Monday, August 15, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Poppy-Seed Wafers & A Contest!

Page 68 in the old book / page 96 in the new book

I won't beat around the bush... these were bad. The recipe calls for 5 ounces of poppy seeds which, with just a cup of flour, is an awful lot of poppy seeds. They are not attractive cookies either. Suzanne thought they looked moldy and someone else said they looked "herby". There are some chopped raisins in them, which provides slight relief from all those poppy seeds, but not enough to make the cookies palatable. Somehow (by the second day) they were all eaten, but I didn't get any positive feedback on these.

The ratings from the cookie panel were the lowest ever. Both Denny and Terri were out, so we're only hearing from three this week (thank goodness!).

Suzanne: "This is not a cookie that you want to immediately pick up and eat. There are so many poppy seed, the cookie looks moldy. It has that grey-green look. The taste is just okay. It definitely has a long lasting taste, since after you finish the cookie, your tongue keeps finding poppy seeds hidden in your gums and teeth. Rating - 2.0"

Laura: "Laura doesn't care for poppy seeds. Thanks anyway. Rating - 1.0"

Phil: "Sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles -- bitter, bitter, bitter, in spite of an occasional raisin. Even a competent cook could not salvage this dreadful cookie. Plus anyone consuming all those poppy seeds can forget about passing the drug screen for Department of Homeland Security any time soon (if that's your poison). Rating - 0.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 1.0

So, on a more cheerful note... Only two more drop cookies to go! To celebrate the end of the first chapter in the book, I've decided to sponsor a little contest. The prize will be a copy of the old book: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies.

To enter you must write a brief cookie review "in the style of Phil" - whatever you decide that is. You may make or buy the cookie, but the post should include a photo, some background about where the recipe or cookie came from and the review - which you may attribute to Phil if you wish. Email me a link to your post by August 23rd. Phil has kindly agreed to judge the entries. I will announce the winner and post a list of the entries (possibly with some comments from Phil) on Tuesday, August 30th. Please feel free to enter even if you already have a copy of the book - you can give it to a friend or bestow it upon one of the other entrants.

Next week - Tijuana Fiesta Cookies

Nutrition Facts


Stephanie said...

And there I had to go and buy a copy!

Cathy said...

Darn! I have a feeling that may be true for a number of people.

Nic said...

Love the idea, Cathy. But how can any of us compete with Phil? And we already know he's a tough cookie.

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

I have to agree with Nic. I don't think anyone can come close to Phil. And since he didn't even give this one a rating, I think that I would pass as well.

Cathy said...

Hi Nic - oh, but he's really not! Besides, you don't have to compete with Phil - just each other.

Hi Reid - gee, I may have to think of another way to give away the book! Maybe everyone could think of a number between 1 and 100...

Niki said...

Oh bugger! I read this too late and it was AFTER I wrote that comment about being a fan of Phil's reviews. Bugger!! (I've tried looking for that book in specialist cook book shops in Australia, but it is nowhere to be found. Alas. It sounds great. )

Anonymous said...

I have made these cookies as well and from your picture it appears to me that you overbaked them a tad. Also, are you sure that your poppyseeds weren't rancid? Poppyseeds go bad very quickly. I ask this because we loved these cookies. If the poppyseeds were rancid that would make these cookies awful!
Pie Susan

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous reviewer, that your cookies looked too brown and were overbaked. If you stored poppy seeds at room temperature (ever) chances are they were part of the problem. I just made these today and found them quite tasty. I used fresh poppy seeds and baked the cookies for only 18 minutes total. And it was easier to use currants than chopped raisins. Bear in mind, too, that Maida Heatter does not include bad recipes in any of her books; they are tested. Perhaps you simply do not care for poppy seeds.