For the Super Fierce Pecan Buttermilk pie that I'm entering in SF Food Wars - I am in the process of deciding which type of cookie crumb crust to use. While I feel like the pecan custard filling is good to go, I've used different cookie crumbs with the crust in the past. I've used both types of Trader Joe's cat cookies - regular and ginger - as well as graham crackers. I've found the cat cookies to make the best cookie crusts - they're basically animal crackers, low in fat with a nice crunch.
My hubby Michael suggested baking cookies from scratch, to see how they compare to store bought. So, I selected Alton Brown's vanilla wafer recipe (thanks to the hubby for baking them :)) I also had not baked a pie in recent memory with vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, so I thought it was a good choice. Though looking at the butter content in the wafer recipe, I had a hunch the cookies would be too fatty for an ideal crust, but went ahead.
I baked mini pies with the 3 different crusts: ginger cat cookies, regular cat cookies, and homemade vanilla wafers.
The verdict? 5 out of 8 tasters preferred the ginger cookies - and the other 3 preferred the regular cat cookies. One taster did like the flavor of the wafer crust the best, but not the texture (which was quite soft). I personally liked the ginger the best - thought they complemented the custard filling nicely, without being too overpowering. Tasters did mention that the regular cat cookies allowed the flavor of the custard to stand out more. My friend Julia suggested trying a blend of mostly ginger cookies, with some regular cookies mixed in - so that will be the basis of pie test #2! I also felt that the crust could be crunchier - so I'll have to bake the next crusts a bit longer to see how they fare. Stay tuned!!!