Dienstag, 4. Januar 2011

TWD: Midnight Crackles

 Cookies! Yeah! Haven't had them on the TWD-schedule for some time... Midnight Crackles are pure chocolate. They come with not much more than a whole lot of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa. Sounds like great chocolate cookies, not too sweet, but chocolatey ad nauseam. Good, huh?

Well. The cookies where a pain in the making and didn't turn out well. :o[  The options where I may have failed:

I used less sugar. Because all the recipes always turn out very, very sweet for my taste, and for that of all my colleagues. I started to mostly use less sugar than asked for. This time, I maybe went too far.
The batter didn't come together. Not. At. All. I had individual crumbles like shortcake-crust for tartes. I included another egg. That was a slight improvement. But I wasn't able to get somehting like one piece of dough before I mixed it with some water. Then, the consistency was as described in the book.

But, after chilling the dough for 2 hours (much longer than most other bakers recommended), it was still a soft, smooth dough. So I had no problem to scoop and form it, but: despite the softness, my balls didn't really stick together.

Somehow I managed to roll balls and press them softly (see again the hints from other bakers) on the baking sheet. But: After about 8 minutes, not a single ball had spread. They remained in their shape. That's not what a cookie should look like! I took a spatula and pressed them flat. That was about the moment when I thought: What a mess. Nothing did work properly today. Nothing. I had to fudge on these cookies in every step.

At least, in the end they looked like cookies should in my world. But the first bite from a still slightly-warm cookie: disappointment. Sometimes cookies seem to absorb some taste from the cookie-scented air in the kitchen while cooling. So, let's wait and taste again later. --- Later: No difference. The cookies taste bland and boring. Not sweet at all. No good not-sweet-at-all like shortbread, just ... flavourless. Don't ask me. No idea how I managed to mess so completely up with them.

I am sure the problem is all on my side, so have a look at the perfect Midnight Crackles from all the other gifted TWD'ers, and especially at wep-pages of Laurie of Slush and Jules of Someone’s In the Kitchen, a.k.a. our wonderful TWD-team who can't get enough thanks and thumbs-up for their great work and devotion! There (or in Dorie's book on page 74)  you will also find the recipe as it was their turn for TWD-birthday to choose this week.

Interestinlgy, they really look much better than they taste. And: I tried them with orange marmelade and this is really a winner-combination! So, a mess in between, a dissappointment for the plain cookies, but in the end I can close with a slightly positive balance sheet.