When I was a kid, I had a friend named Jennifer who lived down the street from me. Jen lived with her Grandma Ruth. I used to love spending the afternoon at Jen’s house, because Ruth was always baking something yummy. I really looked forward to the days when she made pie. Her favorite flavor was lemon chiffon. They had a lemon tree out back, and Jen and I would help pick the ripe lemons for her pies. Sometimes we’d make sugary sweet lemonade with the extras. We added so much sugar that it was thick like syrup by the time we were done.
The best part about those lazy pie afternoons was that Ruth would save the trimmings from the crust for us so we could make pinwheel cookies. We would spread the dough with butter, cinnamon and sugar, then roll and cut the cookies into little pinwheels. When we were done, Ruth baked them till they turned flaky and crisp. The smell as they baked was like heaven! Nothing better. To be honest, I looked forward to the pinwheel cookies more than the pie itself!
I thought these Pie Crust Pinwheels would be a fun way to “wrap up” my series on pie crust. These little cookies are a great way to use up those leftover trimmings from the crust-making process. It’s so easy that a kid can do it… in fact, it’s a great way to get kids involved in the pie making process. If your kids are young, you should do the cutting– the rest is really simple. I haven’t given amounts here, since the amount of dough you’re working with will vary based on the trimmings you have. Use lots of sugar. It’s the best part.
I made these last week, and the smell of them baking brought back all those memories of Grandma Ruth and Jen and lemon trees. It was a simpler time. A happier time. During difficult weeks, when the world feels like it’s spinning out of control, I close my eyes and remember those moments… and I breathe. It helps.
To learn about the History of Pie in America, click here.
To learn how to make an Old Fashioned All-Butter Pie Crust, click here.
What do you do with your leftover pie trimmings?
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Gather your pie trimmings into a ball. Lightly flour your rolling surface and the top of the dough ball.
- Roll the dough out into the rough shape of a long thin rectangle.
- Cut the two short, rounded sides to form a straight edge on either end of the rectangle.
- Dust the flour off the top of the dough, then spread it evenly with melted butter to coat the entire surface.
- Sprinkle it with sugar.
- Then, sprinkle it with cinnamon.
- Roll the rectangle up horizontally into a long, thin tube. This will make several small pinwheels cookies. Alternatively, you could roll it vertically to make larger cookies; you will end up with fewer cookies this way.
- Slice the tube into cookies.
- Place cookies swirl-side up onto an ungreased baking sheet. Spread the top of each cookie with a little more melted butter.
- Sprinkle them with a little extra sugar for good measure.
- Bake the cookies for 30-45 minutes till the edges are golden brown and the cookies are crisp. Baking time will vary based on how big the cookies were cut.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve. They go great with an ice cold glass of milk.