I have been looking forward to (and, in a sense, putting off) this post for a long time.  Yes, it's been a while since I updated.  Two months is ridiculous.  However, I am proud to report that as of today I have finally completed this Martha Stewart cook book.

Many things have happened in the past several weeks.  Perhaps the most important event was my decision to change research groups.  Those of you who know me may be asking yourselves, "What, again?" Yes, again.  In case you didn't hear, I spent a year in a Quantum Information research group, and then switched to an Acoustics group in the Electrical Engineering department.  After nearly a year and a half in that group, I realized it wasn't working and decided to make the jump to Physics Education.  Already I am being much more productive and happy, so I think this was a really good decision.  And it probably won't actually set me behind any more than staying in the previous group would have.  Hurray for possibly someday graduating!

But I will do a proper recap post later.  I need to tell you about cookies first!

164. Biscochitos
These cookies are a Mexican recipe that involves anise seed, orange zest, and cinnamon.  The recipe as written calls for lard, but I wasn't interested in purchasing 5lbs and chose to use vegetable shortening instead.  With sufficient flour on the rolling surface, this dough was very easy to cut and transfer, and I had fun dumping cinnamon sugar on the cookies prior to putting them in the oven.
I really enjoyed these cookies - the anise flavor was strong but not overwhelming, and the texture was something between a regular sugar cookie and shortbread... it's hard to describe, but that's the result of using so much shortening.

165. Date Triangles
These cookies look pretty fancy, but I promise they weren't actually too much work.  In fact, almost all the mixing is done in a food processor, and can even be managed in a dinky 3C Cuisinart like I own.  The dough is made much like a pie crust, with butter and flour pulsed together with some orange zest and cold water; the filling is more like a larabar (if you haven't had them and you're into natural/vegan/gluten-free stuff, give them a try) with blended up dates, almonds, and orange zest.  Notice the theme here?  There was orange in everything.
So as I said, these were actually not a big deal to make, and the flavor was quite good!  The dough was hardly sweetened, so the natural sweetness of the dates came through nicely.

166. Bratseli
These cookies were also very easy to make, but they're a great example of the random expenditures I've had to make for this project.  To actually make these I had to purchase a pizzelle iron for about $30, otherwise they wouldn't be thin like that.  I had considered trying my belgian waffle maker, but I knew the effect would be all wrong.
The recipe calls for huge amounts of flour (up to 9C!), lots of butter, and an entire pint of heavy cream.  When eating these, it is easy to tell that they have a lot of fat in their composition, but this makes the texture really nice.  The experience of these cookies is something along the lines of eating slightly lemon-flavored waffle cones.  And now that I have the specialty iron, I will have to make cannolis or something to make it worth my money.

167. Classic Shortbread
Although I didn't manage to leave a chocolate chip cookie recipe for the end of this project, I still had a few simple things left over.  I've already made a few variations of shortbread, including cranberry, hazelnut orange, mocha, and maple, and this was the most basic variety: butter, flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt (not even any vanilla!).  I purchased a fluted tart pan for this recipe, and so it took nearly an hour for the 10" round of dough to cook all the way through.  The result was an addictive, buttery, crisp pan full of cookies that disappeared within minutes when I brought them to small group.  Oh, and the fluted edges looked super classy.

168. Italian Polenta Cookies
This was another lots of butter, why-am-I-making-crazy-shapes recipe.  These cookies are full of cornmeal, which gives them a crunchier texture.  Polenta is, for a basic explanation, an Italian cornmeal.  I wish I had known that the recipe actually wanted dried Polenta, because when I bought the real stuff at the store I got the pre-cooked stuff.  Oops.  When it came time to bake and I realized my mistake, I just used regular yellow cornmeal instead.
Overall, I found these cookies to be kind of bland.  They got some extra flavor from added lemon zest, but I just didn't find them to be very interesting.  This may also be due to the fact that the only shape I could get my cookie gun to make was this zig-zaggy thing you see in the picture, all the other shapes wouldn't detach properly, and with my busted pastry bag there was no way I was going to be able to pipe the fancy S shapes shown in my cookbook.  Oh well.  I'll stick to cornmeal thyme cookies if I want to do cornmeal stuff again.

