Friday, January 4, 2008

What a beautiful mess: Part II

The Cookies were baked in the wee hours of the nights before Christmas. It's all a big buttery blur. I'm just glad I did not decide to become a pastry chef. In baking, there's no color unless you're adding something fruity, everything smells the same - either of butter or chocolate, and you feel a bit guilty feeding it to the ones you love because you know it has the potential to kill them (sorry friends and family - please just eat them in moderation).

I've been looking for a good, classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, and my search continues. It has to be slightly crispy on outside, perfectly moist on the inside, with a nice golden color and a certain give. This one was close, but no cigar. Hmm... I may need to get a KitchenAid mixer to experiment further...

My favorite to make and to eat was the chocolate covered macaroons - I got the recipe off David Liebovitz's blog, and I thanked him for it directly on Facebook. The process of cooking the coconuts with sugar and vanilla was as laborious as cooking risotto. But it was thoroughly satisfying and fun - the way all cookie-baking should be. I began with dipping the macaroons in chocolate, but later had more fun drizzling the chocolate over them. I think they turned out prettier and more expressive, though less chocolatey.

The third recipe, the brown butter sandwich cookie, was the most labor-intensive and utterly not worth it except for my friend M., who said it was her favorite. As M. knows being the mother of two adorable kids, you should not be lured by the cuteness things. Cute = a whole lot of trouble. These cookies looked so cute in the pictures I saw that I just had to make them. You shape them by pushing the crumbly dough into a teaspoon, gently slide them off the spoon onto the baking sheet, cool them, then sandwich some jam between them. When you have 2 batches of dough to shape with a measly little teaspoon at midnight, these cookies stop looking cute real fast. I began with raspberry jam filling as the recipe suggested, but they looked a bit bland on the outside. I then decided to try chocolate filling dipped in more chocolate, and was happy with the outcome. The best part of this process was browning the butter. I will be browning more butter in the very near future, just to see the lovely bubbles and smell the caramel scent.

I hope y'all enjoyed!