Last night was our second weekly cookie date (it being the second week of the year), and we chose to make toffee nut squares (p. 221). This cookie was another one cookie difficulty rating; the rating for most difficult is three cookies, and there aren’t many of these in the book (two examples are filled kurabia cookies and checkerboards).
This week we decided to divide up the labor according to the skills we each needed to work on, which meant I was on electric mixer duty and he chopped the walnuts by hand (I rejected the proposal that we use the food processor for the walnuts; it was starting to seem like we would have to allocate all credit for the result to the machines). I am probably going to exclaim over this every week, but it required basically no baking skill to assemble the dough using the machine. It does, I must admit, require some technological skill, but I’m assured that every other person in their 30s who has ever even thought about baking a cookie, besides me, knows how to use an electric mixer. If you were in our kitchen, you would have heard a running commentary from me something along the lines of ‘Does everyone really bake like this? This requires no skill. Does this mean I should be giving far fewer accolades to people for producing tasty baked goods? This must be why people become obsessed with recipe variations, because there’s pretty much nothing else to focus on.’ To be fair to our baking skills, they were required to spread the dough evenly into the corners of the jelly roll pan, something we discovered I actually knew the technique for, despite rarely (never?) making bar cookies.
In the interest of being able to evaluate the recipe itself, we again followed the recommended approach for keeping them firm and chewy, and let the cookies cool in the pan overnight. Which is a good thing, because they were very tasty and very sugary, and if we had cut them last night, we likely would have eaten most of them and then stayed up half the night before slipping into a sugar coma. They weren’t the best cookie I’ve ever had, but they were certainly good and more rewarding than last week’s selection in terms of trying something new (i.e. we had never made toffee bars before, and these tasted like toffee bars). Plus, having them come out like we imagined they would be made us feel accomplished.
ease of preparation: 3.5
match to expectations: 3.5
‘the cookie itself’: 4