Monday, November 13, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Tropical Sour-Cream Cookies

Page 176 in the old book / page 209 in the new book

Lemon juice and the grated rind of both lemon and orange give these soft cookies a very nice citrus flavor, but they have an unfortunately bland appearance. They need something to pretty them up - perhaps some of that decorating sugar with the larger crystals with a touch of orange and yellow sugar thrown in (I prefer to mix a little colored sugar into a larger amount of white sugar so you get lots of sparkle and crunchiness, but just a bit of color).

I'm convinced that inside this rolled cookie there's a drop cookie crying to get out. I tried rolling the dough on a floured pastry cloth, but despite eight hours in the freezer it was still soft and sticky, so I decided to roll it between sheets of wax paper. The problem then was removing the waxed paper. I persevered and managed reasonably well, but I knew there was no way I was going to be able to roll out the scraps (oh, and that large chunk that was hopelessly stuck to the waxed paper). So I scraped the remaining dough into a little heap and then used a couple of spoons to scoop and push it onto the parchment. In the photo above, the rolled cookies are in the foreground and the dropped cookies are behind them. They are more similar in size then they appear in the photo.

I told most the panel that I had made both dropped and rolled cookies. Suzanne and Terri each had a dropped cookie. Denny and Laura had one of each. Laura knew she had one of each, but Denny did not. I think the consensus was that the dropped cookies were just a little better - they were a little thicker. The recipe calls for the cookies to be sprinkled with a bit of granulated sugar, but I forgot to do so with the rolled cookies.

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "I enjoyed the orange taste to this cookie and it probably would have tasted great with vanilla ice cream. I prefer a crunchy cookie and this cookie was soft. There was nothing about the round cookie that was appealing to the eye. It was rather non-descript other then it had a pleasant fresh orange taste. Rating: 3.0"

Denny: "OK, couldn't taste the tang of sour cream, but caught the hint of citrus. 3.0 minus 1.0 (no chocolate deduction) = 2.0, but they weren't terrible. I may have to rethink the no chocolate deduction. Rating - 2.0"

Laura: "Cathy rolled some and dropped some. I tried the rolled cookie first. It was chewy on the inside and crispy-ish on the outside. The dropped cookie was moist and fluffy on the inside - almost cake-like. Both have a lovely lemony flavor (I prefer the dropped version). Rating - 3.5"

Terri: "These have a very fresh taste with the orange flavor. I liked the texture and thickness. The sugary topping was good but not necessary. Rating - 3.5"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.0

Next Week - Tropical Sour-Cream Cookies

Nutrition Facts


Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy, I wonder why Maida calls those Tropical? It also sounds like the ratio of fat and cream to dry ingredients was what kept the cookie so soft, even after freezing it.

Cathy said...

Hi Mari! Maida's from Miami, so I expect tropical = Floridian and citrus fits that bill! As for the consistency, I think you're probably right. I'm just about to roll out next week's cookies and I'm afraid I'm in for more troubles because the amounts of flour, sour cream and butter are identical. I can't drop next week's cookies because they're supposed to be thin and crisp. Wish me luck!

Rowena said...

Well I give you credit for perseverance...I would have probably said..."Hey Maddie! You want some raw cookie dough?" She's always hanging around the kitchen hoping for handouts. Now if she could only talk, then I'd have the beginnings of a panel!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy,

I was Googling "Maida Heatter cookies", because I bought her original book, and wanted ideas on what recipes to try.

I happened about your site and spent one sitting reading each of your posts and comments, with the book opened, page by page in my lap. I put lengths of ribbon inside to designate the recipes that I would try based on your recommendations and experience.

I enjoy the beauty of your baking so much, it was a wonderful way to live vicariously through your quest and compendium. Thank-you.

Because of you I have just started my first blog about a deep interest of mine, Asian and Pacific desserts and drinks.

Now I hope to help others share the sweet side of life, as you have shared yours.




Cathy said...

Hi Rowena! Well, you know she'd be giving you good marks! A cat I used to have really seemed to enjoy the spices you use in baking: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc. If a bit spilled on the floor he'd be all over it - almost like it was catnip!

Hi Yvonne - how nice to hear from you! I'm so glad you've enjoyed my posts on Maida's cookies. Good luck with your own blog - it looks like you're off to a good start!

Leigh said...

Well, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has trouble rolling dough out in wax paper! I'd vote for the drop cookies just because they'd be easier to make.

Cathy said...

Hi Leigh! With some doughs it has worked quite well, but it just wasn't meant to be with this one. I really can't see any disadvantage to turning these into drop cookies, and there's one great big advantage - it's easy! :)