“Savory over sweet” is usually my taste. But I decided to go out of comfort zone to reconnect with my inner child-chef.
My child-chef dinner menu might lead people to believe that my baking experiences were confined to store-bought logs of cookie dough sliced and thrown onto a sheet and into the oven. WRONG.
My mother was the head baker and I was her pastry sous chef (or something like that). Duties required: Carefully measuring dry ingredients, sifting until my arm got too tired (which happened rather quickly), attempting to eat all the chocolate chips before they had the chance to be mixed into the dough, and of course licking the batter out of the bowl (the most important step in the entire process).
Today I made Ricotta-Cheese cookies. After going through quite a few recipes online I realized that everyone’s basic recipe was the same. I ended up referencing Good-Housekeeping’s recipe.
My personal twists came in the icing. I wish I had some more exact measurements for what I came up with — but this was a complete experiment for me. OK ok, I’ll admit it – I had no clue what I was doing. But this is basically how it went.
I started off with the basic glaze recipe. 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and 3 tbsp of milk. After stirring furiously, I divided the sticky glaze into three bowls.
Bowl #1: Lemon Zest glaze. From my recipe searching, I gathered that this is a pretty typical glaze topping for this cookie. No lemon juice in my mix though. Just a generous amount of fresh lemon zest.
Bowl #2: Almond glaze. I just threw in about a 1/4 tsp of almond extract. I also had some sliced almonds just lying around, so I tossed a few on top of the almond glazed cookies for a little decoration.
Bowl #3: Cinnamon Mocha glaze. This is where things got dicey. I started with a pinch of cocoa powdered and a dash of cinnamon. Then I tried to get fancy with some espresso. Despite my efforts to only add the espresso drop by drop, I ended up with a soupy glaze. Obviously this was easily remedied with some extra powdered sugar —and then some more espresso — ack! now I need more powdered sugar! The end product was fine… I just have no idea how I got there. (oh and I put some mini chocolate chips on top for some pretty).
Bowl #4: Espresso glaze. After the previous glaze fiasco, I was determined to conquer the espresso issue. So I started over. Measurements went completely out the window here as I was working off of pure emotion (damn you glaze! You will NOT beat me!). Powdered sugar went into the bowl (mayyybe a 1/4 cup???), but I bypassed the milk and went straight for the espresso. My drop by drop technique was better this time around so I didn’t have a back and forth battle. I wish I had coffee beans for the pretty on this cookie, but alas… it was an ugly naked cookie. No picture, sorry.
The verdict: All four taste awesome. Even the ugly naked one (although I am a well-known coffee addict, so yeah…. mmm espressoooo)
With such success I’m already starting to dream up more glaze variations. Orange zest? Lime zest! Banana! Honey! Mint chocolate! Maybe I’ll even be brave enough to fool around with the actual cookie recipe ….. scary!
Don’t judge too harshly. I’m learning.