169. Springerle
Springerle are a traditional European cookie that are made using some special mold to make them look pretty.  They are chock-full of confectioners' sugar, cake flour, and eggs.  So many eggs (half a dozen).  And so much flour.  I think I ended up putting more than 2lbs of flour into these.  And a little bit of anise extract for flavoring.  Since I lacked the special molds and didn't feel like ordering them off the internet, I used a neat idea I found on Pinterest and chose to make an imprint with a clean stamp I picked up on clearance from the craft store.  This technique worked really nicely, since I only had to cut the cookies into rectangles and then stamp them.
These cookies were, well, a little dry.  I guess they're supposed to be springy or something but they just seemed floury to me.  Actually, I felt like I was trying to eat those cookies that are baked to be Christmas ornaments.  According to a friend of mine, these cookies are used as decorations sometimes, so I feel like I wasn't too far off with that feeling.

170. Sesame Seed Cookies
I was skeptical of this recipe when I first looked at it.  My experience with ground up sesame seeds is tahini, and while I have a vegan cookie recipe that calls for tahini, I couldn't imagine it tasting any good with the other ingredients in this specific recipe.
There was no need for me to worry: as I worked through the recipe I realized this was basically a peanut butter cookie recipe with ground up sesame seeds instead!  Indeed, the final cookies were crunchy and tasted much like peanut butter cookies, except they tasted a little bit more like toasted sesame seeds.  My final verdict: this was a fun experimental recipe, and the main ingredient certainly got people's attention.

171. Langues-de-Chat
Okay, so these cookies were really bland.  This is another recipe with flour and sugar and butter and eggs, etc as usual.  In this recipe the proportions were such that the dough was pretty thick when mixed up, melted down in the oven, and became firm and crunchy when baked and cooled.  In a super-classy way, I used a plastic bag with the corner cut out to pipe the cookie shapes, and since I was in a hurry I chose to use regular sugar instead of superfine sugar, and didn't find any kind of detriment to the result.  Side note: if you want your sugar to dissolve into the dough, you want to use superfine sugar.  This can be made by running regular sugar through a food processor for 30 seconds, then letting it settle for maybe a minute or two.  Like I said above, I found these cookies to be really boring.  The solution to this was to dip them in Nutella.  They make great Nutella carriers.

172. Tuile Leaves
You can see from the picture that I could not figure out how to make these turn out well.  These light almond-flavored cookies are made from a very runny dough which is spread as thinly as possible over a leaf-shaped stencil, which the cookbook claims should be available in any craft store.  Well, I couldn't find any leaves, or anything of the appropriate size that was a solid shape, so I bought a blank stencil (read: piece of thin plastic) and cut my own leaf stencil.  I am not a very good artist, and it was difficult to get the batter not to run under the edges, so the picture on the left is about the best I could do.  These cookies dried to be thin and crisp, but I honestly was too embarrassed by their ugliness to share them with anybody.

173. Fortune Cookies
Yes, I made fortune cookies.  And they actually turned out pretty well!  These are made with almost exactly the same batter as the tuile leaves, including the almond flavoring.  These cookies were pretty easy to make - the batter had to be spread into circles on the cookie sheet, and then the cookies were folded up while still hot and pliable.  I had a few disasters with burnt cookies (the recipe called for a 400F oven, which killed them.  I recommend baking at 350F) and waiting too long to fold the cookies.  The biggest difficulty with these cookies is that they just take a lot of time to make: since they have to be folded quickly, I could only bake two at a time.  Now it's time for math.  Each batch of cookies spent 7 minutes in the oven, and let's (under)estimate a total of 10 minutes from putting the batter on the cookie sheets to folding the cookies and setting them aside.  With a yield of 40 cookies, this amounts to about 3.5 hours of active time.  I ended up making a dozen of these one weekend, saving the dough, and finally baking the rest today.
These cookies are tasty and fun, especially since I got the opportunity to write my own fortunes in them, but I would say don't make them unless (1) you have a big enough oven to have two cookies sheets in at a time or (2) you have a lot of time to waste.

Well, that's it.  I will probably post again soon-ish to do some kind of recap of life over the past three years or what I've learned about baking or something, but for now I am going to call it a night.  This has been a fun project, but I have no plans to start anything of this magnitude again for quite some time.

I'm expecting this fortune to be accurate.


Deep breath... and go!

This is yet another entry that's been a long time coming.  At first I had a reasonable excuse: the USB interface for my digital camera stopped working, and my hipster MacBook doesn't have anything so mainstream as a built-in SD card reader.  Then I ordered (and eventually received) an SD-to-USB adapter, and my only excuse now has been a back-to-back alternation of overwhelming busyness and lazyness.

