It’s the most wonderful time of the year, cookie season! I recently finished a holiday bake-off plus a batch of birthday meringues. I was high on this baking-success buzz I had going. I agreed to make three more batches of cookies for the Christmas weekend. Two batches were to go to the guys on the job working the weekend, and one to the Great Scot for Boxing Day. My baking-luck ran out long before before Christmas morning could arrive.
I make cookies for the hubby’s job, aka my work fam. It’s a Christmas tradition. The wives bake and bring cookies to the guys working Christmas. Last year I was not able to get to them until change of tour. This year would be the same. I felt kind of bad. The morning group would miss out. I told hubby I would make two batches this year. One he could take in with him for his Christmas Eve night tour, the other I would deliver the next day. You get cookies, and you get cookies…EVERYONE gets cookies!
Last year’s cookies were a semi-homeade chocolate crinkle success so I thought I would go that route again to save some time. I purchased a cake mix and a brownie mix. I purchased cookie boxes. I made a baking schedule. I felt good. This was going to be awesome. Best laid plans, sigh.
Friday night, cookie one – Betty Crocker Peanut-Fudge Cookies
Cake mix, peanuts, and Reese’s Pieces. Sounds good.
Smells good. Well, until you leave them in a few minutes extra because they were gooey in the middle. Not the fresh baked awesome goo. The kinda off-putting not fully baked kind.
I am not really sure where exactly I went wrong. I suspect if was the cookie scoop. I have a tendency to pack the scoop really well. I suspect my dough balls were a little too dense. I considered chucking them, but Hubby said they were good. They must have been. It seems they did not survive Christmas Eve.
Saturday morning, cookie two – Kissed peppermint Brownie Drops
Brownie mix, crushed peppermints candy, and Hershey CandyCane Kisses.
Sounds good. Smelled divine. Became a hot sticky mess. The dough was horrible to work with. It did not seem to have the appropriate amount of moisture. So after chilling for an hour the dough was crumbling every time I tried to roll it. I ended up having to add extra water. This made the dough sticky and hard to roll. I popped it back in the fridge to firm it up. It helped a little. I found coating my hands in powder sugar before rolling the dough seemed to work.
My kisses basically liquified. Not at all how they looked in the picture from the recipe. I waited the advised cooling time before adding the kisses, but that did not seem to help me out much. I even moved the cookies into another room for them to cool.
The cookies did not want to cool. The cookies also seemed to be a bit too gooey, mainly at the bottom middle. I have raw egg anxiety. Brownies are my nemesis when it comes to baking. It’s that whole “Are they baked and just need to set? or Are they undercooked and need a few more minutes?” catch-22. I always end up overcooking them. I already overcooked some of the other cookies, I didn’t want a repeat. Hubby assured me they were cooked and I was being paranoid. I didn’t like them. Prob because I convinced myself they were undercooked.
Saturday morning, cookie three – Meringues
The Great Scot asked for the meringues to be made larger this time. She wanted to put ice cream in them, on them, or between them. It was raining all morning, so this did not bode well. Damp and meringues- the frenemies of the baking world.
After the sticky mess with piping the last time I made these, I tried a new technique. I took my star tip and put it in the zip lock bag. I then took a tall mug and set the bag in, tip first. I folded the plastic down around the cup. Then I scooped in the meringue. Zipped the bag. Twisted the top and gave a squeeze. I was not wearing the meringue this time!
I piped meringues. Bigger meringues. Better meringues. They looked pretty(ish).
They did not bake well. They skipped baking and wait straight to a crispy burned shell with liquid meringue middles. I should have used a different recipe, perhaps, made for larger meringues. I think the bake temp was too low for this size. I am also not familiar with making larger ones, so I didn’t know how much higher to go with the temp. Or how much longer they should bake for. Plus I did not have the extra time to let them just sit in the oven and dry. I had a train to catch (eventually). They went straight to the bin. Well, not the little ones. I may have eaten them. I was stressed, and they were most definitely cooked, lol.
Learning lessons all of them, as usual, lol. Perhaps next time will be better. Perhaps I should by a smaller cookie scoop.