Thursday, March 17, 2011

COOKIE MELTDOWN: St. Patrick's Day 2011

Have you ever used one of these? Well, don't. Just take this little piece of kitchen history and put it on a shelf as a display. It's much better as a display than a cookie press.

I had this grand idea for little crinkly green shamrock cookies and cutesy-ass photos but like all grand ideas, they never quite work. It's only the ideas where I think, "meh. I guess this might work", that actually work.

So I kept stuffing the dough into the press, then scraping out the dough and softening it up with egg whites then I'd squish it all back in and twist and turn the knob and, let's just say it was nearly impossible to produce uniform results no matter what I did. Only about a quarter of the time, did it produce these (I'm sorry I iced them. They look prettier iced). The other three quarters of the time, it produced three lumps or one large indiscriminate puddle.

Then the pump started getting greasy and my hand was getting sore from twisting that tiny poorly shaped knob (also greasy and impossible to grip), and after I had to redo one cookie about five times so I could actually fill a whole pan, I decided to use a cookie cutter. The dough was not made for cookie cutters, but I did my best.

There's really no reason to give you the recipe cuz it tastes exactly like a plain ol' sugar cookie with about three extra egg whites in it. This cookie has a lot of egg whites in it.

I also wouldn't have tinted the dough had I thought I'd be icing them. I also would have just made a proper sugar cookie recipe. Or shortbread with a green cherry pressed into the top. Or nothing. Cuz those ideas are all much better ones. And just to prove how much I didn't think I'd be icing them, I had exactly 3/4 of a cup of icing sugar in the entire house. So I even had to walk over to save-on to get more just so I could haphazardly do this.

here's the best artistic presentation (of the four better looking cookies) I could muster

here's my actual going-to-work presentation (yup. I let these bad boys out of the house). If you stand up and walk to the far side of the room you're in and squint a bit, they kinda look like clovers. So that's something.

I also made Irish potato candy as a back-up which, incidentally, I think look more like turds than potatoes, so I immediately started imagining scenarios where Idle Husband would have to constantly explain that they're Irish potatoes and not turds. Your wife made us turds?! How... thoughtful?

About the potato candy, it's very hard work and pretty tiring (remember, I'd just baked and iced 50+ shamrock cookies). I know it says it's an easy no-bake recipe, but this is something I'd only be making for special occasions. Trying to stir all of that together is by no means a simple task. I used good ol' arm power (as instructed), but I'll definitely be going with the stand mixer if I do it again. Good thing I have some of that nonslip drawer liner. It helped tremendously by keeping the bowl steady. I'm just really happy the recipe didn't produce very many candies (it probably would have had I not gotten tired of making them small) since the rolling is pretty tedius, too.

I think it's pretty impossible to ever get them looking like potatoes, so I figure you might as well embrace it. I'm thinking about making them as a Christmas gift next year. Reindeer poops or Snowman eyes or some other festive nonsense. If I can find black cocoa, they'd work as coal, too (oh man, cocoa and cinnamon for the win).

The potato candy is so friggin' delicious and amazing and fantastic, so we kept them (but only for the reasons mentioned above -- eh hem). We will properly appreciate their potato-like shape and will modestly enjoy one with a cup of tea after dinner (because that's how we enjoy desserts around here. Yes, sir, I swear).


Tricky Nag said...

So glad to read about the cookie press. I have always thought the problem with mine was me!

Idle Wife said...

No! That cookie press is the devil!