Monday, August 22, 2005
Mondays with Maida - Tijuana Fiesta Cookies
Page 68 in the old book / page 96 in the new book
Phil suggested that everyone might like these so much because we were on the rebound from those awful Poppy-Seed Wafers. There might be an element of truth to that, but they were awful good. Not only were they good, they were unusual - quite different in flavor from any spice cookie I've ever had.
Because of the unusual spices in this recipe, I was afraid I was setting myself up for another disaster. But I need not have worried, these cookies have a wonderful warm spicy taste. The anise is what you taste first, but it is supported by the ginger and molasses and the other spices (coriander, cinnamon, and cloves) as well, though they are less distinct.
Some people didn't really enjoy the noticeable presence of whole anise seeds and crushed coriander. If you make these (and I recommend that you do!), depending upon your intended audience, you may want to try grinding the anise seed before adding it. I used a mortar and pestle to crush the coriander, but next time I'll probably substitute ground coriander. I did like the whole anise seed though.
I had a little trouble getting the proper consistency for the icing. I used more sugar and less milk than called for and it still wanted to run off the cookies. Next time I think I'll start with 2 cups of sugar and play it by ear with the milk.
It's so nice to have a happy cookie panel again...
Suzanne: "This was a soft cookie with the definite taste of anise. If you don't like licorice you won't like this cookie. The cookie had too many different tastes. I prefer a crunchier cookie. I did like the icing and the pecan on top. Rating - 3.0"
Denny: "Another one that I wouldn't normally like but I rate them a 4. Very good even with the anise which I don't like. Rating - 4.0"
Laura: "Moist, yummy cookies. Loved the spices! Rating - 4.0"
Phil: "A delightful discovery -- soft almost fluffy cookie with a strong melange of interesting spices (aptly refered to as exotic by Maida) with a noticable zip of anise. Seemed to wake up a range of taste buds I didn't remember having. Rating - 4.4"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.9
Next week - Vanilla Butter Wafers