There’s a subtle difference between craving pie and craving *making* pie.
Craving *making* pie usually hits me when I’m reaching for a cozy sweater and maybe want to therapy bake my way out of any maybe holiday induced stress. Craving actual pie… well that’s constant. Truly constant.
So! When the need for pie doesn’t align with my craving to actually make it… I turn every other dessert into a version of pie, with less effort and all the pie rewards.
See: Strawberry Pie Bars.
See also these almond shortbread blueberry crumble cookies. Cobbler inspired. Crisp and fruity and not at all, but almost pie. We’re working our way towards pie! Until then, let’s mess with these cookies. They clever.
Here’s what you’ll need to work this cookie dream:
• a mixture of almond flour and all-purpose flour. The nut flour adds a soft, crumbly texture to these shortbread style cookies and I think it’s just perfect!
• very softened butter and granulated sugar – creamed to fluffy to aerate the cookie batter.
• salt and vanilla to round out the shortbread cookie flavoring – keeping things simple.
• blueberry jam or whatever kind of jam you know and love.
• brown sugar, flour, oats, spices, and butter to create a cobbler- like cookie topping. Most things are better with a crumble – that’s my strongly held opinion.
Start by mixing together the crumble topping.
This is a topping you might find on top of a hearty coffee cake or on top of a peach pie you really want to eat. I’m guilty of putting a crumble on top of everything I can and I’m asking you to get into it with me.
Oats and brown sugar, flour and spices. Salt, always. Butter (as always) to bring it all together forever.
The mixture might feel clunky to bring together but eventually the moisture from the softened butter will coax the ingredients into an incorporated and crumbly topping mixture. Keep at it.
Cookie dough starts with a generous amount of butter. Softened to room temperature.
Softened as if left out of the refrigerator overnight – still shaped like butter but pleasingly pliable.
Add granulated sugar and using electric hand beaters (or even a stand mixer – whatever you don’t mind washing) blend with the softened butter. Mix until light and fluffy – more pale in color.
Add the flour mixture, knowing that there’s also a good dash of salt in there too.
(You can do this one of two ways – whisk all of the dry ingredients together OR layer the dry ingredients on top of the butter and sugar and get the mixer in there to whip it all up.)
Add the almond flour too.
Mix until well combined and lightly shaggy. The cookie dough won’t come together in a tight dough ball – the moist crumb is just right.
I’ve sung the praises of a cookie scoop before and here I am back on the same old tune.
Scoop rounded dough balls (the dough doesn’t even need refrigerating!) onto the prepared cookie sheet – about 2 inches apart.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop roll a generous tablespoonful of cookie dough into a round and place on the cookie sheet. And maybe put that cookie scoop on your holiday wish list – I swear they’re useful!
Make little bowls out of the cookie rounds. Bowls for blueberry jam.
Press your thumb into the cookie dough being sure not to press through the dough into the pan.
And spoon in blueberry jam to fill the thumbprint.
Lastly, generously sprinkle the crumble mixture over the cookie.
You’ll have a bit of crumble left over – go heavy or save some for your next batch of cookies.
Bake until the crumble is golden and the edges of the cookies start to reveal their golden brown edges.
Allow to cool and set on the pan for several minutes before transferring to a rack to cool. I love these little gems served with vanilla ice cream, though a dusting of powdered sugar is also lovely.
Pie cookies. Until we’re good and ready to pie pie.