Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tea Time

I'm more of coffee drinker myself, which is probably why I enjoy making all those biscotti so much.  But this weeks cookies have 'Tea' written all over 'em. Especially the 'Pain d'amande' from one of my "cookie project's previously unknown to me but very famous" pastry chef's Flo Braker.

I will concur with other online bakers that they are not only seriously delicious (one food blogger even referred to them as "the best tea cookies on the planet"), but they are also very easy to make.  Since I made the dough a day ahead, I can imagine that they're also a pretty convenient cookie to have on hand in the refrigerated or frozen form and can be ready to bake at any moment.  But since I'm not June Cleaver, spending the entire day doing household choirs and standing at the ready waiting to whip up a batch of Wally & the Beav's favorite cookies and timing it just right so they're hot out of the oven when they get home from school, but then, I'm guessing you kind of knew that already. And while I have done 'High Tea' at the Savoy while on vacation in London (but mercifully didn't have to pay for it, thanks to my sister's generosity and her American Express card - thanks Ann! :),  I can't say I've ever done the 'ladies luncheon' thing either - as much as I LOVE the idea of planning and cooking for one, but making and stocking frozen cookie dough isn't something I typically do. No, I'm better off baking 'em fresh, and then getting them the hell out of my house, since my commitment to Weight Watchers can only be expected to go just so far! Twenty four hours is probably about the limit of my 'cookie resistance' so just as well that I'm not stocking frozen dough, since I'm pretty sure I'd be in danger of cracking a tooth when I would inevitably be compelled to "check" on it in the freezer. And nope, eating raw eggs - even if they're frozen - doesn't seem to deter me either, especially when they're disguised in butter and sugar and nuts and deliciousness. But if you're a baker, then these are definitely worth a try, they are light and crispy-crunchy and have a great delicate flavor - they'd even be worthy of a momentary switch from coffee to tea!

As much as I loved the idea of baking the almond tea cookies, I wanted to provide something a bit less fragile and with a bit more substance (and nut free) to go along with them.  For awhile I've been wanting to make an old fashioned cottage cheese cookie.  I can remember my mom baking batches of cakey cottage cheese cookies when I was growing up.  At first, I thought they were 'gross' and refused to taste them because it seemed so weird to be putting cottage cheese in cookies. But duh! not much different from my absolute favorite, sour cream cookies, plus of course they also had butter and sugar and were absolutely sensational! I laugh when think of things like that these days - for similar reasons I would NEVER eat cheesecake.  My mom made it once or twice a year for special occasions, and I just could never understand why everyone in my family loved it so much - I'd help her make it with all those eggs and cream cheese (which I wasn't a fan of at the time either, stupid me) and her recipe had cottage cheese in it also. I think I must've been about 16 years old before I finally actually tried cheesecake. Not unlike my nephew vacationing with his parents all those years in Maine and opting for chicken fingers when he could've had lobster - we figured it out eventually.  And what did I think when I finally tasted cheesecake?  Well, of course, I was furious!  All those years and all those cheesecakes I had missed out on!  Life didn't seem fair! There should've been a memo! Why hadn't anyone told me how freaking delicious it was?! Well actually on that one, if you've ever seen my brother Mike guarding his 'birthday cheesecake' then you know exactly why, if one less person ate from his prized birthday cake, then it meant there'd be more of it left for him!  He's expert at doling out the 'skinny slice' and don't even think about asking for seconds.

Mmm Cheesecake .... wait, what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, cookies .. in my quest for a great cottage cheese cookie I stumbled upon a well reviewed recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network site and figured her recipe for Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze would definitely fit the bill.  I also thought the cakey texture and the fresh, rich lemon flavor would be a great contrast to pair with the almond cookies.  The cookies definitely did not disappoint on flavor and texture, though they were a bit more labor intensive and time consuming than a standard drop cookie.  I'm hoping they held up ok after packaging since the moist cookie and thin glaze can tend to condensate a bit when packaged - but with any luck they'll get eaten up before all the glaze starts to liquefy and sticks to the wrapper - but if it does I don't think anyone would fault you for trying to scrape and lick it out of there.

1 comment:

  1. I snuck a lemon cookie. I couldn't resist. It was SO worth it. You, MLH, have a way with lemon.