Press-in Cookie Dough {ModBak}

There are three crust recipes in the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of The Modern Baker. I have used the sweet tart dough several times, always with great results, and I was looking forward to trying the other dough recipes. So when I decided to make the bittersweet chocolate tart, I was happy to see that it called for this dough for the crust.

Unlike most of Nick’s other pie and tart crust recipes, this one starts with room temperature butter, which is mixed with granulated sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer (another departure, as his crust recipes are usually mixed in the food processor). After beating the butter mixture to a light texture and color, an egg yolk is added, then flour is folded in by hand with a rubber spatula.

After mixing the dough, I scraped it out onto a floured board, pressed it into a rough cylinder, and divided it.

The dough was really soft and hard to work with. It seemed like it would benefit from a short rest in the refrigerator, but the recipe said to work with it right away, so that’s what I did.

I pressed the larger piece of dough into the bottom of the pan and worked it in as evenly as possible.

Next, I divided the remaining dough in to three pieces and worked them as best I could into ropes, which I then pressed into the sides of the pan and trimmed to fit.

I covered the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for later. I ended up making the bittersweet chocolate tart the next day, so I waited to bake the shell until then. When I was ready to bake the crust, I took the tart pan out of the refrigerator and pierced the dough with a fork to keep it from forming air pockets as it baked.

I baked the crust at 350°F for 20 minutes, until it was firm and golden. It smelled just like a sugar cookie while it baked, and I was sure it would taste great.

I had some leftover dough, which I shaped into cookies and baked with the crust. They were quite good, so I knew the crust would be perfect for a sweet tart.

This is a great crust that is quick and easy to make and is perfect for those who have a mental block when it comes to rolling out pie and tart doughs. My only issue with it was that the initial dough was too soft to work with and would have benefitted from about 30 minutes in the fridge before attempting to press it into the pan. I made a margin note in the recipe to do it that way next time.



  1. July 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    […] with any tart featuring chocolate. After my successes with sweet tart dough, nut tart dough, and press-in cookie dough, I knew this one would be great, […]

  2. June 26, 2011 at 8:34 am

    […] of The Modern Baker includes three dough recipes: sweet tart dough, chocolate nut dough, and press-in cookie dough. This recipe is a variation of the sweet tart dough, and even though it’s not an official […]

  3. April 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    […] the second tart recipe in the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of The Modern Baker. Having made the press-in cookie dough, I decided to make this tart to fill […]

  4. Mariko said,

    April 26, 2011 at 2:27 am

    I have made this dough before for the Parisian Fruit Tart. It tastes great. I accidentally broke the first finished crust somehow after baking and had to make another one. I wound up just eating the broken one like cookies!
    I have made Nick’s Chocolate Meringue tart out of his new book “bake!” but it just uses a regular tart crust. I think it would have been even better with a cookie crust.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      I haven’t done the Parisian fruit tarts yet, but I’m going to soon. I’ve also been bakng out of Bake! and have loved most of the recipes I’ve tried.

  5. Renee said,

    April 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Can’t wait! I’m making the chocolate tart this week too and this will be my first dough of this section. I love sugar cookies! Can’t wait to fill the house with that smell.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      If you have any extra dough, be sure to make cookies with it. They’re yummy!

  6. Abby said,

    April 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I remember really struggling with this one last summer…your post makes it look quick and easy though, so I should give it another try!

    • gaaarp said,

      April 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      Yeah, I know you and Andrea both had issues with it, so I was surprised mine came out so nicely. You should definitely try again!

  7. ap269 said,

    April 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Looks perfect! Good job!

    • gaaarp said,

      April 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks. I read that you had more luck with it the second time around. I think the tart pan with a removable bottom is key.

  8. Summer Rose said,

    April 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I love press in cookie doughs and if u have one that smells likea sugar cookie ,i am all there:-)
    Looking forward to catch up with all the tarts and more, we have kinda 50% moved but can u believe, they still have not got our gas connection and have not been able to bake for ages , have been cooking food on the micro:-)

    • gaaarp said,

      April 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      Ugh, that must be frustrating. Cant wait to have you baking tarts and pies with us!

  9. Kayte said,

    April 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Looks great…you do this one much better than I do this one. I like rolling dough a lot, and this just frustrates the heck out of me because I can’ get it to work like you do, mine is all lumpy and I end up despising it before I even eat it. I like yours, however, so maybe I should keep trying.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks. You’re much better at rolling dough than I am. I’m getting better, but still end up patching most of my attempts. That said, I prefer Nick’s rolled tart and pie doughs to the press-in ones. I can get the press-in doughs fairly even, but they still come out so much thicker than rolled doughs. I guess with a cookie dough that’s OK, but I like my crusts a bit thinner.

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