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Three Snack Treats to Bake With Your Preschooler

Pies and cookies and muffins, oh my!

Published on: May 06, 2022

Mini apple pie
Photo:
Excerpted from the Baking with Rachel website, used by permission. Photo credit: Rachel Knecht

Perfect recipes for your pint-size sous chef

Some days we all just need a little afternoon pick-me-up. After a morning of rushing around getting kids out the door, walking the dog and catching up on work, wouldn't a mini apple pie or a chocolate oatmeal cookie hit the spot? We certainly think so, and are thrilled to share these three baking recipes from the creative genius behind the Baking With Rachel blog, Rachel Knecht. She selected these recipes for ParentMap specifically because they are foolproof options for baking with your preschooler (read up on her top tips for baking with littles). But if you'd rather get to lick the spoon yourself, pull out your mixing bowls and get to baking before the kids get home. 

Find the other recipes:

Mini Apple Pies

Serving notes: Store baked pies at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to four days. Serve warm apple pie with a scoop of ice cream for a classic combination.

  • Yield: 4 mini 5-inch double-crust apple pies
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Bake time: 25–30 minutes

Double all-butter pie crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (1 ¾ if using Morton)
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks ), cold and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Apple filling:

  • 4 tart medium apples, such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

To finish:

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Sparkling sugar or raw sugar

Supplies:

  • 4 mini 5-inch pie pans

Directions:

Add flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Add cubed butter and pulse 5–8 times, until butter is the size of small peas. Drizzle in water and cider vinegar and pulse for a few seconds until the mixture starts to clump around the sides of the bowl. Dump dough onto a floured counter and knead it a few times to shape into a ball. The ball should be firm with butter visible. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Shape into balls and wrap with saran wrap. Press slightly to form disks and put in the refrigerator. It is usable after two hours. If the dough is frozen, put it in the refrigerator the night before making the pies.

Peel, core and slice apples. Cut the slices in half for shorter pieces. Put all the apples in a large bowl. Gently mix in sugar, flour, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon and cloves.

Take one pie dough disk out of the fridge and cut it into four equal pieces. Sprinkle the counter with flour. Roll out one piece of dough into a 7-inch circle. Flour the dough and rolling pin as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Place the dough into one of the pie pans and press gently to form the dough to the bottom of the pan, allowing the excess to drape over the edge. Repeat with remaining three pieces of dough.

Heap equal amounts of filling into each pie, creating a dome shape.

Take the remaining disk out of the refrigerator. Flour the counter again and divide into four equal pieces. Roll one piece at a time into a 7-inch circle. Choose your own adventure for the top crust! It’s important to work quickly so that the dough stays cold. Feel free to keep the other pieces of dough in the refrigerator if you need more time to allow your creative, perfectionist self to shine.

To make the lattice top crust, cut the circle into equal strips about 1/4-inch thick. Place the center strip horizontally in the middle of the pie. Space the next strips to the left and right of the middle strip 1/2 inch apart. Continue adding horizontal strips until you reach the end of the crust (usually five strips total). Weave the remaining strips laterally, alternating to create a basket weave.

Alternately, use a small cookie cutter or donut hole cutter to cut circles out of the rolled-out top crust. Shingle the circles around the top of the pie.

For a third option, place the rolled-out dough on top of the apple filling and cut steam slits in the top. Once the top crust is on the pie, use scissors to trim the excess dough to a 1-inch overhang. Roll the excess up onto itself so that the dough is at the edge of the pan. Flute or crimp edges to secure the top crust to the bottom crust.

Refrigerate pies for 20 minutes, or until the dough is cold. Heat the oven to 375℉. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the egg yolk and cream. Use a pastry brush to brush the mixture on the top crust. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar or raw sugar, if desired.

Place pies on a baking sheet and bake for 25–30 minutes. Check at 15 minutes and rotate pan for even browning. The pies are done when the crust is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Serve warm or at room temperature for best flavor.

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