Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Cookie Experiment

For some reason, I got it in my head that I needed to bake hamantaschen for Purim. Forget that I hadn't been feeling well -- forget that I was busy with work -- forget that I had no time -- forget that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. These cookies demanded to be made.

So I acquired a recipe from a friend, and on Sunday night -- the day after Purim -- I made the dough, which was the easy part. And then I struggled to make the triangle shapes. That night I used about half of the dough, filled most of the cookies with nutella and a few with strawberry jam -- and watched a bunch of soggy triangles emerge from the oven. Strike one. I put the rest of the dough back in the refrigerator overnight.

The next evening I tried again. I took just a small bit of dough and rolled it out less thinly. I used a juice glass to cut out a half-dozen circles, filled them with black raspberry preserves, and pinched them into triangles. Much better, but the shape still needed work. Strike two.

So, with about a third of the dough left, I tried again the next night. Instead of rolling out the dough and using a cookie cutter, I rolled the dough into a log, as if it was the Pillsbury ready-to-bake cookie dough, and used a knife to slice it into quarter-inch circles. I filled half with nutella and half with lingonberry jam from Ikea. I folded them into triangles using the pinwheel method I read about on the internet.

I baked them for the perfect amount of time, until they were just barely golden brown.

The result was magnificent -- especially the lingonberry ones. Home run!

When I tasted them, I thought about my great-grandmother. When I was little -- essentially still a toddler -- I used to "help" her in the kitchen when she baked jelly cookies -- kosher jelly cookies. I think that's why I like to bake so much, even though neither my mother or my Nana were bakers.

And I know it's impossible for me to really remember the taste of those jelly cookies, but I imagine that these were pretty close.

1 comment: