Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know that I spent most of my weekend making sugar cookies for my friend Deb’s work for Valentine’s Day. They were rolled sugar cookies, each in the shape of a dog bone (the company is named after a famous canine), and each was piped with the company’s name – TogoRun.
There was a narrowly averted disaster in my kitchen with these cookies, however, and it’s all my own fault. See, while I’ve tried many recipes for cupcakes, shortbread cookies, and pound cake, rolled sugar cookies are one of those items that I’ve overlooked – I don’t have a “go-to” recipe (well, I didn’t. But boy I do now). Actually, most of my cookie recipes come from Martha Stewart’s Web site, and I’ve usually had good luck with them. So I didn’t think twice when I decided to use this Martha Stewart recipe for my sugar cookies. I was so (blindly) confident that I even made up a bunch of batches of the dough last week and never even tested the recipe. Hey, it’s Martha. Of course it has to work. Right?
Oh, no. No. That was not the case. When I put my first batch of cookies into the oven this Sunday the dough swelled and puffed up, making the dog bones look more like large misshapen oblongs. Even though I froze the cut-out pieces of dough beforehand, the dough refused to hold its shape.
I had a genuine baking crisis on my hands.
I ended up frantically searching online before I came across this recipe for roll-out sugar cookies from The Kitchn. I was immediately soothed because a.) the post said that she had used the recipe for years, with good and consistent results and b.) the dough uses a mixture of cream cheese and butter, which sounded much more stable than just butter alone. I ended up running all over Adams Morgan searching for flour (yes, the Safeway on Columbia Road was still out of flour from the snowstorm!) and other ingredients Sunday afternoon, before mixing up the replacement dough.
In the end, it all turned out fine – the new recipe worked like a dream, just as The Kitchn promised. In fact, I think my near cookie disaster could almost become an After School Special for aspiring pastry chefs about the value of recipe testing. I will never blindly trust The Martha again.
But it made me wonder – with all that baking during the snow storm, did anyone else have any baking crises? Any particularly memorable baking disasters? And were you able to save whatever it was you were working on? Please share your disaster, or near disaster, stories!
Also, I’d love any ideas on what to do with all this leftover cookie dough!