If you’re someone who bakes a lot, or are the recipient of home baked goods, you’ll know what I mean when I say store-bought cookies just don’t cut it any more. No matter how nice the brand is, nothing compares to fresh cookies right out of the oven. Which is always a problem when cookie-craving-hour unexpectedly strikes. You know buying cookies for the moment is just going to lead to disappointment, but baking an entire batch of cookies seems like so much effort. If you manage to conjure up the energy, then you have to work out what to do with the rest once the craving is satiated. If you live in a full household baking an entire batch of cookies mightn’t be an issue. But if, like me, your household is tiny, you’re left with more cookies than anyone has the stomach for. It’s often not long before I decide the effort is just too much and wallow in cookie-craving-self-pity instead.
Lately I’ve spent so much time making fancy stuff that it had been months since having anything simple, like cookies. Increasingly so, a little voice kept popping into my head going, “Ooh, cookies. Must have cookies.” It was always defeated by the effort involved when I just wanted one or two. Eventually I decided I needed a solution to the dilemma and dedicated an afternoon to what I call Emergency Cookies at home.
“What are emergency cookies?” you might ask. They’re pre-prepared packages of cookie dough that can be stored long-term and baked on an as-needed basis. Any time someone in the household gets hit by the cookie cravings, I can throw as many cookies as required in the oven with minimal effort required. The best part is the amount of variety you can get out of one or two batches of dough: definitely everyone’s favourite part of emergency cookies.
This month in the Daring Baker's challenge, we got a little bit festive. Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us. She gave us 12 cookie recipe to choose from and challenged us to bake at least one of the 12 cookies, as well as our own celebration cookies.
Here's the two I baked for the challenge.
Double the noms…
Over on deviantART, a group called Artisan Craft was hosting a challenge this month for buttons. My philosophy in life is that everything can be made edible, so I decided to make some edible buttons for the challenge. I had thoughts of make fondant buttons on a cake or cupcakes, but I didn't have time for anything too fancy. But there's always time for shortbread.
Low on functionality, but big on noms…
Some time ago, my father picked up Family Circle's "Crazy for Chocolate" book for himself. Now, this is a rarity, as most dessert books he buys on his op-shopping expeditions are for me. I didn't see it for the longest time until one weekend he handed it to me to have a look through. He told me it wasn't great, that there was "nothing really decadent in there". It was in this moment my father was classified as certifiably insane. Not is it the greatest chocolate cookbook I have ever seen, it is right up there with my favourite desserts of all time. I want to bake this book from cover to cover, and I probably eventually will. He told me I could have the book, but I think he already knew I was not leaving his house without it.
Last night, I turned to it in an attempt to rid myself of some of the 7 punnets of strawberries my dad bequeathed unto me. I came across the following recipe and decided that it would be a suitable dessert for a lazy Sunday in: Chocolate Shortbread Stacks…