Monday, January 3

"Striped Cylinder Cookies"

The Ultimate Cookie Book  page 288

1 ounce white chocolate, melted
red and green food coloring dusts
2 egg whites
3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) superfine sugar
2 ounces (1/2 cup) AP flour
2 ounces (1/4 cup) sweet butter, melted

The Inspiration:
We got a box of "European Cookies" from Costco this year.  I fell in love with the little rolled cookies and decided I was going to try to make some.  They reminded me of the Pepperidge Farms version called Pirouettes, only better.  They weren't filled with anything and were just delicate, simple and tasty.

The Ultimate Cookie Book includes a recipe looking somewhat similar to the variety in the Costco box and it seemed like a good cookie to try to tackle for my first entry.

The Process:
We began by beating the egg whites to stiff peaks - added the sugar - then flour and butter, mixing slowly.  The batter reminded me of the tuiles I'd once made in class.  We never rolled them into this shape though so maybe they would be a little different.

Fresh batch in the oven.
 So far, they were looking pretty much like a tuile.  I didn't dig out my recipe collections from class, but I get the feeling I may need to so I can compare notes.

And they sure smelled like a tuile.  I have a slight aversion to the smell of cooking eggs.  When you toss these puppies in the oven, that's all you smell for a while.  Ewww.

Picking up some color.
The book said to bake for 3 minutes, then loosen before returning to the oven.  I could not get my spatula under the things after only 3 minutes.   
They were still too soft so I returned them to the oven to pick up some more color before I tried messing with them too much.  This seemed to work much better and I didn't bother setting the timer after that.

This is one of those things where you have to hover over the oven.  And it certainly helps if you have a window!!

My Wooden Spoon Collection

The black handled spoon and a spark of genius!
The book also talked about wrapping the warm cookie around a wooden spoon to create the shape and let set.  Only I had a small problem.  All my wooden spoons are kind of heavy weight.  All my handles were more square than round.

I did have a black handled spoon with a smaller handle that I tried at first.  It wasn't working quite as well as I'd hoped though. Then I had a spark of genius!

Yes children, that is nothing more than a chop-stick!  And it worked amazingly well.  I don't think I've ever seen wooden spoons with handles this small so I'm not quite sure how large a cookie the author of the book was making.  Of course I was well into the batch before I figured this out - so we'll apply this knowledge next time.

The Results:

Some of the larger cookies.

Some of the smaller cookies.

Different batches.  We ate "a few".  =D
The recipe claimed to yield 25 cookies which is probably about right.  Though you wouldn't know it from what's left on my racks!  You may notice there is no white chocolate in sight.  The Costco cookies were plain so I figured I would be fine without it.  I also need to acquire coloring dusts.  I have pastes and apparently it's not good for the chocolate.  But that's a topic for another day.

All in all these cookies were fun to make and tasty enough.  I would like to try something a little fancier with decorating next time.  Either with the painting on colored white chocolate as described in the book or my other ideas involved dipping and rolling.  Perhaps in nuts or sprinkles, or crushed peppermint candies.

As compared to Costco, these were nothing like them in texture or flavor.  The shape was about the only thing they had in common.  My first sheet was too thin. The second sheet was too think.  By the third I felt I got a decent thickness which changed how crisp the cookie was once it was set.  Definitely several details to pay attention to with this one.

Sneak Preview:
I've been researching macarones lately.  That's not your grandmother's macaroon, dears.  These are the often brightly colored French meringue cookies with buttercream sandwiched between them.  Another temperamental confection so I think I'll hold off for a week or two before attempting this one myself!

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