This last TWD-month was a month of incredible simpliness and fastness. All the recipe where to be completed in less time than the one the week before. "Comes together in a snap" must have been one of the most often cited phrases by TWD'ers. Some even reported that their ovens had not even finished preheating by the time the dough was ready to be baked. But when I learnt anything about baking in the last months since I stepped into the big gloomy world of pastry, cakes and brownies, it is that the simpliest things never are that simple. Easiness also shows your limits, as with these recipes it is not so much the mere procedure itself that is challenging, but perfecting it.
And I'm lousy when it comes to perfection. Maybe that's one reason why I have "chosen" baking as a new hobby - I need this challenge. I need a task that is a bit demanding.
In this respect, the Chockablock Cookies, chosen by Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet where you can also find the recipe (or, even better, buy the book and have a look at page 86) are a perfect April-recipe.
The real question for these cookies is: What did you use? It is not exactly like with Composte/Amnesty Cookies, that are made of almost anything you can find in your kitchen. But even though mostly more than 100 people are participating in TWD weekly, I guess we won't see many identical cookies. There is the nut-question (you are free to use any sort - me, I took the easy way with a nut mix), and the dried-fruit-question (again: anything possible; I decided on dried apricots). I thought about including raisins and figues, because I ADORE figues, but ended up with the decision that it's better not to overload them in taste.
But: I heavily doubted the amount of chocolate. I used less (100g/3 ounces of 86% chocolate and 30g/1 ounce milk chocolate - instead of 180 g/6 ounces in total, as I made only half the recipe). And I'm glad I did, because there was much too much chocolate even with the cut back .
I don't know what went wrong. I read and re-read the recipe, but the chocolate amount was rigth. My cookies just ran out. They didn't really firm. The chocolate ran to the bottom of the cookies, where it almost burnt. Transferring them to a cooling rack was a complete mess.
Sure, taste beats looks. And my colleagues didn't seem to mind at all. But they didn't look a tad as cookies should.
I am obviously physically not able to produce proper specimens of cookies. Project Perfection goes on...
(And now - up to a new TWD-month full of less-fast recipes, where my unableness to perfection doesn't stand out that much ;o])