Monday, August 1, 2011

Dessert 'Snails': What to do with too much leftover Pie Crust

These are a dish I remember from my childhood. When my mom would make pies (particularly the kind with only a bottom crust) she would occasionally have not quite enough extra dough to make another crust, but just enough extra dough to use for something else. This invention we dubber 'Snails'. We would literally sit in front of the toaster and watch these babies cook, drooling more and more as their smell wafted out around us. I think that perhaps it was through the smell that we actually figured out when they were sufficiently cooked, we just knew what they were 'supposed' to smell like to get that perfect golden and flakey texture without going over to the browning or blackened burn. This is a simple and YUMMY way to use that extra crust and they are really fun to make for kids. After all, who doesn't want to brag that their kid eats snails willingly right?

Dessert Snails


Pie crust
-          3 c. Flour plus 2 Tbsp
-          1 c. cold Butter (2 sticks)
-          1 tsp Salt
     Up to ¼ c. ice cold water (only  enough to make a dough)

Some very soft Butter
Brown Sugar


-          To make the crust: Combine flour and salt in a bowl, cut butter into manageable chunks and use a fork to smash and work it into the flour until you have a crumbly dough with no large butter lumps. Then, add the ice water a little bit at a time, just until the dough comes together (it will still be very crumbly) you probably won’t need the full ¼ cup of water to achieve this.

-          Roll out the crust into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick (about the same as you would for any pie you were making)

-          Spread enough soft butter over the dough that the sugar will have enough to stick to

-          Sprinkle the buttery dough with brown sugar, enough to coat it well

-          Sprinkle with desired amount of Cinnamon

-          Roll the dough into a roll (similar technique to cinnamon rolls) and cut into circular pieces about 1 inch high

-          Place on well greased baking sheet and bake in preheated oven at 400 F for 8-10 minutes or until very slightly golden.

-          Cool and serve!


     Obviously if you already have a crust from a pie, just roll it into a ball again and roll it out to make it flat, then begin with the cinnamon and sugar etc.

     Also, if you don't want the extra step of making them into spirals, just cooking the dough as a flat sheet with the sugar and cinnamon on top works as well (this version is similar to 'elephant ears')

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