One of my favorite little treats to bake when I was little were pie crust cinnamon rolls. What? You don’t know about pie crust cinnamon rolls? Let me help you out.
When my mother would bake pies, the scraps of dough that were left over after trimming her pie crust to fit the pie plate were made into pie crust cinnamon rolls. The dough was re-rolled into an oblong shape, covered with melted butter, and covered with cinnamon and sugar. Then the prepared dough was rolled cinnamon roll style, cut into 1” pieces, placed on a pie plate or a baking sheet and baked for 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through. These little yummies were always my favorite part of homemade pie!
This past weekend when I was at my mother’s house she asked me if I wanted a box of pie crusts she had purchased ahead of the holidays. She wasn’t sure she would bake a pie, and if she did if she would have the energy to scratch make a crust. She had been holding on to this unopened box and was going to throw it out if I didn’t want it. I wasn’t planning on baking a pie, but I took the crusts home with me.
I was planning on a big pot of chili for dinner. I like to make chili a couple of times over the winter, almost as a requirement. I wasn’t in the mood to make corn bread, which I typically make to go with homemade chili. I also like homemade cinnamon rolls with chili, but really didn’t feel like baking cinnamon rolls. Light Bulb (yes, I did recently watch Despicable, Me)! I would make pie crust cinnamon rolls using the premade pie crusts my mother had sent home with me, if they were still good.
Per the directions on the box I took the 2 individually wrapped pie crusts out of the box and laid them on the kitchen table in the plastic wrappers. I took a block of cream cheese from the fridge, and got out brown sugar and cinnamon. Next, I called Daughter Number 4 in to the kitchen. I asked her if she would like to make the best part of dinner. When she saw the array of ingredients she said she would. I removed the first pie crust from the wrapper and unrolled it onto a cutting board. I explained that instead of butter we would be using cream cheese as the base. She spread it out on the pie crust, as if she were spreading sauce on a pizza. It was beautiful. The she covered the cream cheese with brown sugar and cinnamon. Together, we rolled the pie crust and I let her use the pizza cutter to cut the 1” (some smaller, some bigger) slices. We laid them onto a pizza pan. Then, I gave her more freedom on the 2nd pie crust. She covered it with cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then she asked for pecans and cinnamon chips. She was liberal in her coverage. We rolled and she cut the 2nd pie crust and laid those on the pizza pan. We baked the pie crust cinnamon rolls at 350◦ for about 20 minutes until they were golden brown and cooked through.
The whole family was excited about the rolls, and doubly excited when I told them they were to be eaten with the chili and not after the chili. The rolls were delicious! The Hubs raved about how good they were and how well they complimented the chili. The pecan ones were our faves.
It was wonderful to take an experience from my childhood and share with one of my own children, but also to take some pre-packaged pie crusts and create something wonderful. This is a great dish if you are in a hurry and makes a super accompaniment to chili, but would also be great for a little breakfast or brunch addition.