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My grandma grew up during the Depression era.  To this day, I think she still saves margarine containers, bread bags and jelly jars so they can be re-used as storage or for crafts…and you better believe wrapping paper and bows get squirreled away, too.  I don’t even think she throws out coffee grounds.  Those go in her compost bin for the flower beds.  Grandma was green before green was cool!

Nothing goes to waste in the kitchen either.  When it comes to scraps of pie dough, she slathers on some melted butter, sprinkles with cinnamon and sugar, rolls up the pieces and bakes them into what she calls “tootsie” rolls.  My mom made these when I was a kid…and now I’m going to make them for my family.

I thought I’d try to put my own twist on them by adding a pumpkin butter filling and a brown sugar streusel.  You know, really amp them up!  Well, the expriement ended up being a sticky, ugly mess.  They tasted good, but in no way, was this a recipe that deserved to be passed on to the masses.  Grandma probably could have told me that would happen and that sometimes, less is more. 

So, on my next attempt, I decided that I’d update the recipe with just a tiny twist – rather than stuffing in a bunch of extra goodies.  This time, the only ingredient I added to Grandma’s recipe was a layer of apple butter.  (I had depleted my pumpkin butter jar on the first round). 

In 15-20 minutes, from assembly to pulling them out of the oven, you have a perfect treat for a cold fall night.  Don’t worry if some of the apple butter oozes out as you roll up the dough – no biggie.  The buttery pie dough keeps these from being overly sweet and you get the hint of apple flavor (without all the peeling, chopping and hour-long baking time of making an actual pie). 

They are AMAZING with a cup of apple cider or cocoa.  If your house is anything like mine was growing up, these will get gobbled up when they are hot out of the oven and won’t even last until the next day.

Apple Butter Bites (Print Recipe)

  • 1 package refrigerated pie dough (there are usually two crusts per package)
  • 4 Tbsp. melted butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • 1 c. apple butter

Let the pie dough sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to the package directions (I think mine called for 425°).

Unroll the dough and brush each circle with melted butter.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (to your taste).  A few good shakes will do it.

Spread 1/2 c. of apple butter on each dough circle.

Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 1-inch pieces. 

Place on a greased cookie sheet or round cake tin and bake for 11-13 minutes or until the rolls start to brown on the edges.