5th cookie date : janhagels

Last night we got back on track with our regular Thursday cookie date, and made janhagels (p. 304). These were, in my opinion, the best cookies yet. As advertised, they were almond-flavored dough, covered with sliced almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Delicious! I have an affinity for European style cookies, the type that are basically butter, sugar, and nuts in a variety of forms. So, I was excited to try these, and rewarded by mouth-watering cookies at the end of the night.

The recipe was designated at the easiest level, and we both found it to be so. After a few weeks of shoring up our baking weaknesses, we decided to play to our strengths this time around (partly because we were both a little drained from last week’s mild flu), and I’m sure that contributed to our evaluation of relative difficulty. In practical terms, this meant that I did all the things by hand (measured, combined, separated the egg, buttered the jelly roll pan) and my partner used the electric mixer. Besides going faster, I enjoyed the process more this way (I’m not, shall we say, at ease in activities I’m not good at). I need to work on my slicing technique—the size of the resulting diamonds varied widely—but this time we did better getting the dough into the jelly roll pan (we used our hands, which worked well as the dough consistency was closer to rolled than to drop). We slightly overbaked the cookies, but only slightly (relying on our oven’s history of taking slightly longer than average with baking, I neglected to check them before the designated time). The result was a more browned edge, which approximated toffee in some places. Delicious!

At this point, you’re probably wondering what we’re doing with all of these cookies, or imagining that we’re on the ‘gain 5 pounds a week’ plan for 2007. We eat a few on the night we make them, and then half of what remains goes to work with my partner (so his coworkers can gain 5 pounds each week), and the other half is kept at the house for the guys who come over to game on Sunday afternoons (so they can gain 5 pounds each week). From the half that stays at the house, I usually also set aside a few for our neighbors down the block (I’m not sure whether they appreciate this or curse us and our cookie-making).

overall ratings:
ease of preparation: 2
match to expectations: 4
‘the cookie itself’: 4.5

5th cookie date : janhagels

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