This afternoon I find myself in the midst of one of the last lazy spells I can get away with before the fall semester really takes off.  Yes, classes began last Monday.  However, the stars have aligned for me such that my advisor is out of town, I don't teach until next Monday, and Bible studies haven't started yet.  Oh, right, and since I'm such a dinosaur graduate student (introducing myself as a fourth year makes me feel really old), taking classes is a thing of the past.

With everything set up to explode next week, now is the time to get caught up here.  So without further ado, here are several cookies summarized:

158. Almond Horns
These cookies were something like an almond shortbread, complete with the required large amounts of butter and confectioners' sugar sweetening.  Since they contain both toasted almonds and almond extract, the almond flavor is clear and bright, and fits in nicely with the crisp and crumbly shortbread texture.  The hefty 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in this recipe counters the sweetness nicely.

Overall, these cookies were terrifically easy to prepare and very quickly eaten by my friends.  I've finally cleaned up my sugar sifting technique, too: I don't own a proper sifter, so to make these look pretty I put confectioners' sugar in a fine-mesh strainer and shook it above the cookies.

159. Pecan Logs
Without really meaning to, I ended up in a multiple-week series of recipes involving ground-up nuts.  Thank goodness for my food processor, which saves me so much time!  In this second week of nutty cookies, I switched to pecans, and made almost the exact same recipe as the first week.  Actually, looking back and comparing the recipes, one of the few differences is that this recipe called for twice the nuts, except that half of them went on the outside, so really it is not much of a change.

These cookies were, like their almond counterparts, crisp and sweet, with a good balance of salt and nut flavors.  I prefer pecans to almonds, perhaps because pecans always make me think of maple syrup, so I enjoyed this recipe more than the previous one.

160. Wholemeal-Almond Biscuits
After two weeks of nutty shortbread, I moved on to something a little more hearty, and possibly even healthy.  These flat cookies are made with ground toasted almonds and a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flours.  The dough for these cookies was put together much like a pie crust - meaning there was cold butter and a food processor involved - although the result was not anything quite so flaky, probably because the brown sugar added some extra moisture.

When I started working on this recipe, I was really afraid these cookies would be bland and, well, taste like health food.  Fortunately, the recipe also calls for just enough cinnamon to make the whole wheat taste good.  Yes, I confess that even as an adult I do not like the taste of whole wheat by itself.  But I didn't have to deal with that in these cookies.  That said, they are still a little boring to eat by themselves.

161. Cherry Tuiles
In general, I have been reluctant to make the cookies that sit in the first section of my cookbook.  This first section is where most of the fancy-pants stuff sits: this mostly consists of meringues and things that have to be rolled up while they're hot.  The recipes usually have inconvenient yields - sometimes one dozen (not enough) or six dozen (too much!) - and take a long time to make.  This recipe had the special difficulty of calling for dried cherries, which tend to be a little pricey.  This was a problem until one day when I wandered into Aldi and found a bag of dried cherries for a reasonable price.  Yay!

These cookies are a bit crazy.  They are made with lots of melted butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup, as well as a little bit of cake flour, which has no leavening agents in it.  This means that the dough really spread out when I baked it!  I measured single teaspoons onto the cookie sheet and ended up only being able to bake six cookies at a time (as a funny side note: in my first batch I tried to bake eight at once, they all melted together to form a super mega cookie that I rolled up and fed to my boyfriend).  When these cookies baked, all the sugar bubbled and boiled and became nice and caramelized, and I shaped them by rolling them around the handle of a whisk while they were still hot.

I really enjoyed the taste and texture of these cherry cookies.  For once I remembered to put them in an airtight container right away, so they remained perfectly crisp - it was like eating incredibly thin ribbon candy.  I may have underbaked some of the dough, which made it difficult to remove from the cookie sheets to shape, but most of the cookies turned out fine.  My only comment to anyone who want to try this themselves: don't be impatient about chopping the cherries.  If you make them too large (like I did), your cookies will have some weird lumps.

162. Spiced Almond Wafers
...And you thought I was done with nut cookies for now.

Actually, I feel like Almond Wafers is a bit of a misnomer.  The only almonds involved are the slices sprinkled on top of the cookies.  These are really another spice cookie, much like a combination of ginger snaps and molasses cookies.  Indeed, looking at the recipe, you'll see the typical combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and dark brown sugar, which is basically white sugar and molasses.  These cookies made with lots of butter, which makes them nice and crisp.

