~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, April 14, 2014

Apple Pie Cookies... and a gluten-free version.

Apple Pie Cookies... and a gluten-free version. I'm sorry I don't intend on posting too many dessert recipes one after another... but I've had a few sitting in my draft that I should post. So bear with me as I "clean" my draft folder.

If you remember I posted a make-ahead pie crust recipe some time ago... a pie crust you could store in the freezer for future use. Well, I wanted to show you what I ended up doing with half the batch. I made these apple pie cookies last year, for a church Christmas hymn sing, but I'm finally getting around to posting the recipe.

The idea of making apple pie cookies might not be so new, as I'm sure many of you have seen apple pie cookie recipes floating all over the internet. Personally, I've always wanted to make them. I thought they were the cutest of things:).

Since I always make my own pie crust, I ended up using my homemade version, but this recipe can easily made with any pie crust really. You can use a ready-made store bought pie crust, or even use your own pie crust recipe that's special to you... maybe handed down from your mother or grandmother. The recipe I use is an all-butter crust...  which makes for a tender and flaky pastry-like crust.

I love adding a nut filling to my apple pies, as it gives it extra flavor and a bit of texture. It also holds the bottom of the pie crust from getting too soggy. I applied the same idea when making these pie cookies, but you can certainly skip the nut filling if you want... or you can add a bit of caramel.

While you can make simple, round, double-crusted apple pie cookies, I rather like the lattice look. It makes the cookies look a bit more elegant... more pastry-like, rather than cookies. But feel free to make the cookies without the lattice top.

And since I also made a gluten-free version, I thought to post that as well. The lattice for the GF apple pie cookies was quite a bit harder to make. I'd recommend crisscrossing the lattice part, without interweaving them, or even skipping the lattice part completely and using just round pie circles(double-crust). The GF crust is much more fragile... prone to breaking, and giving you a headache:).

Hopefully, the apple pie cookie idea is seen in this post, my intention was not to make it look too complicated:).... because it really isn't.  They're just mini apple pies... flatter... to take on the form of cookies. You'll  have a few scraps from the cutouts, but you can bake them as is, or place the scraps in x-small muffin tins.... makes really good mini "tarts". Of course, you can skip the cutouts and  make one large lattice apple pie cookie. Actually, I thought of  making one large cookie myself... but I'd probably call it an apple pie tart:).... especially if you cut it in wedges. Maybe next time. Hope you enjoy...    

You will need: makes about 20 ( 2-3 inch) apple pie cookies

Ingredients For Making Pie Cookies:

2 pie crusts
apple pie filling
nut filling, or can use a caramel filling
cinnamon, nutmeg sugar
raw sugar crystals
icing, optional
beaten egg for brushing top of pie cookies

Nut Filling: For one regular apple pie cookies recipe. Will need to make another 1/2 of the recipe for a GF version 

1/2 cup ground walnuts
1 TBS brown sugar, or to taste
1 TBS beaten egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Apple Filling: will need only 1/2 of the filling to make the regular apple pie cookies recipe... can freeze the rest or use the rest to make the GF version below

2 large apples*
1 TBS cornstarch
4- 5 TBS sugar
2-3 TBS lemon meyer juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
* I used 1 large fuji apple + 1 large pink lady apple= 4 1/2- 5 cups sm. dice apples


Make Nut Filling:
1. Beat egg, and remove 1 TBS beaten egg and place in a bowl. Reserve the rest of the egg for brushing the top of the cookies.
2. To the 1 TBS beaten egg, add the ground walnuts, brown sugar and vanilla. Combine all ingredients. Set aside. This nut filling makes enough for just the regular pie  cookies, but if you would like to make a gluten-free version, then you will need to make another 1/2 a batch. Set aside.

Make Apple Filling: 
1. Peel and cut apples in small dice pieces( 1/4 inch or so)... you should have about 5 cups.
2. In a medium saucepan, add diced apples, cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon. Heat on med-low and mix ingredients until combined. Cook, stirring often... till apples slightly soften and thicken. This will take about 10 -12 minutes or so. Taste filling, adjust for sweetness and add the lemon juice. Stir in the vanilla. Set aside.

