cookie madness day

We have a long weekend and so I decided to bake some cookies! My boyfriend has been demanding some ‘famous amos-esque’ cookies for the longest time (and I have also been promising and never delivering for the longest time), because to get the crispy texture of famous amos cookies you need shortening which is pretty difficult to get ahold of here.

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I procured said shortening, and started baking insanely early in the morning. (I was drinking my morning tea while I mixed batter, and the first batch failures served as breakfast) While I followed this recipe from Crazy For Crust, I realised with the first batch that the inclusion of baking soda was a terrible mistake – it made the cookies soft and chewy (because dough rises, etc. etc. smart nat obviously forgot this at 7am) Not sure why the recipe includes this but I will try omitting it the next time I make this to see if it achieves a crispier effect.  Thanks to this fatal error I resorted to making the cookies insanely tiny in hopes that everything would crisp up. The recipe asks for each cookie to use about a tablespoon of batter; instead, I was pinching tiny globs of cookie dough and rolling them into balls.  Seriously any tinier and I think each ball would consist of only a single chocolate chip. The results turned out okay but I wouldn’t say they’re even half as crispy as the real deal.  I think I need to go work at Famous Amos to find out their secret…

I confess that I don’t like these as much as massive, chewy Subway-style cookies, but I have been putting this off for too long. I think they are my Achilles heel. That, and macarons.

I call this day cookie madness, because before I made these cookies, I started mixing up the batter for a different batch.  One of the guys at office requested earl grey cookies, which for a long time I considered to be my specialty and one of my massive baking successes (I came up with this recipe pretty much on my own, because when I first came up with the idea for these recipes on the Internet were scant.) So I mixed the dough for the earl grey cookies, stuck them in the freezer to chill, then made the chocolate chip cookies, THEN returned back to the earl grey ones. I am a multitasking genius. I have learnt the secret of economies of scale. Keep this in mind when I ask you to invest in my cafe in the future.

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Nothing much new here, except that disaster struck when I forgot how much butter in grams = 1 cup…was intensely perplexed by my powdery batter until I realised 1 cup of butter is 227g, not 113. Oops.

I want to post the recipe here because it is my own, even though there are similar ones all over the internet by now, I’m sure.  Let me have my little moment of hubris.

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
Makes approximately 30-40 cookies. 

Ingredients
1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3-4 Earl Grey teabags/2 heaped tsp of Earl Grey tea leaves
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
zest of 1 orange/lemon

Method
1. Cut open the teabags and pour the tea leaves into a mortar.  Using a pestle, grind up the leaves until they are fine dust. Feel free to make an accompanying cup of tea to drink while you make your cookies.
2. Whisk together flour, tea leaves, orange/lemon zest and salt.
3. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add in the vanilla essence.
4. Slowly mix in the flour/tea mixture until everything is well incorporated.
5. Wrap in cling foil and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
6. Take the batter out of the freezer to thaw slightly.  In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and prepare a tray lined with baking parchment.
7. When the dough has thawed, pinch off bits of dough and roll into small balls, roughly 2.5cm in diameter. Place on the tray and flatten with your palm.  Place the cookies about 2-3cm apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown.
8. Remove tray from oven and leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack or plate to cool and harden completely before consuming.

By the end of this I was dying of the heat in the house and also exhausted. But at the same time I kept thinking: if I want to even come near the idea of opening my own cafe in the future, I’d better start learning how to multitask and make like a billion things at the same time. I also know that the cafe market is disgustingly oversaturated and probably nobody wants to invest in yet another one and yet – a part of me continues to dream that one day, I can create my own space filled with my three passions: beautiful books, beautiful music and beautiful food. But that’s a post for another day. Hope everyone’s had a great, relaxing weekend (or a great Hari Raya/Eid, if you’re Muslim).

x Nat

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