Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oh no, oh yes, oh no.

I can definitively say that these cookies are the only to have caused so many problems yet come out ok in the end.Over the holidays I had a little party, and my friend Naomi demanded that I make her a cake. She argued that I had never made her a cake before, and I owed her this. Now, I had too many other things to make for the cake to get completed, so I gave her this as a consolation prize.
These are called Glazed Cookie Sticks, and the recipe (see below) comes from The Giant Book of Chocolate, published by Barron's. Yes, its as amazing as it sounds. Over 300 recipes, all including chocolate, all accompanied by gorgeous photographs.
Ok now I'm getting off track, but bear with me. Isn't every recipe book improved by photos? I never want to buy a book that doesn't have pictures, because how do you know what its meant to look like? Even the most detailed instructions can't compare to a full size picture of the end product.
Ok back to cookies. These looked really cute and not too difficult to make, so I figured I'd go ahead. They involve making a simple dough and piping it into long sticks, baking, and then drizzling with white and dark chocolates.
And there the trouble began. So, I made the dough. Phase 1 complete.
Now the piping. The recipe called for a .5 inch tip, so I placed one on my piping bag, and filled it with the dough. I go to pipe...nothing. The dough is too hard. I massage it a little with my hands...nothing. I microwave it for a few seconds. Now its too hot to handle, but still won't come out. I exchange it for a different tip...nothing. Now I'm freaking out, I take the dough out, try a different bag, put the dough back in, all the time losing dough in each transfer.
Finally, I replace the dough in the original bag, which by the way, has one section that stretched thin from melting the plastic, and take off the tip completely, leaving just the plastic piece that is inside the bag. This hole is big enough to pipe, but...its not completely round. Instead each piece I pipe has a little raised bump on the side, which I attempt to position on the bottoms. I'm mostly successful.
Anyway, now I've got them all piped, baked, and cooling on racks. Phase 2 complete.
But ohhhhh we're not done. Oh no. Now comes the drizzling.
It's a fun word, drizzle.
"Is it raining out?"
"No, only drizzling."
"Oh, great."
Not the case here. I melt the chocolate in two little separate ziploc bags, and snip off the tips and set to work.
When I'm done, the cookies look beautiful and like I put hours of work into them. Just the way I like it.
But then, I go to move them. Uh oh. I've placed the cookies so close together on the rack, that the chocolate strands have cooled as one long piece, effectively stringing every cookie together, and separating the chocolate from the cookie base. Oops.
I desperately attempt to break them apart while keeping the chocolate still on the cookie. I succeed somewhat.
You be the judge. Good thing the picture isn't that great.

Tip of the Day: Pay attention when a recipe calls for cooling in or out of the pan. You could end up with broken or crumbled cookies, or baked goods completely stuck inside a pan.

Glazed Cookie Sticks
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 oz white and dark chocolates

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl.
Mix in the flour, cornstarch and salt.
Fit a pastry bag with 1/2 inch tip, squeeze out 3 inch logs spaced 2 inches apart.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes until just golden at 350 F.
Transfer to racks to cool.
Melt chocolate in small bags and cut off corners.
Drizzle over cookies in decorative manner.
Let stand for 30 minutes until set.

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