Monday, September 04, 2006
Mondays with Maida - Swedish Rye Wafers
Page 157 in the old book / page 195 in the new book
I had a hunch these wouldn't be a hit, but I liked them. They are so buttery, that they are more like pastry then a cookie. They are rather plain, very crumbly and slightly sweet. I had hoped that everyone would be so charmed by the shape of the cookies, that they wouldn't notice or mind the seeds. Though they did remark on the shape, the seeds were still an issue for some.
I used a pastry cloth for the first time and I think it helped, but it wasn't completely trouble-free. When you use a pastry cloth, you must prepare it by rubbing flour into it. The idea is that the flour will prevent the fat from getting into the cloth and will prevent the dough from sticking. In theory, you should use less flour than you would have to use to prevent the dough from sticking to some other surface (such as your counter), which is better for your dough. The instructions that came with my pastry cloth suggested tucking the edges under a large board, which is what I did.
After a few strokes of the rolling pin I was completely sold - I could tell by how easily the dough was spreading that it wasn't sticking at all. Unfortunately, a few strokes later, it was obvious that the dough had started to stick. I don't know if the problem was with my preparation of the cloth or with the dough (which was very buttery). I managed, and I suspect I was better off with the cloth than without, but rolling cookie dough remains a bit of a chore in my view.
Suzanne asked me what the hole was for, but all I could tell her was that according to Maida it was traditional. She did a little sleuthing on the internet and found that these cookies are served at Christmas and the holes are to allow you to hang them on the tree.
Here's the panel...
Suzanne: "I loved the off-centered small hole in the cookie. I wasn’t too sure of the caraway seeds on top since I didn’t care for the last cookie with caraway seeds (even though I like caraway seeds in bread). To say the least, the cookie made with rye flour had an interesting taste, but I could tell right away that not much sugar was added to the cookie. I felt the cookie could have used more sugar and after a few bites, the caraway seeds sticking in my teeth started to bother me. Rating: 3.0"
Denny: "Kind of bland except for caraway seeds. Rating - 3.0"
Laura: "Delicate texture, unique shape cutout. Don't care for the seeds. Rating - 2.0"
Terri: "I've never had rye in a cookie, but it's a very interesting flavor. This seems almost like a cracker, but with more butter. I really like rye bread and this flavor remind me of that. Different, but delicious! Rating - 3.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 2.8
Next Week - Whole-Wheat Squares