Posts Tagged by pie crust

Chocolate Stars Pie Crust Cookies

Chocolate Stars Pie Crust Cookies

If you’ve been with me a while, you’ve probably noticed that I like “easy”.  Another thing I like is pie crust!  For example, we make Easy As Pie Crust cookies pretty regularly. The other thing to know about me is that while I’m pretty good a lots of things, I am a complete failure at making pie crust from scratch. Therefore, I think refrigerated pie crust is a true blessing!

When I was a kid, and there was still such a thing a “Home Economics” class, I learned about Chocolate Stars Pie Crust Cookies. We had to do the math on the cost and calorie content of this simple recipe before we could eat them. It was torture. I decided I would make these myself and eat them whenever I wanted – no math required! It’s been a regular in our family ever since and now my daughter makes them, too.

This recipe only really used two ingredients – refrigerated pie crust and chocolate candy.  And you can use any chocolate candy you like! Our favorites are Hershey Kisses and Almond Joy. We’ve also used several varieties of Kisses like the Hugs, Kisses with Almonds and Kisses with Caramel. We love the Peppermint Kisses and Mint Kisses, but not so much for this recipe.  Sometimes you can find a pumpkin spice flavor in the fall and coconut creme around Easter – both are yummy!   The other Chocolate Star we make the most is Almost Joy. The minis are the perfect size make two Stars. Mini Reese’s Cups are totally amazing, too. Finally, if you’re a fan, try chocolate covered cherries!

To make these, simply unwrap your candy.  Cut up those that are too large, like the Almond Joys. Every once in a while, I can actually but the almond in half, but I don’t worry about it too much. It’s fun to see who gets the half with the almond!

Chocolate Stars Candy

Unroll one of the pie crusts (we buy the kind with two crusts in a box) and, using a 2-1/2 or 3 inch cookie cutter, make dough rounds that you can set each piece of candy on.

Chocolate Stars

 

This is where the “star” part comes in. Take each round of dough and candy and draw up the side make a little packet.

Chocolate Stars pinch

Then, pinch each of the seams together to form a little star on top.

Chocolate Stars pinch

Sometimes I re-roll the scraps to make more stars, but I usually just wrap them around some extra pieces of candy and call them planets!  Place each star on a greased baking sheet, brush each one with a little beaten egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake according to your pie crust’s package directions – mine is 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. We like them very lightly browned.

Let them cool a bit on the baking sheet, then finish on a cooling rack.

Chocolate Stars

 

Chocolate Stars Pie Crust Cookies

Ingredients

1 refrigerated pie crust

Your favorite Hershey Kisses or other chocolate candy, unwrapped

2 T granulated sugar

1 egg white, whisked

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unwrap candy and, if necessary, cut to size.

Roll out pie dough onto a lightly floured surface or waxed/parchment paper.  Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut rounds out of the pie crust.

Place a piece of candy on each round of dough and draw up the sides to form corners that meet at the top. (See photo above.)  Pinch together each of the four seams created to form a star. Re-roll scraps or simply piece them together around extra pieces of candy.

Place packets on a greased  or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush each one with a little beaten egg white, then sprinkle a bit of granulated sugar on each one.

Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let these cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then move them to a cooking rack.

Serve.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Chocolate Stars

Easy as Pie Crust Cookies

Pie-Crust-Cookies

To me, the best part of the pie is (usually) the crust. No stone throwing, please. I’ve embraced my *cough* uniqueness and I’m comfortable admitting this.  I also don’t mind telling you that I’m the same way with pizza crust.  I think I got it from my dad… I’ve been staring at a package of leftover refrigerated pie crust in my fridge and have succumbed to it’s calling.  Yes, it really does say my name every time I open the refrigerator. Really. Time to bake.  I thought about Pie Crust Cookies – the ones where you just roll balls of dough in cinnamon sugar and bake them – but wanted to add a little extra to this batch. I’m also pretty smitten with cookie cutters and wanted to haul out the hearts!

Pie-Crust-Cookies-1

These Pie Crust Cookies are all dressed up for Valentine’s Day and I’ll be bringing them to my dad – my very first Valentine! My second favorite way to make these is with cranberries and fresh rosemary.  We made these at Thanksgiving.

Pie-Crust-Cookies-Thanksgiving

Chocolate chips work really well and pair wonderfully with dried cherries – or by just themselves! Apricots and almonds would be yummy, as would some crushed pistachios and orange zest. How about a savory version – crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar?  Chopped pepperoni and grated Parmesan?  Gasp! What about crushed up Butterfingers?  Oh my gosh – I’m calling my dad right now!  OK, right after I run to the store for more pie crust. Have any ideas for flavor combinations?  I’m ready!

