Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Labor Day Baking Extravaganza

OK, I'm sorry I wimped out on the BBQ this weekend, kids. If you had seen me in my kitchen, you'd know why I never turned up.
Basically, I got up quite late in the morning and within a half hour was wrist deep in French flaky pastry dough, begun when my kitchen was still pretty cool. Over the ensuing ten hours, I baked many, many cookies, including:
  • cream cookies
  • chocolate crinkles
  • chocolate chip
  • shortbread
  • petite palm leaves
  • tartines

It was madness. The French cookies, the last two, took for-evah (this is a day-long agenda full of rolling and refrigerating and other such things), and they actually ended up not being flaky pastry at all. I followed the directions as best as I could, but a: my kitchen got hot, especially with the oven on, which is a big no-no for French pastry, and b: I really am not much yet on the finesse involved in French pastry. I can make a crepe pretty well, or at least I have in the past, good enough for me, but this attempt at French cookies was not even as successful as the ones I made last time, which was using a Betty Crocker recipe for the pastry. This recipe was from a French cookie book I rather enjoy but haven't used much yet because Idon't have some of the ingredients called for. More practice is called for, and perhaps I should purchase some of the ingredients for batter cookies, which is bound to be a more successful endeavor.

I'm not going to say the French cookies were distastrous, because they taste fine. But the tartines ended up being more like pie crust sticks; tasty, but certainly not what I had been aiming for. The palm leaves are probably my least favorite of what I made...again, the taste is ok, but the texture is notably un-French. The other four varieties were easy-breezy by comparison. My favorite cookie that I made? Shortbread. Easiest to make? Shortbread.

Anyway, I was up to my eyeballs in dough and dishwater, respectively, all day. I even wimped out on decoration--the cream cookies are supposed to be frosted and the tartines dipped in chocolate, but I really only frosted a few and then decided I was done. Fortunately, I'd been cleaning as I went all day so the kitchen wasn't a super disaster. Still got some dishes to do.

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