I consider myself a good cook and baker. I always receive rave reviews for my cakes and cookies and I enjoy making them. Trouble is, I enjoy eating them too which is why I reserve my baking for holidays and special occasions. Christmas, being the biggest baking holiday of all, means I get out my grandmother’s recipes and go to town on the oven. This year has been a bit more hectic and busy so my sister has made most of the family favorites, but I didn’t want to miss all the fun so I decided to make some myself.
Since Ralph was doing the Spritz (one cookie I have never mastered in that damned cookie press) and most of the sugar cookies, I decided on Pecan Drops and Cinnamon Oatmeal. Both are easy and delicious, but I wanted to try something new this year so I turned to the trusty Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. This is the standard for all great basic cooking and I have yet to meet a recipe that let me down. Until today.
For those of you who would like to play at home, please turn to page 111 of your BH&GNC located in Chapter 6: Cookies. Here you will find a simple drop cookie recipe for Lemon Tea Cookies. The ingredients are basic and the recipe is easy to follow. As usual, I read the recipe several times, arranged my ingredients and set out to make them. I had fresh ingredients ready and the whole thing was easy to assemble. I was a little concerned that the dough seemed excessively sticky, more like a stiff muffin batter, but since I hadn’t made the recipe before I wasn’t going to mess with it. I went over the ingredient list again to make sure I hadn’t left anything out or shorted myself on flour or sugar. Nope, all looked well.
When the cookies came out of the oven they had spread dramatically on the sheet, had rough tops (kind-of like pancake bubbles but not as large) and stuck to the pan. This made me really mad since the directions said to drop on an ungreased cookie sheet. Grrr. I managed to get them off of the sheet without ruining them, but I wasn’t impressed with how they looked. The recipe called for brushing a sugar/lemon juice mixture over the top so I decided to see this thing through and finish them. Once the mixture had been brushed over them I took a bite and decided they tasted ok, but I wasn’t overly impressed. I think I was hoping they would be more like a lemon shortbread cookie and not some flat, pancake-like thing that looked like a 5 year-old had made them. Steve told me he’d take them to work but I’m actually embarrassed to admit I made them. While they are perfectly edible I am not pleased.
Those of you who might have much more experience than I in the kitchen can feel free to weigh in on what might have gone wrong. I think it’s just a recipe that didn’t turn out they way I envisioned it and didn’t taste as fantastic as I’d hoped. Edible? Yes. Pretty? Not at all.