Monday, December 18, 2017

Sparkling Coffee Stars

Holiday cookie baking has started! This year we are trying two new-to-us cookies. This is one of them: Sparkling Coffee Stars from America's Test Kitchen. The recipe is in a holiday cookie magazine SP bought me a few years ago.
I'm pretty sure this cookie will not make another appearance on the holiday cookie tray. They were pretty easy & straight forward to make until the chocolate drizzle part and then it all went downhill.
See? Lovely looking stars studded with instant espresso.
Edges nicely browned. Maybe we should have stopped there. Let's talk chocolate drizzle. The recipe says to microwave the chocolate. So SP did. Or tried to. Neither the semi-sweet nor the white chocolate would melt into drizzle consistency. The white chocolate turned into a lump of chalky looking crud. I was getting annoyed. I hadn't said anything. I try to not be "I know what's best wife" so I didn't say what I was really thinking which was along the lines of CHOCOLATE NEVER MELTS RIGHT IN THE MICROWAVE YOU MORON WHY ARE YOU WASTING TIME & ENERGY? But. No. I let him rediscover this. Maybe for other people it melts in a microwave. But not us. Especially white chocolate. It always turns into a pile of white crud for us.
So after some snipping at each other, we switched to make-shift double boilers (glass bowls set over saucepans of boiling water). This helped melt the chocolate, even the white, but as soon as it was removed from the heat, it became non-drizzly. I was starting to get super annoyed. So I yelled at SP to get out my old hotpot and plug it in. We set a large glass bowl over the boiling water and melted the chocolate. But it still didn't want to drizzle. Our final process:

  • Put hotpot on table next to cookies. Melt white chocolate in glass bowl over boiling water in hotpot, pray for no steam burns, and use a fork to attempt to make white chocolate drizzle lines across stars (keeping water at boiling the entire time). SP decided he should sugar up the cookies while the white chocolate was still melty, so he sprinkled sugar on. I did not think this was a good idea, but I said nothing. 
  • Finish "drizzling" white chocolate, get it all over your shirt, pants, and hands, and get super annoyed with it all.
  • Sigh repeatedly in frustration and curse the cookies. Complain that they look nothing like the photo.
  • Melt semi-sweet chocolate in glass bowl set over boiling water in hotpot. Pray for no more steam burns. Use a new fork to attempt to drizzle semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Curse at chocolate. Curse at non-drizzly chocolate. Curse at cookies. Curse at husband.
  • Get hot, melty semi-sweet chocolate all over your hands, shirt, pants, table.
  • Decide to complain about too much sugar already drizzled on cookies and how the semi-sweet chocolate is just melting it and the sugar should never have been sprinkled on between chocolate drizzlings.
  • Put the Steelers-Patriots game on and curse at Tom Brady and the Patriots.
  • Complain about ugly cookies.
  • Finally finish, curse some more, wash hands, and change clothes. Chill cookies until chocolate is set. Layer in cookie container, using waxed paper between cookie layers.
  • Inform husband that these had better be the best cookies ever and if they are, that's too bad because we're never making them again.
  • Look at clock and curse because what should have been a 10 minute step took over an hour and made a lot of mess.

We have a difference of opinion on these. SP says he really likes them and would definitely make them again. I don't care for them and have no desire to ever make them again. This surprises me because it's an America's Test Kitchen recipe. Ours just do not look like the photo in the magazine. The chocolate drizzle issues were super annoying. So I give them a thumbs down while he gives them a thumbs up.

Recipe here.

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