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Fat and Sweet: Roly Polies Recipe

Making Pie crust with Spymom

Growing up, when SpyMom brought out the pie plate and the rolling pin, the entire family got very excited. 

You may assume that it was because it was pie time.

I know what time it is.

But, well, you'd be wrong. Because although we weren't going to turn away one of SpyMom's pies, what we really craved were the precious bits created with the leftover scraps of dough, which she'd polka-dot with butter then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and then roll into spirals, baking them in the residual heat of the oven and presenting them to her hungry masses under the name Roly Poly. 

I have no idea why SpyMom called them Roly Polies--she said that she had started making them because that's how she'd been taught to use the leftover pie dough from a neighbor, when she was a girl. It's likely owing to their short and squat nature. After all, when I just now looked up the definition of "roly-poly" in the dictionary (it was there!), it said "A short plump person or thing."

Making Pie crust with Spymom

I don't know how to scientifically explain how such a simple thing as coating pie crust with butter, cinnamon, and sugar creates a treat with an almost crack-like addictive quality. But just take a bite. You'll lose yourself in the gooey midsection of this pie crust cookie-treat, which is soft, but lightly salty, and gooey. You'll want more. I guarantee it.

And to prove it, I will present evidence of how beloved these treats have become in my family. No longer are they the way to use up leftover pie crust: my mom will actually make up an extra batch just to make roly polies.

Making Pie crust with Spymom

Me, I'm just as happy cutting simple strips. You can see for yourself the next time you've got some extra pie crust rolling around--but be warned, you may be setting yourself up for a lifetime of craving.

Roly Polies


  • Leftover pie crust
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Light or dark brown, or granulated sugar

Is your oven already heated? If not, preheat it to 400 degrees F.

Making Pie crust with Spymom

Dot the crust all over with butter. Making Pie crust with Spymom

Now, coat it with cinnamon. If you want, give it a sprinkle of sugar, too. Making Pie crust with Spymom

Now, slice it into strips.

Making Pie crust with Spymom

And then roll them up.

Making Pie crust with Spymom

Place them on a greased baking sheet. Making Pie crust with Spymom

Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden.

Enjoy! Did you have any treats like this in your house while you were growing up?

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    Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life - CakeSpy - Fat and Sweet: Roly Polies Recipe

Reader Comments (6)

My mom totally made these with leftover crust! Except we called them snails in our house. :)
August 6 | Unregistered CommenterKatie M
Oh man! MY mom would do this also, only we didn't roll it up... we just topped the rolled out scraps with the butter/sugar/cinnamon and then baked it till done and ate it flat. I love the rollup idea though! It is SO totally addicting. I think I am going to skip making pies and just make this from now on! :)
August 6 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Yes! My dad would do this with me whenever he made a pie. (Mom's pies usually use a graham cracker crust.) But only half of our cinnamon rolls would actually make it into the oven!
August 7 | Unregistered CommenterErin
My family makes these and calls them doodandles. Two changes though: we brush the dough with melted butter rather than dots, and we roll up the whole long log and then cut them off into about 1/2 inch thick circles. Yum!
August 7 | Unregistered CommenterAlana
I have made these like Alana does for 50 years. My mom taught me as her mom had taught her. When my son, in his 30s, comes to visit, he always asks me to make cinnamon rolls. I make enough pie dough for two pies but then turn it ALL into logs of cinnamon rolls...a family tradition...extremely addictive.
August 9 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
we just cut the leftover pie crust into strips and dust with cinnamon sugar before baking and then devour them, usually forgetting about the pie! These were my brother's favorite and he would get so upset when my mom and I would eat them all. But we made the pie so I think we deserved it :)
August 13 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

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