Gay Gourmet asked me to participate in his first-ever National Cookie Week event, which he is co-hosting with Schmackary's Cookies of New York, I enthusiastically said "yes" for two reasons. For one thing, I would never say no to any request made of me by any of my gay friends - they are all simply too marvelous for words. And besides, my gay bffs always accommodate me, and I certainly wouldn't want to do anything to buck that trend.
The second reason I agreed to participate may strike you as odd: I hate baking cookies. I know, I know. Cookies are supposed to be that fun easy thing that everybody loves to make and eat. Brings out the inner child and all that. Regular readers will recall that I am not the biggest fan of sweets, but that's not the problem here. The trouble is, cookies never turn out the way I want them. Never. And that frustrates me to no end. If I'm going for crispy they end up chewy. If I want puffy they turn out flat. Sandy goes gooey and moist ends up dry. Combine that with the fact that by the time I have finished with a batch my hands are sticky, my kitchen is a mess, and I am so nauseated by the smell of butter and sugar that I am put off my dinner, you start to get the picture that there's no love lost between me and the cookie.The only reason I keep coming back to them is because the masochist/perfectionist in me cannot rest until I get it right.
It really is a good thing I switched to culinary from pastry arts, isn't it?
All that said, even though things don't turn out as I plan, they generally (I am told) taste pretty darn good, and these babies are no exception. I wanted little cakey cookie domes, and I planned to call them "whoopie cookies." Instead, I got, after two attempts, not-so-puffy discs that I have instead dubbed "Whoopsie Cookies."
So here's the deal: If you're reading this, you probably know how to make cakey fluffy cookies, right? I am not going to tell you what I did, because by the time I got it sort of right I had lost track of how much of this and that I had tweaked. So the next time you make cakey cookies, substitute honey for half of the sweetener and add a heaping tablespoon of culinary lavender. And if you are feeling fancy, mix up equal parts red and blue food coloring and dye them an adorable shade of purple.
And then what you must do - you really, truly must - is make a cookie sandwich using this lemon mascarpone filling. Unlike my cookies, I could eat this stuff all day. Behold its creamy goodness:
If you want to check out other, less cookie-challenged contributions, check out the National Cookie Week Facebook page where links to recipes will be posted throughout the week.
In the meantime, my quest to conquer the cookie continues ...
Happy Cookie Week!