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If You’re Short on Time, Don’t Make Shortbread

17 Dec

In another installation of “I Will One Day Attempt To Make This” I bring you: The Joy of Cooking’s recipe for shortbread cookies.

First of all: these are rather time consuming cookies. I was at it for maybe 3 hours total? Nevertheless, they are delicious and worth the time.

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Yet again the downsides to not having a mixer reared their ugly head. The recipe calls for creaming the butter and then adding in the sugar and creaming that until it has a nice smooth consistency. It is really difficult to achieve this with a table spoon. I resorted to kneading it with my hands. I just tossed everything into the pot and exhausted my poor arm. Did I make a typo and write pot instead of bowl? No. All I could find were little soup bowls. The tupperware containers that I had been using as bowls were occupied with week-old food in the fridge. So I had to use a pot instead. And the double batch had to be done in two goes. Needless to say, (or should I say knead-less?), I had earned the one hour break that came next: leave the dough in the freezer.

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The next steps calls for rolling the dough and then cutting out shapes with a cookie cutter. Two problems here: 1.) lack of a rolling pin and 2.) lack of a cookie cutter. I had foreseen problem #2 and had gone ahead and bought little star shaped baking molds (tin foil ones) assuming it would also solve the lack-of-a-cookie-sheet problem from before. Turns out that freezing the dough makes it rather difficult to cram the dough into a little baking cup, especially a cheap flimsy one that falls apart. So much for that. I tried to freehand it with a knife. They looked horrible. So I just made the rest little round circles. Consider this the test batch from which I learned that shortbread dough doesn’t melt, it keeps its shape. Which in this case was thick and round misshapen blobs and a few hand-made Christmas items. Bad. Thankfully while they baked (taking twice as long as the recipe suggested due to the aforementioned thickness) I figured out a makeshift way to make star shapes. I cut out the bottom of the baking mold and used it to cut around so that my cookies still had the star shape. It mostly worked, they are each individually somehow misshapen, but some would say that is endearing.

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After cooling comes the chocolate dipping part. Here is where it gets time consuming again. Every plate of dipped cookies has to be placed in the fridge. Because I melted the chocolate in the microwave I was fighting time as it re-solidified. It turns out to be a lot easier to control the chocolate and cleanliness of the dip to instead spread the chocolate on with a spoon, that way you get a nice clean line. Just as time consuming is making room in the fridge for all the plates of cookies. You cannot stack the cookies on top of one another, so two plates of cookies becomes four. Four dinner-size plates to be placed in the fridge.

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Up next: either Snickerdoodle cookies or cupcakes (given I know have solved the lack-of-a-muffin-tray dilemma with my baking molds)

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This

 

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