There is a correct way to eat a pie and an incorrect way.

The incorrect way is to eat it as a neat slice on a small plate over small talk. You’ve probably showered that day; you might even be wearing pants.

The correct way isn’t too different: You eat it as a neat slice on a small plate over big, or at least medium, talk. And then when you finish your slice, you sit hunched over and pick at the remainder of the pie, extracting nibbles of the crust, muttering something like “calories don’t count on Sunday,” or whatever. What remains at the end of your correct pie eating session is a blob of filling in the center of a pie plate with no remaining crust because it’s all in your belly.

That is how I eat pie. This also applies to pizza pie.

And this is how I envisioned myself eating my friend Ashlae’s amazing pretzel-crusted pie the other day, had my fiancé’s family not gobbled it right up, down to the last crumb. In that moment, I wished with all of my might that I could just have an entire pretzel crust all to myself.

Photo by Molly Yeh

So I hurried home and got experimenting with shortbread cookies that would essentially be little rounds of pretzel pie crust.

These little guys are a lot of things that you want in a cookie: salty, quick and easy to make (only three required ingredients necessary, no refrigeration required), and very possibly gluten-free (if you use gluten-free pretzels). They’re a delightful combination of salty and sweet, and a perfect addition to any holiday party.


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 18 to 20 cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups pretzel flour (see headnote)
Chocolate, for drizzling (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease 2 cupcake pans and set aside. (If you’re just using 1 pan, you can keep the dough at room temperature while the first batch bakes and cools.)

2. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the pretzel flour and beat until combined and the mixture forms large crumbs. Fill up the cupcake tins halfway and then press down firmly (it helps to use the back of a spoon or bottom of a glass). Bake for 20 minutes, until they start to brown. Important: Let them cool in the pan and then gently lift them out. You can use a sharp knife on the edges to loosen them from the pan.

3. If desired, drizzle with melted dark chocolate and decorate with sprinkles. Enjoy

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

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