This Cookie-Pie Mashup Helped a Baker's Business Survive Through Quarantine

There was a lot of baking going on in my kitchen last year. Like a lot. I made miso-peanut butter cookies (OK, yum), lemon-cardamom rolls, Key lime bars, and sour cream chocolate chip cake (OK, really yum) in a three-month span. Like a lot of people, I found baking to be a great way to pass the time while working on my pastry skills and finding some comfort in the process. I’ve since eased up on the sugar overload, but one thing might just lure me back: The cookie pies at Twisted Cookie in Forest Park, Ill.

Self-taught baker/owner Joana Fischer was crossing cookies with cupcakes, cheesecake and pies at her surburban Chicago bakery long before banana bread and sourdough breads filled our social media feeds last year, and she didn’t stop even after plans to expand her bakery to downtown Chicago fell through last spring. “It freaked me out in the beginning,” she recalls. "We also lost our catering, events, craft shows, hospital visits; those were my main things before the storefront. The good news is that we were able to use the apps to help with ordering and delivery, and that’s what sustained us through everything.” Today those orders keep coming, as do in-store customers looking for those famous cookie pies, which come in flavors like pecan, triple berry, apple, and peach. Fischer swears by cream cheese for her flaky pie crust, and uses fresh fruit and housemade strudel toppings on the cookies (which bake right into the four-inch crust base). “It’s basically a thinner version of pie,” she says. “It’s a nice portion, like a cookie, but not overwhelming, and without that fullness you get from a while slice of pie.” Sounds like the perfect sweet spot to us.

Liz Grossman is the managing editor of Plate.