I don’t make many cutout cookies. I’m not particularly precise in my cooking and baking presentation, so drop cookies that spread to a mostly even circle are my level of comfort.
However, I wanted to use these 52 batches to explore the world of cookies, and although I don’t have a nice collection of cookie cutters, I figured I could at least do some nice rounds. Dorie happens to have a “Do-Almost-Anything Vanilla Cookie Dough” recipe. Like with the Thumbprints, I could halve the dough recipe, but instead of only making one type, I could divide it again to make two different types of cookies.
The base calls for quite a bit of butter along with an egg white, which all creamed together nicely.
Double-Ginger Crumb Cookie
After mixing in the flour, I split the dough into two portions and tucked away the second half for a later project. First, I would focus on the Double-Ginger Crumb Cookie. It’s a “double-ginger” since it includes both fresh ginger turned to a light syrup by steeping it in sugar along with ground ginger in the crumb topping.
Neat trick from my sister: you can peel ginger using a spoon. Just run it along the ginger, and it will pull away the outer layer of ginger along with the skin. That got incorporated into the dough to be rolled out.
Another trick from my family: in place of purchased wax paper for rolling out dough, we use old boxed cereal bags. In my case, it’s actually quite old: I don’t remember the last time I bought cereal, so these sheets must have been used several times for other doughs in the past.
Dorie called for 1/4 inch thick cookies, so I rolled and rolled, then put it in the fridge to harden before cutting out rounds.
As I mentioned, I don’t have cookie cookies, but that isn’t necessarily a problem for doing rounds. It does, however, add another step to the cookie making process of measuring every glass and container in the household to find the closest match. I found a baby bottle with almost exactly a 2 inch diameter.
The cookies were topped with a ginger crumb streusel topping.
The recipe made more than enough, so I froze the rest for another potential baking project.
For these 2-inch wide, 1/4-inch thick cookies, I was surprised by the 19 minute bake time, but I went for it anyways. They came out quite dark.
Sine they didn’t quite look like the pictures, I pulled them out after 15 minutes, and they looked about the same.
As you might expect, the cookies were quite crunchy. I was worried they would dry out too much in the following days, but they more or less held their consistency. They don’t look great, but it could work.
You can find the recipe for Double-Ginger Crumb Cookies here.
White Chocolate and Poppy Seed Cookies
Since there was plenty of time to bake on the ginger cookies, I made the other dough as well at the same time. Full-sized white chocolate chips would be too large for this recipe, so the first step is to chop up the chips.
After that, the white chocolate and poppy seeds are folded into the dough. I actually was a little short on the poppy seeds, but I figured they don’t have a really strong flavor and would be okay without them.
After rolling out the dough, I put it into the freezer to bake another day. Actually, I put it in the fridge, then in the freezer, then a week later, put it in the fridge, then back in the freezer, then finally out again. I was indecisive about when I wanted to bake them.
I also learned that the back of this baby bottle pops out, so that made it easier to push out the rounds.
I baked the first batch to 15 minutes, and they again came out quite dark. Even worse, the hunks of white chocolate burned. Having learned a bit, I rolled out the rest of the dough just a little thicker than the original 1/4-inch. I even took a few cookies and stacked them on top, so the rest ranged from 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch. I then baked them for about 15 minutes. You can see the difference from left-to-right in thickness and how they baked.
Although the cookies don’t look great, at least the recipe provides some cover by putting white chocolate over the top. I pulled out our double boiler to gently melt a few more chips.
I used the same spatula to spread the chocolate over the cookies. There’s supposed to be a stripe of poppy seeds over the top, too, but since we had run out, I figured they were okay as is.
The thicker cookies definitely came out more tender through the middle and overall were much better. The poppy flavor wasn’t too present, but I also didn’t use as many as expected.
I’m not exactly sure what went wrong in the process because my cookies definitely didn’t turn out like hers. I have a few theories:
- I was baking one sheet at a time instead of two sheets simultaneously. This seems necessary given re-rolling the dough, but I’m not sure
- I wasn’t measuring the thickness of the cookies correctly
- My cookie cutter substitute maybe didn’t cut the edges correctly
Given my uncertainty, I’m not sure if I would do the recipe again, but at least I’m glad I was able to try some variations from the written recipe and see the difference.
You can find the recipe for White Chocolate Poppy Seed cookies here.
We also made an Asparagus, Mushroom, Leek, and Cheese Galette. Julie did the hard work of making the pie dough, which reinforced the truth that butter is delicious.