The Ingredient You Should Avoid When Baking Cookie Crusts

If you love pie — and who doesn't? — there's perhaps no kitchen feat as satisfying to pull off than baking a perfect one. Pie-making can certainly present its challenges, and almost all of them have to do with the crust. Overwork a butter-and-flour dough and you might unintentionally create a tough, chewy crust; Underbake it and you might end up with a gummy crust that tastes of raw flour (via Richmond Library).

With a little practice, of course, any home baker can master the art of pie-baking — crust-related pitfalls included. But if you're just embarking on your pie making career, a way to simply avoid all the crust to-do is to go for a cookie crust. Commonly made of crushed graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or other cookies, according to Bake or Break, cookie crusts come together with just some melted butter and some sugar and are pretty impossible to mess up, creating a crunchy contrast to smooth, custardy pie fillings such as key lime and banana cream

But even though cookie crusts are easy-peasy, there's a certain ingredient you'll want to avoid the next time you make one at home.

Don't try to make a cookie crust from soft cookies

If you've ever dug into a pie whose delicious crust was made of cookies such as chocolate wafers or sandwich cookies, then you know what a delightful contrast the cookie crust can be to a variety of pie fillings. Cookie crusts' virtue, undoubtedly, lies with its texture, ideally providing a big crunch factor as you slide your fork into the slice of pie.

In order to assure you'll have that crispy, crunchy outcome, according to King Arthur Baking, you're going to want to make sure you select crunchy cookies with which to craft your crust. While softer-centered cookies such as chewy gingerbread or tender oatmeal cookies might seem tempting to use as the basis of the crust, just say no — and reach for crisp cookies in order to get the best result.

Looking for a change of pace from the usual graham crackers or Oreos? Try gingersnaps, shortbread cookies, or pecan sandies, Bake or Break suggests. You can even work savory crackers into a cookie crust, as in the case of this whipped cream-topped lemon pie whose base is made with Saltines.