Sunday, November 25, 2007
The devil is in the details
Since I share all my cooking triumphs, I may just as well share my cooking trials. Not everything I make turns out as it should. And when things go bad, they go very bad.
But what's a story without some background? As I've often said, I'm not a baker. I actually don't enjoy making cookies very much. If I were a super hero that evil genius that constantly eludes me would be a personified sugar cookie. I have given up on cookie cutter cookies or any sort of "round" shape. I am quite satisfied sticking to drop cookies and sliced cookies. Easy, very nearly fool proof. With this in mind I will share the recipe for "Cookies which will never be made again". Maybe you'll have better luck.
2) Decide thumbprint cookies are a great use of leftover jam bits in fridge and leftover pecans from caramel pecan pie.
3) Assemble ingredients:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups AP flour
3 egg whites
2 cups finely chopped pecans
Jam of your choosing (I used strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry)
4)Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
5) Add flour on low speed until well blended.
6) In a small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. This is where you realize that beating egg whites in a small bowl is a very very bad idea. You realize this right after the egg whites end up ALL over the counter. Place pecans in separate small bowl.
7) Scoop and roll dough into balls. This is where you notice the dough does not stick together. It crumbles, it breaks, you use a few choice curse words as you try to make something of the crumbly dough.
8) Dip ball in egg whites and roll in pecans. The pecans will not stick to the dough balls. You will increase your curse word vocabulary right about here, making up new and exotic phrases.
9)Place balls on prepared baking sheet. Use thumb to make indentation on top of each cookie. This action will cause the cookies to split into multiple pieces, crack, and crumble. You're near tears as you try to form the dough back into some semblance of cookie. You tell your husband you are never making these cookies again so he better enjoy them while he can.
10) Bake cookies 8 minutes. Removed from oven. Spoon teaspoons of jam into indentation of each cookie. Return cookies to oven. Bake 8 minutes more until lightly browned.
11) Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack. Even though you're transferring the cookies with a spatula you will still come into contact with the jam which is 173 degrees and burns the skin on all your fingertips. You begin plotting on how to kill the cookies while running your fingers under cold water. When your husband reaches for a cookie you send him death glances. When he tells you he really likes them you wonder if smothering him in his sleep could reduce your sentence to manslaughter due to provocation.....