Tuesday, March 20, 2007
My Favorite Rolled Cookies
These Swedish Ginger Cookies were a joy to make and tasted great too - they just missed my short list.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel! I miscounted the number of remaining chapters when I concluded the icebox cookie chapter, but though there are still two chapters remaining, there are just 32 cookies to go. 116 other cookies are but memories now, including 27 rolled cookies...
I have to say, this was probably the chapter I feared most. I've never been very good at rolling cookie dough and I'm not sure I improved much as I worked my way through this chapter. I wish there were tips I could pass along for rolling dough evenly or preventing it from sticking, but these things still seem to more dependent upon the character of the dough than anything I do. I have learned that I have a fondness for filled cookies over plain old rolled cookies and given a choice, I will shy away from thinly rolled dough.
Though the seemingly endless number of plain brown cookies (be they honey, ginger, or whole wheat) got a little boring, there was only one truly awful cookie. I found it difficult to narrow my favorites to just a few but though I was tempted to include just about all of the filled cookies, I finally managed to winnow the list down to six. So here's my quickie recap of the best of the best. As usual, the runners-up are in no particular order and I've saved my very favorite cookie for last...
My go-to sugar cookie recipe - Plain Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies - with a new look, but the same wonderful flavor thanks to plenty of real butter and vanilla.
Unbelievably light and tender, these Rum Raisin Shortbread cookies had a wonderful rum flavor that wasn't the least bit harsh.
I loved the flavor of these elegant Viennese Chocolate Cookies - chocolate and almond with a surprising hint of lemon.
Perfect for the holidays, for company, or any other special occasion, Ischler Cookies are bound to please just about everyone. Two almond cookies with a little apricot jam in the middle and a semisweet chocolate glaze on the outside sounds like a winning combination and it is!
What I like most about filled cookies is the filling and these Hamantaschen deliver a generous helping of a delicious prune and apricot filling. The delicate orange-scented pastry is pretty great too!
And surprise, surprise, the greatest of them all - BIG NEWTONS! (Ha! Take that Cookie Panel!) Really though, these are seriously good cookies. Each time I look at that picture, the memory of them is so strong, I can practically taste and smell them. They're really that good.
So now on to "Hand-Formed Cookies" - I've been looking forward to this one. I love rolling little balls of dough between my hands and welcome the break from the rolling pin! By the way, in case you're new here - all the cookies on this page are from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. The book is out of print but still available as a remainder, used, or in your library. All but one of the recipes were also reprinted in the newer Maida Heatter's Cookies which also includes cookie recipes from a couple of her other books. Read about my little project here and start here if you're interested in exploring my earlier posts.