My friend Emily and I love to cook and bake. Emily, in particular, almost always makes sure to snag the dessert category for our Dinner Club. She's also our resident photographer with her fancy d-SLR camera and eye for composition. I'm always so envious of her pictures!
When she had the idea to do a marathon baking session we were both giddy with excitement. We decided it would be fun to go to an apple orchard and pick apples then make tons of recipes with them that same day. Unfortunately for us the apple crop in our area was damaged from bad weather earlier in the year and the one orchard that did have u-pick apples was about 45 minutes away and pretty picked over by the time we were ready to get together this past weekend. So, the apples came from our local grocer but that didn't stop us from baking up a storm.
We donned our cute aprons (which Emily specially bought an apple print one for the occasion!) and went to work while our husbands plopped down on the couch and watched massive amounts of TV. The only time they paused was when a new dish was ready for them to try. So, with the recipe list was set, the ingredients purchased, and taste-testers lined up, we were ready to go!
To kick us off, Emily pre-made the crust for this recipe the evening before our event. She also helped prep my apples and spice mixture and then off I went to roll, cut, and assemble these gorgeous cookies. Somehow as time went on my cookies got fatter...I guess because I didn't have the best gauge of how much filling to put in. Honestly, they were a royal pain in the butt to assemble but the end result was a cookie sized apple pie...essentially a small apple pie or hand pie :). As our friend Jackie pointed out, these were certainly the cutest of all the treats that were created that day. They were fantastic when warm out of the oven or re-heated in the toaster oven. In fact, it made a perfectly good breakfast this morning when I realized my husband had used all of the milk ;).
Don't forget to come back next week when I'll post a recipe EVERY (WEEK) DAY! If you're a fan on facebook, I'll even give you a sneak peek photo for the next post ;).
|Photo Credit: My friend and baking partner in crime, Emily|
For the Crust
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces, dipping fork
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (doubled from my standard pie dough to make this more cookie-like)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) 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)
- 3 medium baking apples (such as granny smith, gala, or golden delicious)
- Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Few gratings fresh nutmeg
- A pinch of any other spices you like in your apple pie
- 1 large egg
- Coarse or granulated sugar for garnish
- Make your pie dough: Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Gently stir in the ice water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Get your hands in the bowl and knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days.
- Meanwhile, get everything else together: Line up six small dishes. In the first one, pour some water. Leave the second one empty; you’ll use it for your apples in a bit. In the third one, mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and any other spices you like in your pie, such as a pinch of cloves. In the fourth one, place a little bit of flour to dust your surface and dip your fork for crimping. In the fifth one, whisk an egg with one teaspoon of water until smooth. In the last one, or in whatever container you keep it in, add some coarse or regular sugar for decorating the tops of the pies.
- On a well-floured counter, roll out your pie dough a little shy of 1/8-inch 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 a round cookie cutter (I used 2 1/2") to cut as many rounds as you can from the dough. Transfer them to parchment- or silcone mat lined baking sheets and keep them in the fridge until you need them. Once you’ve finished the first packet, repeat the process with the second packet of dough
- Prepare your apples: Peel your apples. Cut into thin (1/8-inch thick) slices. Place them in your second bowl, covering them with a few drops of lemon juice if you find that they’re browning quickly.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Assemble your cookies: Grab your first disc of chilled dough and lightly dampen it on one side with the water to help it seal. Add some apple slices to the center of the disk, leaving about 1/2" to 3/4" around the edges. Place a second disc of dough on top and press the tops and bottoms around the apple with your fingers. Cut decorative slits in your “pies”. Dip your fork in the flour and use it to create a decorative crimp on the sealed edges. Brush your cookie with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Replace on baking sheet and chill while you prepare the others.
- Bake your apple pie cookies for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and bronzed and very pie-like. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool before eating.
Source: Smitten Kitchen