Have you ever had a sort of odd week where all your plans bomb out and you can’t decide how to deal with that? Last week was like that for me. I was sort of betwixt and between and unable to hit the middle- that sweet point where things go on plan. (Is there really such a point? Not sure, myself!) So I pouted and drifted for a while (sorry hubby, hard on you, I know).
This week’s experiments proved the cookie book because they were wonderful!
First, I tried Koulouria, a Greek Easter Cookie. It’s a not-too-sweet cookie with a hint of anise flavor and the sweet crunch of sesame seeds. It was delightful! The textures as you bite through the seeds and the crust into the soft cookie are intriguing and pleasing. Then you get the taste of sweet bouncing up on a light anise flavor, with just a touch of salt. Wow!
I made simple “S” shapes with my cookies, but you can do a wide range of shapes from pretzel, stick or roll shapes to whatever your imagination conjures. I can’t wait to make these again.
Plus, I just love this cookie! Tuiles are melt-in-your-mouth delightful- crunchy, sweet, buttery and with the almonds to elevate the cookie to the next level. Not only my opinion, but that of my very un-biased husband and mother-in-law also. (Ok, ok, very biased. You’ll just have to make them and find out for yourself!)
Tuiles are a bit tricky but the instructions in the Cookie Companion recipe are wonderful. It’s a batter cookie, not a dough cookie. That means that they’re made with a fairly loose and more runny batter than most cookies. But that’s part of why they have such great texture and flavor. The King Arthur recipe explains exactly what you need to do get it right and if you follow their instructions you’ll be happy with the result. This is a good proof for a cook book, that a more complex recipe or process is doable if you follow the instructions.
By the way, here’s my make shift former to get the rolled cookie shape:
It’s a 1 ½” wooden dowel, covered with aluminum foil to be sure the contact surface is food safe. It worked just great. As did the rolling pin and wine bottle top as recommended in the recipe, they were just too short to do more than a couple of cookies.
Tuiles were so good that I made the recipe 2 times in just 2 days. My husband and I ate the first batch in one sitting! Had to make it again to take some to my mother-in-law. Well, we wanted more, too. The only thing I did differently from the King Arthur recipe is that I toasted the almonds in the oven before using them in the recipe.
Finally, the third recipe I tried- Carrot Drops. Did you know that cookies were first developed to test cake flavors without needing to bake an entire cake? Since I knew that, why did it never occur to me that my favorite cake would make a great cookie?
I did make just a couple of changes to the recipe. It called for ¼ to ½ cup of minced crystalized ginger. I baked off several cookies with ¼ cup and they were a bit bland so I added a just over ¼ cup more ginger. I also added 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Now the cookies were perfect! I finished them off with an orange glaze and royal icing carrots.
The glaze was a simple 1 cup powdered sugar blended with ¼ cup melted but not diluted frozen orange juice concentrate. Add the juice concentrate gradually, only using enough to get the right consistency to dab a bit on the cookie.
The final product was wonderful. You can see in the photo that Carrot Drops are Easter Bunny approved.
We loved them- didn’t eat them all in one sitting, like the Tuiles, but we did eat them all up in just a couple of days. They were perfect combination of great flavor from the ginger and the orange, sweetness and carrot texture and flavor.
By the way, did you know that the King Arthur Flour Company was founded in 1790? A touch of American history in every dusting of flour!
More about the cook book: It’s 528 pages long with over 400 outstanding recipes. There’s information about tools and techniques, questions and answers and illustrations. The recipes are clear and the instructions reliable.
The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, The Essential Cookie Cookbook; The Countryman Press, 2004, 2013.
Thanks for reading this post! Sometimes I can’t believe how happy one or two good cookie recipes make me, but I am pleased to share that happiness with you. Any time.
Have a cookie-great week!