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Graham Cracker Crust Cookies

The best part of a pie is the crust! Skip right to the good part with these Graham Cracker Crust cookies. Buttery and toasty, complimented by your choice of Cheesecake or Key Lime Pie frosting, these cookies emulate that lovely, thick slab of crust you've wisely saved for last.

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Releasing the "Key Lime Pie" version of my Graham Cracker Crust Cookie has brought my cookie recipe writing full circle almost 9 years later. 


I remember the inspiration for writing my first cookie recipe perfectly. My husband's favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie and, on vacation in 2015, he excitedly purchased a Key Lime Pie cookie. The cookie was pale like a sugar cookie and contained white chocolate and macadamia nuts.

"What makes that a Key Lime Pie cookie?" I asked him.

"It has a hint of lime? Nothing really." He shrugged and devoured the cookie happily nonetheless.


This short interaction set my mind spinning. I was sure there was a way to make a cookie that could emulate both the crust of a pie and the silky filling of Key Lime custard - but how?


When writing a recipe from scratch, I first make observations about both flavors and textures and how each is achieved. I decided to make graham crackers from scratch to determine what gives them such a distinctive flavor. The answer surprised me: a very large percentage of vanilla extract. 


But also important was the twice-baked quality of a graham cracker crust, which is simply ground-up graham crackers (already baked once) mixed with butter and pressed into a pie pan to be baked a second time. So there were three major components to keep in mind: a copious amount of vanilla extract, a twice-baked toasty element, and a very butter-forward flavor profile.


I played around with a lot of flours (including graham flour, which the original cracker is made from, and difficult to procure!) until I learned about a simple-yet-effective technique: toasting all-purpose flour in the oven. This technique turns bland all-purpose flour into a complex ingredient, slowly caramelizing the flour to bring out a deeper, maltier flavor. By mixing my dough with toasted all-purpose flour as opposed to raw all-purpose flour, I was able to achieve the twice-baked flavor without sacrificing a softer texture in the final cookie.

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The first recipe I attempted was dated April 1, 2017 and I had countless drafts and tests since then. In the end, my most challenging recipe (so far) has only 5 ingredients: butter, toasted flour, vanilla, dark brown sugar, and salt. Before the frosting, of course.


A graham cracker pie crust is always going to have some remnant of filling and the experience of a plain Graham Cracker Crust Cookie simply wasn’t complete without those familiar flavors. To date, I’ve created Cheesecake frosting (available all year round), Pumpkin frosting (seasonally available) and now Key Lime Pie frosting. Almost 9 years later, I’ve finally achieved a Key Lime Pie cookie that I feel truly represents the most delicious aspects of a pie.

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