In order to make thin, uniform cookies, the recipe requires preparing the dough and pressing it into mini loaf pans.  The dough is then frozen and sliced as thinly as possible before being baked.  I liked this method, although my mini loaf pans weren't exactly rectangular, so I ended up with trapezoidal cookies instead.  Nevertheless, these were good, simple cookies, and I really liked how they stayed crunchy all week.

163. Umbrella Sugar Cookies
One of the complaints I have about this cookbook is that some of the recipes are too specialized.  The cookie-cutter recipes are especially so, with recipes calling specifically for umbrellas, or acorns, or shapes of card suits, or a Fleur-de-lis, and so on.  Since I don't own an umbrella cookie cutter (or any of those other ones), I use what I have, but I don't like when the name hinges on the shape.  So instead I present for you: Lemon Sugar Cookies!

These are a good basic cookie, quick to make and easy to make pretty.  I chose to make hearts (and some stars) because hearts are cute.  This recipe is pretty much a standard sugar cookie recipe with lemon zest added to give some extra flavor.  I really like the lemon flavor in these, it is a good summery taste.  The icing is a simple mix of confectioners' sugar, meringue powder, and water.  It dries really solidly and is easy to work with.  In fact, I spooned it into a sandwich bag and cut off the end to make the decorations.

Here's a couple quick notes on cookie cutters for anyone who is thinking about changing shapes:
  • It's a good idea to use something that is similar to the recommended size in a recipe.  If you don't have anything similar (or want to use something else), you'll need to reduce your baking time for smaller cookie cutters and increase your baking time for larger ones.
  • For best results, choose a cookie cutter design that doesn't involve small side details.  If you have any small pieces of dough sticking out of the side of a cookie, they are more likely to burn.  Once again, if your heart is set on one of these cookie cutters, you'll want to be careful about the time the cookies spend in the oven, or you may want to lower the temperature.
I had to watch the trunks and mouths pretty carefully so they didn't become crispy!
  • Finally (and this is something that holds for any cookie baking), keep a close eye on your first batch.  Recipes give a range of times to bake because every oven is different.  For example, my oven is small and always heats up too much on the bottom when I put a cookie sheet in it, and so I have to turn the temperature down by as much as 25˚F and often also end up shortening the baking time.  It may be that your oven does something else, so use your first batch of cookies to figure out the timing and any temperature adjustments, and after that you can just set a timer and go do something else until it dings.


It's about time

...For me to do a cookie update!  While there are plenty of excuses I could make about why I haven't updated, it all boils down to one thing: this has been a busy summer.  This comes as a combination of teaching, research, meeting with friends once a week for dinner, leading a bible study, and going to the gym 5-6 days each week.  Oh, right, and spending time with Phil.  Let me tell you, finding shared free time for two graduate students can be pretty nearly impossible some days.

But now I have a "free" night, and it's about time I post my cookies before I forget what they were..

 152. Cream Cheese-Lemon Bows
A few months ago,  I broke my frosting bag, and I haven't yet bothered with replacing it.  Sometimes there are workarounds for this - I have a cookie gun too - but sometimes they don't work.  I tried to use my cookie gun, and the dough wouldn't come off properly, so these "bows" ended up being rounds instead.

These cookies are full of butter with a bit of cream cheese, along with lemon zest and juice.  After baking, they were pretty delicious, but a bit dry for my taste.  Maybe it had something to do with changing the shape, but I wasn't too impressed.

 153. Lemon-Apricot Sandwiches
Oh, these were good.  The cookies are crisp and lemony, given some extra nice texture with the addition of almond flour and corn starch, and apricot is a fantastic pairing.  The cookies themselves weren't very sweet, which meant that the jam completed the taste rather than making the cookies too rich.

 154. Bourbon Currant Cookies
Here's another winner.  These flaky cookies made with bourbon and currants (as indicated by the title) can be cut out into any shape, but I thought elephants were appropriately whimsical, and everyone I shared this with seemed to agree.  Before being baked, the cookies were brushed with heavy cream, and somehow that flavor came through spectacularly.  I will absolutely be making these again!

