Monday, April 18, 2005
Mondays with Maida - Nut-Tree Walnut Jumbles
Page 49 in the old book / page 82 in the new book
As you may have already guessed from last week, I'm starting to have trouble thinking of something new to say about all these drop cookies. Don't get me wrong... I do like drop cookies, and they are easy to make, it's just they're not that interesting to write about... or so it seems by the time you get around to the 23rd variety of them.
The one thing that I found interesting this week, was that there is sort of a progression from the Praline Wafers, to the Farmer's Wife's Pecan Cookies to these cookies. When I started this project, one thing I was hoping to gain from it was a better understanding of the chemistry of cookies - how different ingredients in various amounts affect the outcome of a cookie recipe. I think it would be fun to spend a day or two experimenting with slight variations on a single recipe, but I'm not sure when or if I'll ever get around to that. In the meantime, though, I can notice the similarities and differences in Maida Heatter's recipes and try to figure out cause and effect. These cookies have more flour, less sugar (and use dark rather than light brown sugar) and have some sour cream, resulting in a not quite chewy and almost cakey cookie, or what Maida Heatter calls semisoft.
I thought these cookies were nice, but nothing special. They're supposed to be topped with a walnut half, but I didn't have any walnut halves or even any attractive pieces, so I omitted them. It also seemed to me that they had plenty of nuts on the inside and didn't really need a piece on top (OK, and I couldn't help but recall Phil's comment about the Farmer's Wife's Pecan Cookies).
The cookie panel had quite a variety of ratings for these...
Suzanne: "Perfect cookie with a cup of coffee. This is a cakey cookie. You can really taste the brown sugar. This along with the walnut pieces inside make this a perfect cookie. This would also be good with vanilla ice cream. Yeah, no raisins!. Rating - 5"
Denny: "Very good Nut-Tree Walnut Jumbles. Rating - 4"
Laura: "Chewy cookie with yummy nutty crunch. Rating - 3"
Phil: "Cathy, quit your day job – perfectly cooked cookies – moist, puffy, and nicely textured. But put your considerable skills to another recipe – too nutty and not sweet enough for this sweet tooth. Rating - 2.8"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.7
Next week – 24-Karat Cookies