Another December is upon us and I am baking up a mountain of cookies for the holidays. Everybody has their favorite and I do my best to make enough for the family and our friends. I have been making the same core selection for several years now so I am pretty confident about technique and yield. Or am I?
…this year, I adopted a friend’s brilliant cookie baking idea where she prepares all the cookie dough on one day and then bakes everything the next or an alternate day. This eliminates raw ingredients spilling on fresh baked goods, all the space needed for prepping and cooling cookies simultaneously and it actually speeds the process of making dough by just mixing one after the other in the Kitchen Aid (gah! product placement!). So, there I was, on a roll with three batches already wrapped and chilling in the fridge when I proceeded to embark on what my family thinks is the pinnacle of all Christmas cookies, the Chocolate Crackle cookie brought to you (of course) by Martha Stewart. Sure there are other recipes out there for this delectable chocolate treat, but her version really is spectacular. It is a bit involved and sure, she suggests the ‘finest’ dark chocolate and cocoa powder money can buy but, it IS Christmas so if not now…then when? The method involves melting, cooling and slowly adding the chocolate and then you have to roll balls of this sticky concoction into not one but two different sugars and it is kind of a lengthy, not to mention messy procedure. Fine, no problem, I got this… NOT! I don’t know what happened, maybe I doubled the recipe incorrectly, maybe I added ingredients twice, maybe I forgot something but wow, the bowl of my mixer turned into a sloshing mess of chocolate soup and I was utterly confounded at the liquidity of the mixture. ‘aaaaaaah, it’s not supposed to look like that!!’ And so, what did I do? stop while I was ahead and start fresh? or carry on hoping for a Christmas miracle? ‘Oh, yes please, I will take option number two.’ Obviously, like an idiot, I kept adding more of the preciously, pricey ingredients to try and save the whole batch because I couldn’t bear to toss the pounds of specialty churned organic butter, 90% dark chocolate and Valrona cocoa powder into the bin. I mean why waste one small amount when you could throw away 3 or 4? Ai-ya…and the final outcome? Surprisingly, the Gods were smiling upon me that day (or maybe the magic of the season?) After a spell in the fridge to firm everything up, the rest of the operation went as expected (if you don’t count the 5 hours rolling the many, many balls of batter) and I found myself surrounded by 9 dozen (that’s 108) perfectly crackled mounds of chocolaty, chewy goodness. A bit excessive even by my kids’ standards. But, it seems I may have some willing takers out there so we shall survive cookie-maggedon. I know right, such a travesty…lol.
I thank you all for your support and referrals, the laughs and the good memories made this past year. May we all keep the joy flowing and the friendships strong as we welcome 2020, another fresh year full of possibilities!
Cheers and a very Merry Christmas!