 155. Biscuit Sandwich Cookies
There's something about chocolate filling that makes everything better, and these cookies are no exception.  These cookies were pretty flaky, probably due to the combination of butter and heavy cream in them.  Although usually cookie fillings are some kind of ganache (that is, heavy cream mixed with melted chocolate), these are filled with melted milk chocolate.  A note on cooking with milk chocolate: you should always opt for the more expensive stuff.  Cheap milk chocolate is not the same at all.

 156. Homemade Graham Crackers (definitely a best cookie)
I'm always skeptical of the glowing comments that go along with the recipes in this book, but the ones for this recipe were entirely deserved.  Indeed, these cookies were not difficult to make, and they're full of whole wheat flour and wheat germ, which makes them pretty healthy!  Oh, right, and they taste really really good.  I'll be making these again and trying them with s'mores.

157. Meringue Porcupines
I have a confession to make.  I went home over the 4th of July weekend and completely ran out of time to make cookies.  Yes, that's right, I skipped a weekend.  This was not okay with me, so last weekend I doubled up and made two batches of cookies.  This was the first batch, prepared for a pizza-making and Munchkin-playing party at my friend's condo.  And so, in the midst of a busy Saturday, I had yet another meringue fail.  I don't know why, but I just can't seem to get meringues to work when I use the whisk attachment on my electric mixer.  It's very frustrating, and every time it happens it make me feel like a total kitchen failure.

So I beat and beat these egg whites, waiting for them to form stiff, glossy peaks, and I guess I added the vanilla too early, because they went from soft peaks to no peaks at all.  Nevertheless, I cooked what I had made, and the meringues turned out decently.  In the middle of the baking (drying?) process, I took them out of the oven and pushed their bottoms in a little bit.  When it was time to serve them, I put apricot jam in the divot of one and whipped cream with almond extra in the divot of the other, and sandwiched them together.  Everyone enjoyed these very much, but I think the meringues were a little too sweet.  If I ever try making these again, I will add less sugar to them.

Vegetable Adventures, Week 4

You may have noticed that I haven't posted in over a month.  Oops!  Here's a second post that I had half written and then never loaded any images.  Between gym time and actual cooking and GCF stuff and so on, I hadn't found the time to upload images and post them until now.  This means that the week-by-week farmshare idea is dead, but I'll post some of the more interesting vegetables and/or recipes.  And maybe a few invented recipes too!

Swiss chard, cooked and ready to eat

Asparagus: see recipe below
Salad mix
Strawberries: Some eaten plain, the rest on my Cheerios
Swiss chard: Chopped and cooked with last week's oregano and a garlic scape according to a recipe about halfway down the page on this website.
Radishes: Added to home-made miso soup.  Note to self: red miso is salty, use less of it.
Sugar snap peas: tasty raw nom-noms
Garlic Scapes: used like garlic.  See an example below

Having spent the last three years taking huge amounts of time cooking for myself, it's about time that I start actively inventing recipes.  This week, wanting carbs and to use up my asparagus, the following quick dish came to life:

"Thai" Asparagus, Tofu, and Noodles (Serves 1)(413 calories)

1/2 C asparagus
2 oz rice noodles
1/4 C firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1" cubes
garlic scape, chopped (or use a clove of garlic)
2t olive oil
pinch salt
1T hoisin sauce
3C water

1.  Rinse the asparagus and cut into pieces approx 2" long.  Place in a small pan lined with foil and toss with 1 t olive oil.  Sprinkle some salt on, to taste.  Bake in a toaster oven at 350˚F for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, boil water.  Place the rice noodles in a medium bowl.  When the water boils, pour it on the rice noodles, making sure the noodles end up submerged completely.  Let sit 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.

3. Pour 1 t olive oil into a small frying pan and heat on medium.  When the oil is hot, add garlic (scapes) and sautee for a minute.  Add tofu, and allow one side to cook for about 5 minutes.  Turn tofu over to cook other side for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

4. Place rice noodles in your serving bowl.  Add tofu and asparagus, top with hoisin sauce, mix it all together, and enjoy!

Vegetable Adventures, Week 3

In week 3, all my vegetables were a repeat of week 1 and 2 offerings, so I decided not to take a photo of my produce as given.  Fear not, however, I have been taking pictures of the results - that is, the cooked or otherwise prepared dishes - and I'll still be telling you what it is I actually made.

