But once I actually read the recipe again and got the ingredients ready, the process isn't gruesome at all. It's like any dessert, really. Mix the flour, eggs, cream, then bake until the sweet aroma from the oven fills up the kitchen.
Okay, maybe it's a little more complicated than baking a tray of chocolate cookies and more importantly, you do need the patience to wait for it to chill in the fridge for hours. But trust me, the wait is worthwhile! And once the pies are ready, unlike other freshly made desserts that need to consumed within a day or so, crack pies are good for over a week. Whenever you crave something sweet and buttery and gooey, just take out a slice from the fridge and enjoy.
I used this recipe from LA Times, but most recipes you find online don't vary too much.
You can dust the sugar powder in whatever shapes you like. Just make a cutout from a piece of paper and dust the powder on top then remove the paper. Here I did a bunny shape to celebrate Lunar New Year (it's the year of the Hare).
Cookie for crust
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.
- With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.
- Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.
Crumbled cookie for crust
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
- Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together).
- Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins (smaller pie tins are okay too; you will just end up with a thicker pie).
- Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins.
- Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.
3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
2 prepared crusts
Powdered sugar, garnish
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.
- Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.
- Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.
- Bake the pies for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.
- Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Pies are good for up to a week in the fridge.