Monday, August 29, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Vanilla Butter Wafers

Page 70 in the old book / page 98 in the new book

These cookies were incredibily easy, with just the most basic of cookie ingredients: butter, vanilla, sugar, egg, and flour. And yet, I'm still not sure that they came out the way they were supposed to. I'm certain they didn't end up shaped as Maida intended...

I thought I did "place the dough neatly and carefully", but nonetheless my cookies failed to "bake into perfect rounds". I opened the oven halfway through the allotted time in order to reverse the cookie sheets and was startled to see thin layers of dough floating on top of a sea of bubbling melted butter. Even when the cookies were done, there was still an excess of melted butter. Although the dough contains a high proportion of butter (1/2 cup butter to 1/3 cup flour), the dough appeared to be of a normal consistency before baking. Perhaps the excess butter was intentional (maybe it was necessary to achieve the browned edges?), but it sure turned me off to these cookies.

I came so close to throwing them in the trash - I put them in the storage container, then started to take them out, then put them back in, then stood there undecided for quite some time. At last, I packed them up, having decided that at least I need to get the cookie panel to taste them. When I brought them into work the next day, I handed out cookies to those on the panel and then, after initially hiding the rest in my office, decided to put the cookies out in their regular place (but without the usual email announcement). I was amazed to see that by afternoon, they were all gone.

Even more surprising, they didn't get a zero...

Suzanne: "I enjoyed this thin buttery wafer. It had a hint of lemon in the flavor. It would have been a great cookie if Cathy had put two of the cookies together with chocolate in the middle. Yum! Rating - 3.5"

Denny: "Too much butter, but I like butter and don't eat enough of it. Rating - 3.8"

Terri: "A buttery delight - wafer thin, chewy, and delicious with tea. This would be a good cookie with a fruit dessert. Rating - 3.0"

Phil: "A wafer thin, buttery cookie with an absence of sweetness. Not a first pick but might be a nice accompaniment to a sorbet or coffee ice cream. As wafer cookies go, stick with the praline with pecans or Norman Rockwell oatmeal varieties sampled previously. Rating - 2.8"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.3

That's a wrap for drop cookies! Next week the bar cookies begin with Petites Trianons. The contest was a bust (no entries), but tomorrow I'll tell you which were my personal favorites from among the drop cookies.

Nutrition Facts


Anonymous said...

They look very much like melba toasts to me. I thought they were very pretty. I can't wait for bar cookies!!

Cathy said...

Hi Alice! With each cookie having its own little pool of butter to swim in, I'm afraid this cookie is the antithesis of melba toast!

Nic said...

I meant to enter your contest, Cathy. I just ran out of time for baking over the weekend. =(
I feel like these would have been better crispy than chewy (as it seems they ended up).

Cathy said...

Hi Nic! Oh well - I think the contest just wasn't meant to be!

I'm not sure I would call these chewy, but they're definitely not crisp. Personally, I think they have too much butter and not enough sugar. There are just too many other cookies in the sea to pay this one any mind!

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

These cookies look interesting. I'm just sad that they were so buttery. Like Phil said, this would go great with some sorbet or ice cream.

Cathy said...

Hi Reid - this was really a very basic recipe, but the results were very strange. I'd stay away from this one!