Another round come and gone. Actually, it's the 9th round, and 9 is my lucky number, so I would have to say that I'm a little disappointed that this set of ten cookies weren't better. These were my summer cookies, so I really have no excuse for not going all out! We had some really nice ones, that's for sure, but nothing that really blew my socks off. Is that even an expression? Blowing socks off? What?
Anyway, it's definitely going to be a rough 10th round, that's for SURE SURE. This whole gas oven with no temperature gauge is killing me! I am literally baking completely blindly. Oh, and there is a nation-wide gas shortage, so that also doesn't really help me out. And to top it off, I don't have a cookie sheet, so I've been using a roasting pan. Aaaaand, I only have a 1-cup measure and 1/2-cup measure. No teaspoon measures. Yep. And the butter they sell here is sold by the 200g block, with no tablespoon/cup measurements on it, and I have no scale. Sooooooooooo…yeah.
But let's cut the crap and get on with it. Here's the 9th round, in all its mediocre glory!
1st place (Blue Ribbon!): Maple-Pecan Shortbread
Alright, these were really nice. Besides the fact that they are very easy to make look nice (you just cut out a perfect circle of dough with a cookie cutter and squish a pecan onto it! simple!), the cookies have a surprisingly deep flavor--even if you don't add the maple extract, like I didn't. The maple syrup lends enough rich flavor alone, and the toasted pecans in the dough work fantastic with it. Highly recommend this one!
2nd place (Honorable Mention!): Wholemeal Almond Biscuits
These also have a really nice flavor that's a little unexpected. The cookie itself is a lot like a Hobnob (OMAHGAH HAVE YOU HAD THESE?!!? LOVE), but a lot less sweet. In fact, they are hardly sweet at all, but have a great cinnamon undertone, along with the toasty almond flavor of the biscuit. Great for tea, or really any fancy, fruity dessert. Pile on the clotted cream plz.
3rd place: Almond Horns
So almondy, so good. And they are majorly adorable, right? Am I the only one that gets all warm and fuzzy inside when she sees an adorable cookie? Is it bad that I look at cute cookies like normal people look at cute puppies?
4th place: ANZAC Biscuits
Okay, I ranked these highly because they basically introduced me to the nectar of the gods: Lyle's Golden Syrup. Holy shit, I can't even begin to tell you how many cans of this I'm bringing back to the US--customs or not! As for the cookie itself, I could eat the dough for hours/years/eternity.
5th place: Oatmeal Bars with Dates and Walnuts
I was partial to these because I really love whole-wheaty, nutty, oatsy, hippie-dippie snacks, and these really fit the bill. But I have to say, they are more like a cake than bar, and hardly could be considered a cookie…just sayin', Martha.
6th place: Spiced Almond Wafers
These definitely look very elegant and nice, but they didn't end up being as flavorful and spicy as the uncooked dough was. They tasted a little boring and bland once baked, but they are fun to make, so that's a plus.
7th place: Fig Bars
These took a lot of work. Yep. Making the fig filling is fun and it is very aromatic and delicious, but for some reason once the cookie is all assembled and baked, the fig filling isn't all that special tasting anymore. The assembly of the bars (ie. the rolling of dough, spreading of filling, and sandwiching of the two layers of dough) is a little tricky and tedious. They're good, but not worth all the effort.
8th place: Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies
These taste exactly like you'd expect, and I think that the only reason Martha made the recipe "GIANT" was because the dough itself isn't all that special. The use of vegetable shortening does, however, lend a pleasantly different taste and texture to the cookie. You could add stuff to this recipe and easily spice it up, if you're interested. Add white chocolate chips, dip the bottoms in ganache, somehow incorporate peanut butter...
9th place: Baci di Dama
Ugh, what a serious pain in the ass. "Piping" the filling onto these little poops was a disaster, since the filling absolutely didn't hold its own and spilled all over the place. And the cookies, once I managed to actually get them to set and solidify, were hard and chewy and not so fab. Meh.
10th place (Brown Ribbon!): Chocolate-Ginger Leaves and Acorns
Alright, great. Got those done and behind me, and I'm ready for the new! But maybe that's just the Rosh Hashanah speaking. To all of you enjoying the first signs of autumn, I am whole-heartedly jealous of you. Eat lots of pumpkin and spice for me, because right now I'm looking at nothing but pineapples and plantains for another 3 straight months. Until my next post, soon...