Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cookie Baking: Day 3, 4 and 5

Yes, the schedule slipped over into a fifth day, but more on that later.

Day 3

This was a very simple day. Boyfriend and I rolled out the dough, cut the shapes, and baked the cookies. We got 8 dozen here, but it didn't really feel like much work. The butter cookies got green and red sugar sprinkled on top, but the chocolate ones we left blank. It seemed that icing these would just be a mess.

Day 4

I kept a record of this one:

10:00 – Put on Pants

10:06 – Preheat oven

10:15 – Begin Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkles ( by toasting hazelnuts or “filberts”. I distracted the kitten by tossing her one, then was suddenly gripped with fears of a feline hazelnut allergy and stole it back. Kitten is not happy.

10:26 – Take out the hazelnuts

11:03 - Man, hazlnuts take a long time to shell!!

11:05 - Encounter my first problem of the day. I need to pulse the hazelnuts till finely chopped, but I don’t have food processor and my blender is full of sticky fig mixture. I briefly consider using my roommate’s processor without her permission (she’s not home) but I really didn’t want to risk anything happening to it, as I don’t know how to use it. I finally decide to go with Boyfriend’s coffee grinder. Coffee and hazelnut go together, right?

11:25 – Hm. Hazelnuts may be too finely chopped. Anyway, time to melt the chocolate.

12:03 – Chocolate hazelnut dough is finished! (30 minutes active time my ass) I put it in to chill and treat myself to a cup of tea and a beater before I start the dishes.

12:28 – Dishes are done! Time to start the trios!

12:45 – Well, that was quick and painless. Flour, butter, sugar, salt, egg and vanilla. Gotta love it. It’s chilling in the fridge (I have to admit, I did not consider fridge space when I started this project) and now it’s time for lunch. Kale and white bean soup, anyone?

2:02 – Back to work. It’s not all the dishes that bug me so much, it’s washing the exact same dishes over and over again. My big red bowl will be pink by the time I’m finished!

2:20 – Middle of the recipe for molasses crinkles and I discover that I need ground cloves and I only have whole cloves. At this moment I thank heaven for my friend J, who gave me a mortar and pestle for my birthday 3 months ago. Thanks, J.

2:35 – Oh no! A jar o partridgeberry jam fell from the cupboard and into the mixing bowl! Thank goodness it didn’t break!

2:40 – The bowl broke. There’s egg all over the counter. I don’t believe this

3:07 – Call it a miracle, but the cookies are in the oven!

3:17 – The molasses crinkles are out of the oven and they look fantastic!

3:30 – about half of them burned on the bottom. It’s ok, though. I have enough for gift and even the burnt ones taste pretty good, so I’ll just keep those.

3:45 – I start shaping the trios. Each is made up of three dough balls with a different kind of jam in each. To be a bit special, a used all locally-made jams. Blueberry, Rasberry and Partridgeberrry.

4:07 – The first batch of trios goes into the oven.

4:21 – I become so engrossed in the meditative feeling of rolling dough balls that I forget about the first batch and the alarm goes off. More burnt cookies!

4:35 – The second batch goes in.

4:45 – I don’t know how I feel about these. They came out all right, but they’re somewhat cracked and not uniformly golden. Also, on a few the jam bubbled over onto the cookie. I’m not really into jam cookies anyway, I’ll have to get Boyfriend’s opinion on them

5:00 – Ok, time to go to my parents for dinner. I’ll just finish cleaning up and then return for the shocking conclusion: Chocolate-Hazelnut Crinkles!!! (Or was that foreshadowed when I made the dough this morning?)

Day 5

I woke up Monday morning feeling like I needed more molasses crinkles. I was out of butter and eggs, so my first trip was to the grocery store. While there, I noticed the pillsbury roll out dough. That would work for the fig swirls, but I'd never used a pre-made dough before, did I really want to start? I stood there for quite a while, then finally grabbed the box and headed out.

When I got home I unrolled the dough, spread the fig mush over it, rolled it back up and stuck it in the fridge. Then I got to baking. This was actually my most intense day, as I had a deadline: the office Christmas party at 4. The fig rolls in the fridge, I pulled out the chocolate hazelnut crinkles and started rolling balls and dipping in icing sugar. I got 4 dozen of these, so it was a lot of rolling. I skipped lunch and jumped right into the molasses crinkles. This was frustrated, as I ran out of the dark brown sugar and had to use the golden sugar. Also, there wasn't quite enough molasses, even though there should have been by the size of the container. Then there was more rolling and sugar dipping. I didn't burn these, anyway, so that was good. They weren't quite as good as the first batch, I'm blaming the sugar, but they were pretty good. 2 dozen more.

By this time it was after 3, and I was supposed to be at the party by four. I really didn't want to spend another day baking cookies, so I pulled the fig rolls out of the fridge and started slicing. I got two dozen more and did my makeup in the kitchen as they were baking. But they came out! They looked as if the dough in the middle hadn't baked properly, but they were just fine.


I baked 19 dozen cookies, and that is quite a lot. But you know, I would do it again. The cookies came out great and the recipients were all really appreciative. I didn't let myself get stressed, even when things got a bit tangly, and i enjoyed the feeling of baking treats for the people I care about. Finally, the house still smells amazing!

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