Monday, December 11, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Caraway Hardtack

Page 182 in the old book / page 214 in the new book

These cookies are very similar to last week's Hot Butter Wafers, the only differences being that they have considerably more sugar and are sprinkled with caraway seeds. They are sweet, hard and crunchy and are pleasantly perfumed with caraway. I liked them, but wasn't surprised to find that most of my coworkers were less enthused than I.

This dough was not as tough as the dough for the Hot Butter Wafers, so I didn't have trouble rerolling the scraps. The dough is simple to mix and is only chilled slightly before rolling. I enjoyed these, but I doubt I'd make them again. If I were in the mood for a caraway-flavored cookie, I think I'd choose to make Swedish Rye Wafers, with their delicate texture, interesting flavor, and charming shape.

These cookies had at least one fan, though. A guy that works in another office stopped by the following day to tell me how much he liked the cookies. Normally all the cookies are consumed the day I put them out, but this week there were ten or so leftover cookies which I had put in a plastic bag and tucked away in my desk drawer. I pulled them out and offered them to him - made his day and mine!

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "This was definitely a dunking cookie. It needed to be dunked in hot coffee or tea to soften it up. The cookie was so hard that I had a hard time biting into it. Matter of fact, I had to break the cookie with my hands into smaller pieces before I could take a bit of the cookie. If you are getting older, like me and have soft teeth, forget this cookie. There wasn’t much of a taste except it was very sweet and had a few caraway seeds on the top. This one definitely wasn’t worth the calories. Rating - 1.0"

Denny: "Well, I'd give them a 4 minus 2 on general principle, then a minus 1 for no chocolate. These are the first ones even a good baker and caraway seeds couldn't save. Rating - 1.0"

Laura: "These were very hard cookies (hence the name). They smelled wonderful and tasted nice (once I scraped off the caraway seeds), but they were too hard for my liking. Rating - 3.0"

Terri: "I would like these better without the caraway seeds. The basic cookie is delicious with a buttery flavor. Also, I prefer a chewy chookie and this one is definitely harder and crunchier. Not one of my favorites, but I'm not a great fan of caraway seeds. Rating - 2.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 1.75

Next Week - Mondays with Maida will take a short break, but there'll still be lots of cookies - stop by and see this year's Christmas cookies!
In Two Weeks - Mondays with Maida will be back with Arrowroot Wafers from Bermuda

Nutrition Facts


santos. said...

in principle, i think i would like these, but in practice, i'd probably be the only person who would eat them, and then i'd only eat about two....

i was looking through the maida heatter cookie book today, can't decide which one to do for xmas!

Anonymous said...

The name of the cookie almost sounds like something out of a sewing instruction book, not a cookie book. I like Caraway, so I'd eat them. Can't wait for the Christmas cookies!!!

Cathy said...

Hi Santos! One thing about these cookies - I bet they'd keep forever!

Regarding the Maida Heatter cookie book and Christmas... my favorites from Christmases past are the Plain Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies and Cinnamon Almond Cookies. I also think the Swedish Ginger Cookies and Ischler Cookies that I made a few weeks back would be wonderful. Funny thing about Christmas cookies... I have definite biases about what kinds (and even what ingredients) are suitable. For example I love peanuts and peanut butter in cookies, but for some reason both seem inappropriate for Christmas, as does a chocolate chip cookie. Don't know where this came from, and of course it's total nonsense!

Hi Mari! Ha, you're right! Actually, I think I had heard the term "hardtack" before, but don't recall where. Would you believe all my Christmas cookies are gone? I delivered some to my parents, brothers and sister this past weekend, mailed some out, and brought the remaining cookies in to work yesterday and today. Not a one left! I'm thinking about making some sugar cookies for my two and a half year old neice to decorate Friday, when she spends the evening with me. This could be interesting - I'll share photos next Monday!