Wednesday, January 23, 2008

wine and cookies

So Andrew just did not have a great day. I think a big part of that is due to the awful grey, gloomy, wet weather we are having today, plus he’s building a guitar from scratch (and here I brag about creating a drink of the week), which apparently is a frustrating undertaking. He left a little while ago for a guitar lesson and then a jam session with a potential band, so I decided to do what any good, floral apron wearing housewife would do. Bake cookies. There is, of course, a catch. I don’t have my usual pre-made cookie dough in the tube stuff, so I will have to make them from scratch. This blog has given me the inspiration and motivation to take these sorts of things on. I knew they would be peanut butter, since there is a tub of peanut butter (chocolate peanut butter, in fact) that has been sitting in the fridge for a month. I bought it for Andrew thinking that he would take one look at this tub of his two favorite things all mixed together and instantly forgive me for any bad behavior on my part; past, present and future. That didn’t happen. He was not enthused and so there it sat, in the fridge, right behind the Dijon mustard. I also new that I had about half of a somewhat sizable hunk of bittersweet chocolate- the rest of which I had eaten in little pieces all day long. “This is my last piece, of chocolate, I swear,” was my mantra today. So I logged on to Epicurious in search of a cookie recipe that included peanut butter and chocolate chunks. I found two and chose the one that didn’t call for dark corn syrup, since dark corn syrup is not something I keep on hand. I excitedly gathered the ingredients, and then hunkered down for a closer read of the recipe. Roadblock! I need an electric mixer. Not good, since it is pouring outside and my electric mixer is in our detached garage. I am definitely not going out in a torrential downpour just to get that damn mixer. So I decide the next best thing I could do would be to create a makeshift double boiler and melt the peanut butter and butter in order to properly blend them with the rest of the ingredients. It actually worked. Now what I don’t know is if I somehow screwed up the chemical makeup of either ingredient in the process, though I figured the answer to that question would be upon me soon enough. The dough, and I use that term very loosely, didn’t taste half bad. Not quite sweet enough so I threw in another handful of brown sugar and a splash more of vanilla. Can you do that? I mean after it is all mixed. Can you just throw extra stuff in? Again, the answer awaits. Currently, the “dough” has been chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes, just like the recipe said, and I’m about to take it out and bake it. I’ll be back.

Ok, I’m back. Here are my concerns: The “dough” became quite crumbly in the fridge. The recipe doesn’t say anything like “chill until crumbly,” so needless to say, I’m nervous. And the other thing is that it tells you to form the “dough” into 1 3/4 inch balls. Are you kidding? Who comes up with that? Just make it one inch or two. Don’t give me fractions. Even better, just tell me to form the dough into the size of a golf ball or a ping pong ball, or something I can relate to, cause I’m damn sure not getting out a ruler to measure them. Well, it’s out of my hands now. I will have my fate handed to me on a greased cookie sheet in about 12 minutes. In the meantime, I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine. I suspect I might need it.

Ok. Two things. One. There is a difference between good, moderately priced wine and bad, very inexpensive wine, and once you know that difference it makes bad, very inexpensive wine that much harder to get down. Two. We’re ten minutes in and I couldn’t help myself. I had to check the cookies. Bad news. They haven’t changed from their original 1 3/4 inch ball shape. That’s not a good sign, right? Oh, the timer just went off. Be back.

When I pulled the baking sheet out (the one with my fate on it), the cookies were still in that shape, so I did the only thing I could think of. I took a spatula and flattened them myself, and in the processed ripped out most of the melted chocolate chunks destroying several cookies in the process. I guess I’ll give them a few more minutes. As an aside, I will tell you that I tasted the cookie residue that was left on the back of the spatula, and although not very resembling of a cookie, it did taste kinda good.

Well, the first batch is out of the oven, and from this point forward I will no longer be calling them cookies. I will now refer to them as peanut butter and chocolate heated dough disks, as that is much less misleading of a description than "cookie." So, first impressions; I think that refrigerating the dough was part of the problem, not sure why, just what I think. I also suspect that they may be a bit better after they cool and harden. For now, I’m going to drink more wine and ponder whether these peanut butter and chocolate heated dough disks are going to make Andrew feel better or worse.

All of the disks are done. I’ve decided that the actual gesture of cookie making will make Andrew fell better, but having to eat the gesture may, quite possibly, make him feel worse. I’m not even sure if there is a lesson to be learned here. It still was a relatively productive and adventurous way to spend an evening. I’ve already eaten three, so they can’t be that bad. Well, on to the next, I suppose. Thanks for listening.


Anonymous said...

you made me laugh puss!!!
are you still eating the disks?

carrie said...

it's hard for people like us to realize that it really doesn't matter that much what it looks like if it tastes good!

jen said...

well put, carrie. thankfully it was dark when i woke up at 4 am this morning and proceeded to eat several of them. cuti, that should answer your question.

Cheryl A said...

I would eat them too - no matter what.
Recovery idea: crumbled on top of ice cream?
Next time, try softening, not melting, the butters. If you can leave them on the counter for a few hours to come to room temp, great. If not, nuke for a few seconds or soften on top of a hot stove (the heat will soften them faster, but watch they don't melt. Then you can mix away with a heavy spoon - without an electric mixer.

phot*tog said...

cookies can be tricky.. but it's great to just experiment until u find what works best for you. i've got an amazing cookie recipe for you that has Ritter sport german chocolate in it.. they are divine and super easy! i'll post it later!

jenni said...

This makes me laugh: "peanut butter and chocolate heated dough disks"

Anonymous said...

okay, just caught wind of your blog and am going back through the archives. you're a funny lady! heated dough disks made me crack up! i'm excited to read on!