Monday, December 21, 2015

Candy Cane & Chocolate Chip Cookies (Failure)

I think I mentioned that holiday cookie baking wasn't going so well. We spent a Sunday making spritz, cocoa spritz, and sugar cut outs. The regular spritz didn't seem to be baked long enough, they weren't crisp enough. The cocoa spritz came out quite crispy, maybe too crispy. And the sugar cut outs tasted off to me. The next day, with my mom's help, I made the chocolate dipped crescents. They spread out like blobs and weren't very crescent like. I was frustrated and sad. Plus I wasn't feeling great. All that time & effort, super labor intensive cookies and the results = yuck.

We forged ahead and the very next day, Tuesday, SP made a dough in the morning and I baked the cookies in the afternoon.
And then I had a good cry because nothing was turning out, all the cookies were awful, why was this happening, what was I (we) doing wrong, poor me, EVERYTHING IS AWFUL I HATE CHRISTMAS. I vowed to not bake anymore. And to not share these cookie embarrassments.

But here I am sharing the biggest embarrassment: these Candy Cane & Chocolate Chip Cookies. I'm still searching for the best ever chocolate and mint holiday cookie. This recipe was in the 50 Gift Jars booklet of the December issue of Food Network Magazine. They called it Candy Cane Cookie Dough: mix the dough, put it in a jar, and give it was a gift.

Do not give this dough as a gift. Unless the recipient likes flat, brittle, misshapen, strange textured, kinda sticky cookies.
The problem is likely in the creaming, but darned if we can figure out where. We each have different approaches to creaming butter & sugar and apparently neither is working because these and the crescents were flat (sometimes I mix,  sometimes SP does). Maybe the problem is with the baking powder or soda, but we keep everything sealed tightly and in a cool, dark place and they are far from the listed expiration dates. Flour measurement? Unlikely because we measure flour the way we always did and we never had problems.

But the last 2-3 years... problems. Is it using the stand mixer instead of the electric mixer? Is a stand mixer too powerful for cookie dough? Do we reduce speed? Increase speed? I HAVE NO IDEA.
And really, at this point, I am too tired, too holiday-ed out to even care. I'm just going to rant: I hate seeing Christmas stuff in August. Hearing Christmas music in September. Then Thanksgiving came and we were busy with guests for a week and having a lot of people here for Thanksgiving dinner. So we were tired and then bam! Time for Christmas. Time to put up Christmas decorations, time for holiday parties, time to shop and figure out gifts. Gifts are no longer a joy. It's no longer a pleasure to figure out something special, or unique, or funny, or fitting - it's a huge hassle of evil traffic with jagoff drivers and crowded stores and no handicapped parking because apparently everyone needs a handicapped placard these days and people tripping over me in the wheelchair as they shop and... it's a burdensome chore. 

And then 5 kinds of cookies turned out yucky. Friends and family have disputed my assessment. I know I have high standards and I assure you these cookies are not up to my standards. I suppose they'll do, but...

The cookies are important to me. Because of my grandma and all the Christmases when I was growing up. And to me, this year these 5 cookies are a big fail. So sadness.

Anyway, make these cookies at your own risk. But enjoy a holiday laugh at our failure.

We will not be making these again. Ever.


  1. It seems counter-intuitive but this might be a case of them being over-leavened. I know ATK says if you want thin, crisp cookies, you actually intentionally want to add too much leavener so that they puff up and collapse during baking before the starch gets a chance to set. Just a thought. :)

  2. Definitely a possibility. Another factor which doesn't help is the candy cane bits melted into little glazed bits. Tasty but not very cookie-like.

  3. Definitely a possibility. Another factor which doesn't help is the candy cane bits melted into little glazed bits. Tasty but not very cookie-like.