September GNCO – Apple Pie Cookies

For the month of September our game night cook off “special ingredient” was crust – anything you considered crust. The winner of the night was a beautiful chicken pot pie. I followed in second and third with Chicken, Bacon Broccoli Quiche and Apple Pie Cookies.

With two little munchkins to attend to the Apple Pie Cookies initially felt like a big hassle but in the end they were so worth it! It is definitely the season for baking apple things!

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Apple Pie Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Crust Recipe
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces, dipping fork
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
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)

Filling
2 medium apples, I used Granny Smith
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A dash of nutmeg and/or any other spices you like with your apples

To finish
1 large egg
Coarse or granulated sugar for garnish

Additional stuff
2 baking sheets covered with parchment paper
Rolling pin, pastry brush (for egg wash), fork (for crimping and dipping) and sharp knife (to make slits)
A cookie cutter about 2-1/2 inch in size.

Make your pie dough first: Mix together flour, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large bowl. Using a pastry blender work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Stir in the ice water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Knead it 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.

On a well-floured counter or pastry cloth, roll out your pie dough thin, a little less than 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 your cookie cutter 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. Once you’ve finished the first packet, repeat the process with the second packet of dough

Prepare your apples: Peel your apples. Cut thin (1/8-inch thick) slices from each side of the whole apple until the core is all thats left. Cut the apple slices into small cube-like pieces. Place them in your second bowl, covering them with a few drops of lemon juice to keep them from browning. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and add to the apples. Mix together until all apples are coated with the sugar mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assembly:
Grab your first disc of chilled dough and lightly dampen it on one side with the water. This is to help it seal. Place about 1 tbsp. (as much as you can fit without the dough tearing and still be able to crimp the edges) in the center of the dough. Lightly flatten. Place a second disc of dough on top; I found it 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. Hold the pies at an angle and place one edge of pie on floured surface. Rotate pie as you crimp around the edges with a floured fork. Place on cookie sheet. Use a sharp knife to cut decorative slits in your “pies”. Brush your cookie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake your apple pie cookies for 25 minutes, or until puffed and bronzed and very pie-like. (If this is your first batch, peer in at them at 20 minutes, to make sure your oven doesn’t run hot.) Let cool if you have enough patience!

Do ahead: These will keep for a few days at room temperature. You can freeze them by doing everything but brushing on the egg wash and sugar. Keep them frozen until needed. Bake them directly from the freezer just adding on a few minutes to the bake time.