- Date: Friday, January 30, 2009 -- 6pm
- Location: Bloomington, IN
- Kitchen: My Apartment
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Dining Companions: Paul K, Beth, Jeremy, Lauren K, Chuck, and Lynn
- Recipe Rating: C+
This is a very exciting post for me! It's not because these cookies were particularly delicious (they weren't!) but rather because this was the last recipe I had left to make from the Cookies, Bars, and Confections section of The Book. The Book is divided (unevenly) into 21 sections, and I have been cooking from all of them. But this is the first section that I have completed! It has 59 recipes in it, and I have made them all! It feels like a big moment to me to have finally completed a section. Now I only have 20 sections left to go (several of which are within 5 recipes of completion!)! I have been working on this project for more than 3 years now, and it is so exciting for me to be crossing a whole section off my list. Yay!
This recipe was not the best to end the section with, as it was pretty disappointing. I had put off making it because it seemed like it might be a lot of work. In fact, I was wrong about that. These cookies were pretty easy. I started by making a dough of flour, salt, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla, and chilling said dough for a couple hours. Then I took some fruit flavored hard candies (in my case: LifeSavers) and divided them by color. My special gentleman put them in separate plastic bags and whacked them with a rolling pin until they were crushed. Meanwhile, I rolled out the dough and cut it into circles, then removed a smaller circle using a smaller diameter cutter. These were meant to be teardrop shaped, but I don't have any teardrop cutters. So I settled for circles, and to make them more interesting, I cut out many of the interior circles so that they were off-center. I put the rings on a cookie sheet covered with a silicone baking sheet liner, then spooned some crushed candy into the hole in the middle of each cookie. I baked them until golden, then repeated with more batches. On the up side, these cookies were beautiful! The picture doesn't capture how pretty they really were -- but the candy center was like a little stained glass window: shiny, translucent, and colorful. The Book suggests these would also make nice Christmas tree ornaments, and I agree that they would be lovely for that purpose. For eating, however... not so much. The dough was a nice sugar cookie dough, but sugar cookies and hard candy just don't go that well together. I am serious candy lover, and even I couldn't get on board with this combination. Plus, by the time the cookies were golden brown, the candy was beginning to burn. Eating a sugar cookie with a burnt Lifesaver in it was not-at-all appealing. Even the unburnt ones left something to be desired. We ended up eating around the candy center and then throwing it away. The cookies were perfectly tasty that way, but why spend all that time making the candy centers then. Beautiful Christmas tree ornament? Yes. Delicious cookie? No.
Here is the recipe.
Since the Cookies, Bars, and Confections section is now complete, I figured I would give you a list of my favorites. In no particular order:
1. Cranberry Caramel Bars -- Oh my gosh, Yum! These were good. Just ask Mike.
2. Black-and-White Cookies -- I had never been too excited about black-and-white cookies, but this recipe totally converted me. Delicious!
3. Parisian Passover Coconut Macaroons -- These were very unique, and absolutely lovely!
4. Madeleines -- I am adding this one to my list for my special gentleman who LOVED these madeleines. They were indeed quite tasty -- buttery and delicious!
5. Pecan Pie Bars -- I made these way back in the second month of my project and I still remember how delicious they were. If you like pecan pie you will love these.