Wednesday, December 17, 2008

so-so chocolate/peppermint holiday cookies

Every year, I try to pick out some new recipes for holiday baking. As I recently confessed, my taste runs to chocolate, and so perhaps my selections have a common theme year to year. Epicurious' list of 25 great holiday cookies seemed like a good starting point. Honestly, what intrigued me most about the Chocolate Chip and Peppermint Crunch Crackles was the picture on the website - their cookies stayed round after baking! Well, at least they did when Bon Appetit baked them... not so much after a round in my oven. They flattened out on the bottom but remained nicely domed on top.

The cookies were fine, but they were a bit patchkerai (sp?), meaning too much fuss for the end result. You stir up the dough, let it refrigerate for several hours or overnight, scoop and roll the dough into balls, bake, let them sit on the sheet for five minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar (or press on crushed candy canes, which I couldn't be bothered to do), and then transfer them to a rack to cool. Worst, while you're prepping the next tray and have palmsful of chocolate sludge, the timer invariably rings for the batch in the oven, which means stopping, washing hands, putting on the oven mitts, and then picking the oven mitt lint OFF hands before beginning to roll more dough. I know, life is so tough. Also, the cookies need to be refrigerated, and this particular week, I've been low on fridge space.

In any event, they were perfectly acceptable (and NO, I didn't throw them out), but my peppermint road chocolate chipsters (Denise's discovery several years ago) are way better for the effort and nearly the same concept in a cookie (a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips and crushed candy canes in the dough, plus crushed candy canes sprinkled on top). Also patchkerai, but in that case totally worth it.

I took a picture of the dough to show you how pretty it is speckled with candy cane. It was kind of satisfying to bash the candy canes around with a rolling pin to create crumbs. This week's photography lesson: a micro lens requires more depth of field to get everything in focus. Great for taking close-up pictures, but I should've broadened it to F8 or something. Then the whole cookie scoop would've been in focus (first picture), as would the candy canes (second picture).


meredith said...

too bad they were such a pain and only turned out average. that said, they had to have been better than the peppermint brownies i tried last year from cooking lite. remember? yuk!

Sandra Dee said...

I have got to stop reading your blog first thing in the morning. Between the descriptions and the pictures....I am so hungry and there is nothing to eat in my office!!!