Asparagus - tofu stir fry
Salad mix - salad with radishes, topping for smoky miso tofu sandwiches (amazing recipe here)
Radishes - salad (pictured to the right)
Kale - half made into low-calorie chips (recipe here), half sauteed
Dry peas - half cooked and made into a yellow pea hummus, the other half waiting to become something.
Oregano - see week 4.


Vegetable Adventures, Week 2

Not pictured: radishes

Salad Greens: Some used on my "egg" salad sandwiches, the rest became a salad with carrots and onions and a soy/rice vinegar/sesame oil dressing.

Asparagus: Balsamic pasta again.  I was going to make something new, but that recipe is just so good!

Turnip Greens: Steamed for 5 minutes with garlic, added sesame seeds and hoisin sauce.  Om nom nom nom....

Kale: along with an avocado, made into pesto from this recipe.

Parsley: An accompaniment to my Grandma Carol's Zucchini Bars (recipe below)

Radishes: This batch was destined to become baked radish chips (recipe here).  However, I sliced them too thinly and they burned.  Oh well.

Zucchini Bars
These are an old family recipe - well, that means my grandma has been making these for as long as I can remember.  I think she once told me that they were an invention of hers, and I can believe it.  I aspire to someday attain kitchen skills like hers.

3 C thinly sliced zucchini, cut into quarters
1 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/4 C finely chopped onion
1/2 C grated Parmesan
2 T snipped parsley
1/2 t seasoning salt
1/2 t dried oregano
dash of pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 C vegetable oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Grease a 9x13 pan.  Mix all ingredients and spread in pan.  Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Cut into 1" squares.  Serve while warm, or freeze for later.  Frozen bars can be reheated in a 350˚F oven for 6-7 minutes.


double dream hands!

There's something about brightly colored sprinkles that makes me think of saccharine children's shows, and with the internet being as it is, this means I've had silly choreography stuck in my head all day.  Yes, indeed, watching a grown man explaining the choreography for some modern version of Kids Incorporated (or whatever the preschoolers are watching these days), is really awkward.  Which is why I'm putting it here for you to see.

 ..Aw man, Kids Incorporated was pretty much my favorite show in the world when I was four years old.  A quick internet search reveals that cast members included Fergie, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Mario Lopez.  Yeah, that's right, the children's shows I was watching were totally legit.
But enough about the late '80s.  I should talk about cookies!  You may have also noticed I've started making vegetable posts, but I'll keep the cookies and the veggies separate to avoid confusion.

150. Pistachio Tuiles
Now that I'm nearing the end of this project, I have to spend more time in the sections of my cookbook that I don't like as much.  I've sorely neglected the first section, which consists of light and crunchy cookies - in general, this means cookies that either take a lot of time or are just tricky to make work.
This recipe was actually not too bad compared to its neighbors.  The ingredients were simple and few, and once I had removed the shells from 1/2C pistachios, the batter came together quickly.  I refer to it as batter because it was so thin that 1tsp spread out to give a 3" diameter flat cookie.  These were baked six at a time, then removed from the oven and draped over the handle of a wooden spoon while still hot to shape them.

I was not hugely impressed by these cookies, although some of that is my own fault.  I've never really liked pistachios, and I made the mistake of not putting these away for a few hours after I finished baking them.  When they first came out of the oven and cooled, the cookies were melt-in-your-mouth crisp.  Unfortunately, the high humidity quickly turned them into melt-in-your-mouth sticky.

151. Chocolate cookie cutouts
The sprinkles on these cookies are the reason for the title of this post.  They are just so colorful that I got a little carried away. 
This recipe is something like a chocolate shortbread recipe: the cookie dough is made with copious quantities of butter, as well as some flour and confectioners' sugar, dutch cocoa, and cinnamon (there's a couple other ingredients, but they aren't key to the flavor).  The high butter content made this dough a huge hassle to work with, as I found I needed to use large amounts of flour when rolling and cutting the cookies, and ended up skipping a rolling/freezing step altogether when the dough I was trying to roll out started to stick to everything.  In order to work with this dough, it had to be kept chilled, so I could only use small quantities and returned all scraps to the freezer promptly.

The result of all this work was a decent cookie, with flavor equally divided between the chocolate and cinnamon, and with a fall-apart shortbread texture.  These weren't bad, but I think for all the annoyance they caused, they aren't worth it.  In fact, I only ended up using half of the dough.  The other half is still in the limbo of my freezer, waiting to become something baked.


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