Correcting my cookbook...

Here I am with a late update, but this time it's not entirely my fault: my cookbook steered me wrong with a recipe that I didn't correct until mid-week.

Last Saturday was a multi-tasking disaster, as I worked to make bread, a specialty ingredient for today's cookies (I'll discuss these in my next post), egg salad for my lunches, and my usual cookies, while trying to get all my laundry washed and dried in time to watch a crazy bread anime with my friends.  I found myself working nonstop from about 2pm to 8pm, with everything turning out alright except for my cookies.

100. Lacy Nut Cookies
The first section of my cookbook pretty much consists of cookies with butter as their dominant ingredient.  This is especially apparent with any cookie that ends up with a lacy pattern, which gives away the fact that when it was baked the butter melted and then started to boil on the cookie sheet.  Since the dough melts, these cookies tend to become very large and thin, so they require a lot of space for baking and careful watching so they don't burn.

That is exactly where the original recipe steered me wrong.  The instructions called for chilling the dough in a log, and then cutting it into 1/4" pieces for baking at 350˚F for 15 to 20 minutes.  I followed these instructions, but after fifteen minutes the eight cookies I tried to make had turned into a single burnt mess.  This was too much for me to deal with on Saturday, so I turned off the oven after a couple botched batches and threw the dough in the refrigerator, in the hope that I would be able to rescue the project later.  The cookies that I had already made turned soggy overnight, as I left them out and the humidity basically ruined whatever good was left in them.

And so, later, I heated the oven to 300˚F (according to the dial - I need to get an oven thermometer to determine just how inaccurate this is, but I know the oven runs high), sliced the dough as thinly as I could possibly get it, and baked batches of 5 cookies each for only 11 minutes.  With these modifications, the cookies turned out very nicely, and I sealed them up in a bag quickly, so they remained crisp.  I wrote every change in my cookbook, but I think it's important to mention them here too, so that perhaps someone someday won't have to repeat this ordeal.

These cookies are, in general, pretty good, although the butter makes them kind of oily.  Aside from the butter, these cookies are made with confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, chopped pecans (hence the 'nut' in the title), and a small amount of bread flour.  Supposedly, the higher gluten of the bread flour makes the cookies a little more sturdy.  The result, when done properly, was a very thin, crunchy cookie with a strong sweet taste mixed with the flavor of toasted pecans.  I really like the texture of these cookies, eating them is much like eating a very thin piece of toffee (which is basically butter and sugar anyway).  My research group seemed to enjoy them too.

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