The year my first little baby girl was born, I lived right around the corner from a small but charming family owned bakery. They had sinful cakes, cookies, danishes, and eclairs, but my favorite was the pie sticks. (Hmm...Maybe that's why I didn't lose the baby weight until after we moved far far away.) What's a pie stick? Pie sticks are flaky buttery pastry twists encasing a cinnamon sugar filling. They're sweet, crunchy, and irresistible.
Now, I've always made these with my homemade pie crust recipe, but just for you dads and kids out there, I made them today (with help from my two charges) with a tube of Pillsbury crescent dough. I didn't figure there were too many men out there who wanted to make homemade pie crust. Unless they are like my pesty little brother Roy, who in addition to being an excellent tease, also happens to be a highly proficient baker. (Don't tell him I told you either compliment; it'll only go to his head.) I'll include a homemade crust recipe for any of you out there who regularly shatter gender expectations. For the rest of you, (hello....are there any men out there?) use the crescent rolls and take it easy. All of the women in your life will be happy if you remember to do the dishes when you're done.
Cinnamon Sugar Pie Sticks:
Estimated Cost with purchased dough: $2.50, homemade: $1.50
1 (8 ounce) tube crescent rolls
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (mix 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with 2 T sugar)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
drip of vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Unroll crescent rolls. you should have 8 triangles. Pinch sets of two triangles together at the seam to make 4 rectangles. Cover two rectangles with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Top with plain rectangles. Slice rectangles into long thin strips (Each rectangle should yield five strips). Give each strip a couple of gentle twists and place on the greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until browned. Cool slightly. Prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle glaze atop pie sticks. Makes 10
For a from scratch version, combine in a large bowl, 1 and 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1/4 cup cold butter and 1/4 cup shortening. (You can do this in the food processor if you have one.) Drizzle in about 3 tablespoons ice cold water, a little at a time to form a ball of dough. Roll dough into two big rectangles and follow the recipe above.