Monday, November 27, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Rum-Raisin Shortbread

Page 179 in the old book / page 212 in the new book

It almost took me by surprise, but I was really anxious to try these cookies once they were out of the oven. I think partly it was because I was having trouble imagining how they might taste and partly it was because they looked so darn good. The recipe makes a small batch (15 or 16) of large and very rich cookies (over 200 calories and 12 grams of fat... each!), so I forced myself to wait until they cooled before trying one. I knew I was only getting one chance.

They did not disappoint. They had a lovely sandy texture - light and fragile. They tasted of rum, but it was not harsh or unpleasant in any way. And of course, they were loaded with raisins. Oh how I wanted another!

The recipe is very simple and since the dough is rolled quite thick, even rolling and cutting the cookies isn't a problem. I was tempted to make some smaller cookies, but worried that they might not turn out as intended, so chose not to. In spite of the richness of the dough, these are very easy to eat. I know at least two of the panelists went back for a second.

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: Suzanne was out this week, but I know she was really sorry she missed a chance to try these raisin-filled cookies! :)

Denny: "Very good. Rum was not overpowering as in most rum cookies. Minus 1 - no chocolate. Rating - 3.0"

Laura: "Light, buttery and flakey - just the way shortbread should be. Delicious! The only thing that would have made them even better, in my opinion, would have been to use golden raisins. Rating - 4.0"

Terri: "These are rich and delicious! The rum flavor is obvious from the first bite. The shortbread flavor is wonderful too. This was absolutely one of my top ten favorites. Rating - 5.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.0

Next Week - Hot Butter Wafers

Nutrition Facts


Anonymous said...

Now that you have made them do you think you would make them smaller next time? They sound divine.

Cathy said...

Hi Laura! I'm not sure... I guess I might try making a few small ones and see how they turn out. I don't know why I'm timid about making this particular cookie smaller - perhaps because of the raisins. They really were good!

Anonymous said...

Those cookies look tres yummy. I'm kind of crazy when it comes to alcohol in my cookies. I usually go beyond infusing them with the flavor, but killing them with it. I know, it's probably stupid. I'm curious: Does the recipe call for just adding the rum, or, does it call for soaking the raisins overnight in the rum?

Brilynn said...

I used to work in an ice cream store and always had people asking for rum raisin ice cream (we didn't sell it so this was just annoying). Now rum raisin anything always makes me think of that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy,

Great post! You create with wizardry.

My sister wants shorbread cookies but to me they seem too fragile to send.

Do you think these will be sturdy enough to make it through the mail?

And do you think these will taste just as good without raisins?



P.S. Soon I am going to blog about making Maida's sugar cookies, and what went wrong, and I what I tried to do to remedy them. This experiment was upon your recommendation, but the results proved counter to my skill.

Cathy said...

Hi Mari! The raisins are supposed to be soaked for at least a couple of hours in half a cup of dark run. I soaked them overnight. When I drained the raisins, I think there was about a quarter cup of rum, so a quarter cup or so went into the cookies. I was actually (pleasantly) surprised that the rum flavor was rather subtle.

Hi Brilynn! I know how that is... though it seems for me it's an episode of Seinfeld, rather than a memory, that is typically recalled :)

Hi Yvonne! Maida recommends wrapping each cookie in cellophane, and I expect that along with some careful packing would make them shippable. Even though they melt in your mouth and Maida cautions that they're delicate, I found they were at least sturdy enough so that they didn't break or crumble moving them from the pan to the rack and then from the rack to the storage box, nor did they break in transit to my office.

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you had trouble with the sugar cookies - did you make the Plain Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies or the Cornell Sugar Cookies? I've not yet tried the Cornell ones, but I've always had good luck with the Old Fashioned ones. I'll watch for your post!

Anonymous said...

Oooh...anything with rum and raisins is fine by me. I like Laura's idea to go with golden raisins. Would it be a crime if I drizzled it with dark chocolate? Hmmmm.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Cathy, I just found a site that I KNOW you'll love: Although I wouldn't be surprised if you knew about it already. And look who's on the home page!!!

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena! hmmm... I doubt it'd be a crime and it'd probably be really good, but I'm having trouble imagining it. I feel like the texture of these cookies is their greatest attribute and I just wonder if a topping would somehow detract from that. But it's probably worth at least one try!

Hi Mari! You know I ran across that site eons ago (since I google Maida Heatter on occasion), so I had read the interview before... but I had not noticed or at least remembered the offer to forward messages to her. I'm going to have to take them up on that!

Anonymous said...

Wow, those look so good! They look easy enough to make. For some reason, every time i try to make any type of cookies, it never comes out right. I'll try these and let ya know how it works out! Thanks. :p


Cathy said...

Hi Kat! They were good and very easy. I don't think you'll have any trouble with these!

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