Monday, May 15, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Maxines

Page 130 in the old book / page 167 in the new book

These cookies, a brown sugar cookie surrounding a chocolate almond center, are stunning to look at, but in my opinion don't live up to their looks. I was disappointed by the chocolate center. I have never been one to complain that a cookie (or chocolate, for that matter) isn't sweet enough, but I was surprised to find myself thinking that about these cookies. The middles are made only of semisweet chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, almond, and almond and vanilla extracts. Sounds sweet, doesn't it? I suppose my choice of chocolate might have made a difference - the Ghirardelli "Double Chocolate" chips I used claim to be bittersweet chocolate, so they may be a little less sweet then semisweet chocolate chips called for.

Even though I wasn't bowled over by their taste, I really was impressed with their looks and how easy they were to make. The cookie dough is a crumbly mixture when you pull it out of the mixer, but pulls together without much trouble and rolling it out between sheets of wax paper isn't hard at all. Unlike most icebox cookies, these required very little chilling time. The middle sets up in the freezer while you prepare the cookie dough. Because the cookies are sliced so thick (1/2 inch), they really don't need much more than half an hour in the freezer after the cookie dough is wrapped around the middle.

These were so well-received and are so nice looking that I'll probably be tempted to make them again, perhaps as part of a selection of cookies. Poor Suzanne had sort of a cookie identity crisis...

Suzanne: To my surprise, I did not care for this cookie. How could it be? The cookie was so attractive with its square shape and the center filled with chocolate and nuts. I love chocolate and nuts. It’s my favorite type of cookie. I might have to rethink my place in this universe. Am I really a chocoholic? What’s happening to my taste buds? Are they changing and if so, what are they changing into? Well maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and my teeth are getting soft, but I found the cookie hard to bite into. Even the chocolate and nut center was difficult to bite. I would have preferred a soft, creamy, yet nutty center. I guess time will tell whether I’m still a chocoholic or not. Rating - 2.5"

Denny: "Excellent. Looked terrific! Crunchy on the outside and chewy with nuts in the middle. A little bit of coconut would make them a 5.0. Rating - 4.9"

Laura: "One word: De-lish! With cookies like this, you could quit your job and go into cookie making full time! (a la CakeLove!) Rating - 5.0"

Terri: "These are outstanding! A wonderful combination of chocolate, crunchiness, and a delicious flavor from the almonds. And I'm not a great chocolate lover. The cookie dough crust surrounding the chocolate and almonds make this a really attractive cookie. This hit the spot with my morning coffee! Rating - 5.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.4

Next week - Cobblestones

Nutrition Facts


Alanna Kellogg said...

Too bad -- it's kind of like a double disappointment when something LOOKS so good but doesn't cut it taste-wise. o

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy,

Sorry you weren't completely thrilled with the cookies. They look beautiful, though!

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! Loved Suzanne's little blurb there. God, I hope never to see the day when I might have 'issues' with anything chocolate. Great post!

Ana said...

Pretty, pretty Cookie!!! Loved the looks on this one!

Cathy said...

Hi Alanna! Yes it is! Funny thing with this cookie - I expected that the middle would be too sweet!

Hi Ivonne! I can't complain too much - even if Suzanne and I weren't thrilled, everyone else really enjoyed them.

Hi Rowena! Me too... I knew she wasn't crazy about the cookies, but was hardly expecting that kind of reaction! :)

Hi Ana! Yes, these cookie are definitely have that going for them!

megz_mum said...

Hi there, just wondering if you would recommend the old book or the new. It seems both are available through amazon

Joycelyn said...

hi cathy, they look truly wonderful - sorry they didn't live up to expectations! am sure, however, given your abundant talent and skill, you could tweak the filling to suit your tastes ;)

Cathy said...

Hi megz_mum! I have a preference for the old book (which is not available from Amazon, but is available from Jessica's Biscuit - see the links below the photo). However, if you have none of Maida Heatter's cookbooks, you may be better off with the new book which is a compilation of recipes from several of her earlier books including what I've been referring to as her "old book". Note - there is also a "Brand New" cookie book - which is Maida's second cookie book with original recipes and not the book I've been referring to as the "new book". Are you totally confused now? :)

Hi Jocelyn! Thanks, I probably will try making the middle a little sweeter next time, but I'm afraid my talents are not nearly so abundant as yours!

Niki said...

They *look* spectacular!!!!!!

Cathy said...

Hi Niki - thanks!

Sheila said...

I added these to my 2016 Xmas cookie selection (13 varieties). They definitely rated an 'honorable mention' and were a big favorite of quite a few recipients ( I make about 500 cookies every year and give them away) but I must agree with Suzanne, personally the look was 'wow' but in terms of taste both my daughter felt they fell a bit short.