Monday, December 04, 2006
Mondays with Maida - Hot Butter Wafers
Page 181 in the old book / page 213 in the new book
According to Maida, the recipe for these cookies is an early colonial recipe that was used by Dolley Madison and served at the White House. They are the plainest of cookies with only flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. They are thin, firm and crisp and only slightly sweet.
The dough is rolled after being chilled only briefly, so they weren't too difficult to roll. Well, let me qualify that: they're not too difficult to roll the first time. The problem is the dough is quite tough (the cut cookies shrink before your eyes), so rerolling the scraps was near impossible. I gave up after a half-hearted attempt since I was pretty sure these cookies were going to be a tough sell anyway.
Thinking that the cookies might be a little like pastry, I thawed out some cherries from my stash and made sort of a stove-top cherry pie filling. I cooked a little butter and flour together for a minute or two and then gradually added the juice from the thawed cherries, then added the cherries and some sugar and cooked it for another couple of minutes. Then I topped some of the cherry mixture with a "pie crust" - one of the cookies. It was delicious, but the cookie was difficult to break up with a spoon, so it's not something I'd do again. (But I am so making that stove-top cherry pie filling again!)
I brought strawberry jam in to the office in the hopes that it would make the cookies more appealing. As it turns out, nearly all the cookies were eaten and most apparently without strawberry jam. Here's the panel...
Suzanne: Suzanne was still out of the office but will be back next week.
Denny: "Very plain but my expectations were low so I'd give them a 2 (minus 1 for no chocolate). Maybe the plainness explains why there were so many great men then per capita as compared to so few today. Rating - 2.0"
Laura: "I first tried one plain and then tried one with the strawberry jam. The jam helped, but not that much. The cookies themselves were okay, though somewhat boring. They are lovely with tea, however. Rating - 2.5"
Terri: "These are very tasty but are almost like a flat "vanilla wafer". I thought it would be a good basic cookie recipe for holiday cookies, but standing alone with no decorations, makes it sort of boring. If there's such a thing as a "boring" cookie! Rating - 2.5"
Overall rating by the panel - 2.3
Next Week - Caraway Hardtack