Hi. My name's Carol, and I love food. No, you don't understand. I love food. If I were on the Titanic, I'd be in the galley (kitchen) eating up the chocolate pudding and the roasted quail. I go to most events, activities and parties just for the food. The company and the conversation are secondary. Here, I'll try to document everything that goes into my mouth. Aren't we excited? Oh, hey, are you gonna eat that?
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Oreos or Ginger Sandwich Cookies?
Last night, I took on the Herculean task of baking two different kinds of cookies. It's because I'm snack mom--for today's victorious basketball game, my son scored the most points! Another mom brought the healthy snack, oranges, while yet another brought apple juice for drinks.
Me, I knew I had to make homemade Oreos again from Sweet Pea's Kitchen. They were such a hit with some friends. Kids would go bananas.
One of the boys on my son's basketball team hates chocolate (and pizza, how odd), so I wanted to make another kind of sandwich cookie for him. I know his mom would ask me not to make a fuss, but I didn't mind. I love to bake, even when it keeps me up past midnight.
So, since I was on Sweet Pea's blog, I looked for other cookie recipes. Initially, I was going to do her Maple Cream Cookies, but then a week before the game I changed my mind. I wasn't into going out to the mall to buy maple leaf cutters just for these cookies. I also wasn't in the mood to roll out dough.
Then, her Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Filling caught my eye. I didn't know how I missed this recipe the first time. I liked the ease of it. I only had to refrigerate the dough for an hour, then take out loaded teaspoonfuls, roll into a ball, roll in sugar, flatten slightly with the bottom of a buttered, sugared drinking glass.
My first mistake was in sending out my husband with a grocery list including ingredients to this recipe. He came back with all but the essential cardamom, because a bottle of it in the regular supermarket was $15. I considered substituting with cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg, vanilla extract, then remembered I could go to PCC Market and just get the amount I needed (1/2 teaspoon) at 20 cents.
The cream cheese filling sounded delicious, but I hesitated. Cream cheese. Could I leave the cookies out on the counter overnight? I couldn't make the cookies the day of the game, the game was too early. Would I make someone sick with bacteria on the softened, room temperature cream cheese? But the recipe said to go for it, it was okay in an airtight container for two days. It was even recommended, as the cookies soften by then.
I went ahead, after double-checking online about the cream cheese. You see, if there's enough sugar in the cream cheese, the sugar preserves it. But it has to be enough. In cheesecake (deja vu), there isn't enough, it's more cream cheese than sugar, so you refrigerate. But for the filling, there's three whole cups of powdered sugar for the one, 8-oz. block of cream cheese.
Another mistake I made was blanking out, staring at the expiration date of a container of ground ginger from Costco we had sitting in the back of the cupboard all this time of buying expensive, smaller containers of it. I was measuring out the second or third teaspoon of ground ginger into the flour mixture. I didn't feel like undoing everything, so I trusted it was the third tsp., and added the fourth.
Then, the cookies themselves came out way too flat. Maybe the dough needed to be in the fridge for longer than the hour and a half I left them there. The dough was kind of mushy still. Maybe I pressed down on the little teaspoonfuls of round sugared dough too hard. She did say slightly. Maybe the pans weren't the right size, or made of aluminum.
Anyway, I wasn't really satisfied with the way the cookies turned out, bigger and flatter than Sweet Pea's original, which were these cute little dome tops like the Oreos.
When I opened the cream cheese package, I noticed some excess moisture and a rank cream cheese smell. But by the time I just threw in the powdered sugar, it was too late to start over with another block fresh from the fridge. I second-guessed myself, maybe I should've microwaved the cream cheese on soften instead of leaving it out on the counter this long. How long did I leave it? I was up all night trying to remember if it was after I made the Oreos or halfway toward finishing the ginger cookies. It couldn't have been much more than three hours.
After reading a reassurance from some cooking message board that three hours was fine, I let it go. I really let it go when my husband taste-tested the ginger sandwich cookie, then ate another with a glass of milk, deeming them "wrong," which means so very right. He loves these better than the Oreos. Strange.
I have lots left over. Most people and all children (except for the anti-chocolate boy) love Oreos. The basketball team, their siblings, and the refs went for them most, leaving the Ginger Sandwich Cookies for... my husband's gig mates tomorrow night?