a small egg wash (this is the glue). The points then get folded toward the center sealing the sweet jam of my choice; I love apricot, raspberry, cherry, boysenberry & strawberry. The cookies are then frozen for a good 30 minutes before getting baked in the oven. Buttery, flaky and sweet, these diminutive cookies are pure joy to nibble on.
It's the type of cookie reserved for you, the baker, and only you. A sweet reward for your efforts in the kitchen, enjoyed as is or with a cup of tea. Don't tell anyone you've made them, lest they pinch every last crumb of flakiness!
The cookies right out of the oven are flaky & sweet. Yields will depend on the amount of dough you have left from pie baking and the size of your cookie cutter. On this particular day, I only got 9 cookies out of the dough. Two of the cookies were eaten before I was able to take the picture; I had to be sure they were tasty. Can you blame me?
Since this is only a small amount of dough, I find it easier to roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap straight out of the refrigerator, while it's still cold.
The 2" cookie cutter gets dipped in a bit of flour between each cut to prevent sticking. I do advise that you work quickly because the dough may begin to warm up. If your kitchen is warm or the dough becomes too difficult to work with, return it to the refrigerator & chill it until it firms up.
Quickly place each star onto a small baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Drop a 1/4 teaspoon of your favorite jam onto the center of each cookie. Whisk an egg in a small bowl and brush each exposed star tip with it (save this egg in the refrigerator because the cookies get an egg wash just before baking). Begin to fold each tip toward the center of the star to cover the jam. You want to overlap the tips so that they stick together.
Immediately place the baking sheet in the refrigerator or freezer & chill for at least 30 minutes or 1 hour.
Position oven racks in the lower third section.
Preheat the oven to 375° F (190°C)
When ready to bake, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator & brush the mini pie cookies with the egg wash to cover. This will give the cookies a wonderful sheen & golden color.
Bake approximately 17-20 minutes or until golden.
When they come out of the oven they are tender & flaky with just the right amount of sweet jam. These little nibbles are not meant to be perfectly shaped and they may even begin to unravel a bit in the oven, so enjoy them no matter what. Let them cool down somewhat before you devour these morsels.
Look at the layers of flakiness.
Now you know what to do with that small amount of pastry you have leftover whenever you bake a pie from scratch. I do so love this pie crust because it really is delicious, but use whatever recipe you enjoy at your house. I encourage you to get creative and form the scraps into other whimsical shapes or line mini muffin tins with them to make one-bite pies with a good quality jam. Whatever you end up making, enjoy them that day!