It is so easy to break a good habit, and so hard to break a bad habit. I was worried when I started my new job if I would have the time to take care of my blog as well. It seems as though I have had the time (don’t get me wrong), but the energy? Well, that’s another story. Also, as I look over my blog I am amazed by how much content I’ve created over the years. Maybe too much content? Anyway, summer time is well on its way, and though I have had my evenings mostly free, my weekends have been busy city. It’s no excuse. I should have stuck to my schedule, but now I’m beginning to think my usual blog schedule may not be that sustainable.
Content is not a problem. The problem is this: I always tell myself I’ll have time to post something while I’m at work, and while I’m at work I get so carried away with my daily duties, I never have that time. Believe me, I have tons and tons of pictures for new recipes ready to go!
Enough feeling sorry for myself – let me tell you about these cookies. They are soooome-thing! The crust is real pie crust, the apples are real apples, and all together it tastes like this gooey magic of a little pie pocket which has been described as a McDonald’ apple pie on steroids.
Apple Pie Medallions
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces, dipping fork
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cup water, very cold
3 medium apples, whatever you like to bake with
Squeeze of lemon juice
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 pretty thin, 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 the round cookie cutters 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 one side of whole apple, stopping when you hit the core. Repeat on opposite side. Cut the apples into a shape that will fit inside your pie dough. 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.
And now, assemble away! Grab your first disc of chilled dough and lightly dampen it on one side with the water. This is to help it seal. Take your first disc of apple and toss it in the cinnamon spice sugar. Place it on the damp side of the bottom disk. Place a second disc of dough on top and press the tops and bottoms around the apple with your fingers. Back on the floured counter, 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 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.) Transfer to a cooling rack to cool before eating them.
And now I have completed a blog post that I have been intent on writing for 2 or 3 weeks. I’m so happy of myself! Here’s the rub, it’s been at least that long since I’ve made these awesome babies. Now I want some more! Oh no! Should I make more? Gah! Maybe I should stick to blogging more regularly again. What do you think?