Make Cinnamon Sugar + Icing:
1 TBS sugar+ 1/4 tsp cinnamon+ a few gratings of nutmeg
Powdered sugar+ a bit of water + lemon/vanilla extract to drizzling consistency

Assemble Apple Pie Cookies:
  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

1. Roll out one pie crust to about 12 inches in diameter... or so. 
2. Spread nut filling on bottom of crust... all the way to the edge.
3. Place about 1 cup of the diced apple filling and spread on top of the nut filling. You will have some apple filling leftover. You may freeze the rest for another use,  or use it to make another small batch of GF pie cookies , as I did.
4. Roll out second pie crust to about 12 inches and cut 1/2 inch strips. Place strips in lattice design on top of the apple filling. 
5. Brush lattice top with beaten egg, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, can add a bit of raw coarse sugar as well, if desired.
6. Using a 2 1/2- 3 inch sharp round cookie cutter, cut out cookies... making sure to leave as little a space between cutouts to maximize the number of cookies you get.
7. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. With scraps, I like to use a mini muffin tin and bake them... this way I don't waste the scraps and turn them into mini muffin pie scraps.  You can see this in the GF version photos below.
8. Bake in preheated 375 deg F oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
9. If you like, you can drizzle some cookies with a powdered sugar icing. 

Gluten- Free Apple Pie Cookies
Note: It is best to keep pie crust cold, as it is difficult to work with if dough is soft. And use a bit of GF flour to dust work surface as you roll out dough.

You will need:

1 GF pie crust recipe, 4 pieces, rolled in 6 inch circles
1 cup diced apple pie filling
1/2 nut filling(recipe above)

  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
1. Cut pie crust in 4 pieces. You will need to work with smaller pieces, as the crust is quite fragile. Roll out one piece of the dough to about 6 inch or so.
2. Spread about 2 tablespoons or so of nut filling on crust, then add about 1/2 cup of apple pie filling and spread it to the edge.
3. Roll out another 6 inch pie crust, cut in strips and form lattice top.... 
Now, I must admit this was quite challenging as the dough breaks easily. I used a knife to lift up the strips and had many broken pieces. In the end it turned out ok. It's doable, but if you want to make it easier, you can opt to cut out small shapes and use those instead or even placing another rolled out crust on top as you would when making regular pies(w/out any lattice work). 
4. Brush top with beaten egg, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, can add a bit of raw coarse sugar as well, if desired.
5. Using a 2 1/2- 3 inch sharp round cookie cutter, cut out cookies... 
6. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet.
7. Repeat the process with the other 2 pieces. 
8. With scraps, I like to use a mini muffin tin and bake them... this way I don't waste the scraps and turn them into mini muffin pies. 
9. Bake in preheated 375 deg F oven for 15 minutes or so... or until golden.
10. If you like, you can drizzle some cookies with a powdered sugar icing.


Nora S.P. said...

These looked so yummy. My kids would eat these. I luv the idea of them as cookies as they are easy for my kids to hold.

Ellie said...


So glad you like the idea:).

They are fun to make and eat. Not to mention that they
are the perfect dessert to make for potlucks, picnics and after school snacks. And as you said, they are great to pick up with just your hands... no other utensils needed:).

Hope you can give them a try!

Anonymous said...

I made these for my contribution to Easter dinner. They were a hit! Instead of the nut layer, I used some caramel topping thickened with a little flour because one of the guests has nut allergies. I also substituted 1 / 2 cup lard for the same amiunt of butter. Flaky, tender, yummy and worth the effort. SO good !

Ellie said...

Anon, Oh, that's so wonderful! I'm honored that you made these for Easter dinner:). I am thrilled that everyone enjoyed them. I know we really like them:).

Glad you ended up make your own variation with the caramel... loved that you added a bit of flour to the caramel to keep it from getting too runny. Just brilliant! I can only imagine how flaky the dough must have been with the lard. Thanks a bunch for your quick feedback... I really appreciate it, as it made my day:)!

Anonymous said...

Hope it's alright I pinned your apple pie cookie page- looks delicious! greetings from Ottawa Ontario Canada

Ellie said...

Rosemary, Thank you... you're fine, I appreciate you pinning:).

Thanks for stopping by and letting me know. Glad you enjoyed the post... hopefully, you can try making the cookies one day:).