To make this version of Pie Crust Cookies:

Pie Crust Cookies

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 14 minutes
Total time 29 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried fruit, finely chopped (I've used dried cranberries, cherries, raisins and apricots. Use what you enjoy or have on hand!)
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts of your choice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (We use turbinado, but any kind of sugar will work)
  • basic egg wash or cooking spray
  • extra sugar to sprinkle on top

Directions

Step 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unroll one of the pie crusts onto waxed paper or parchment paper.
Step 2
Spread dried fruit and nuts evenly across the crust.
Step 3 Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of sugar evenly across the crust.
Step 4 Unroll the remaining pie crust and lay it on top on the first one, lining up the edges as best you can. It doesn't have to be perfect.
Step 5
Place another sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper on top of your pie crust sandwich and roll the two layers together until they become one. It will thin out, but be certain there's a pretty good seal.
Step 6 Cut out into whatever shapes you like and place on a baking sheet. If the two layers of crust separate, simply pinch them back together. These don't spread much, so they can be fairly close together.
Step 7
Use an egg wash or some cooking spray on the tops of the cookies and sprinkle each one with some additional sugar.
Step 8
Bake for 12-14 minutes on 375 degrees. These are done when they are golden brown. Remove from pan to a cooling rack.
Pie-Crust-Cookies-8  

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Review

BRM Review

Bob’s Red Mill? Yes, I’m already a fan.  Bob has millions of fans. And, let’s face it, he’s adorable!

bob_moore-608 photo credit - Nancy Garner gourmet.com

Bob’s Red Mill is arguably most beloved by the gluten-free community. Bob’s markets more than 50 gluten-free products, from active dry yeast and black bean flour to xanthan gum and teff flour. The current explosion of interest in gluten-free cooking and baking may have helped business, but Bob’s Red Mill, and their gluten free products, have actually been around for decades. Their first opportunity in the gluten-free niche came in 1985, when members of the Seattle-based Gluten Intolerance Group approached Bob’s Red Mill and encouraged them to sell xanthan gum, an agent that gives gluten-free baked goods viscosity and bulk. They tracked down this key ingredient and began using it in their mixes, as well as repackaging it for sale under the Bob’s Red Mill name. The Seattle advocacy and support group also urged him to separate naturally gluten-free grains, such as rice, from his other products. To do this, Bob’s has an entirely separate facility for manufacturing and packaging gluten-free goods, as well as a laboratory for developing new gluten-free products.

I was asked to review the new Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust mix with my group through the Moms Meet network. I distributed the mix to several ladies in the group who volunteered to create a delicious pie with the crust mix so we could sample it in different applications.  I made a pecan pie!

The first thing I noticed on this eye-catching pink package was the ingredients: Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour, Sugar, Rice Bran, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum.  Nothing foreign or hard to pronounce. No preservatives or artificial anything…love that.  Also, the mix only requires butter (or butter and shortening) and water.  So simple.

easy-as-pie

The directions call for 12 tablespoons of butter and 8 tablespoons of shortening, with the option of using all butter if you prefer.  Add the butter/shortening to the mix in a food processor and pulse ten times, one second each. You can also cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork (or pair of knives like my grandmother did!)

BRM Review 2

Pour the mix into a bowl and add six tablespoons of ice water. Add just enough so that the ingredients hold together when squeezed in your hand.  (TIP: We learned here that overmixing or kneading definitely creates a tough crust.) Divide in half, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.  It’s lovely that you can see the bits of butter dispersed throughout the dough. I snuck a taste of the dough at this point and it was very good.  Mildly sweet and really buttery.

BRM Review 3

So here’s where I thought I knew better than the experts. The package says to roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap.  Well, I proceeded to roll it out on my board with a little teff flour and after getting it to roll out pretty nicely, I learned why you should follow the directions.  Because there’s no gluten, this dough doesn’t stretch and hold together like regular dough. When I tried to pick it up to put in my pie dish, it simply broke apart.  I pressed the pieces in instead and we were back in business.

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The pecan pie turned out beautifully, as did my friends’ pies. Lemon chess, pumpkin, buttermilk, sweet potato, lemon meringue, apple and even a veggie pizza!  We.ate.so.much.pie.

BRM Review 5

The Verdict:

All agreed that they learned a lot about gluten free.  Everyone was familiar with Bob’s Red Mill, but not with the sheer number of products offered. The crust itself was pretty yummy. It was very crumbly – almost a cross between a regular crust and a graham cracker crust.  It didn’t brown as well as regular pie crust, but that didn’t affect the flavor at all.  About half of the group is gluten free or has a family member who follows a gluten free diet.  All said they would recommend this pie crust mix to anyone looking for gluten free alternatives.  I have one more package of the mix and will use it for Thanksgiving.  Our review group exchanged recipes during the tasting and I’m going to make my friend’s lemon chess pie for my family this year.

BRM Review 6

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix takes the guesswork out of gluten-free dessert! With this exceptional mix, it’s “easy as pie” to make a delicious, flaky crust that works wonderfully with any recipe. Each package makes two 9-inch, single-crust pies or one double-crust pie. Perfect for fruit, cream, or potpies, as well as quiches, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix won’t disappoint. Plus, it’s allergy-friendly, so you can trust it for your family.

Disclaimer: Bob’s Red Mill sent me this product in exchange for my review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own and those of my review group.