Friday, April 15, 2011

The Cookie That Never Was....

If I shake my Magic 8 Ball right now.... my odds of serving these cookies at a bridal shower are slim to none. Outcome: Not So Good. Let me give you the run down... Recipe: Martha Stewart Baking Handbook/Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies - sidebar: my addition of Silver French Dragees for flair. Flavor output: Sensational. Balanced. Adult sophisticate. Subtle buttery, crumby, flakey cookie and sweet but not too sweet cheesecake-ish center. The cookie on it's own - not desirable in my opinion. The gooey center - tasty like cream cheese frosting. One bite on the whole, all flavors and textures coming together? Kismet. So I succeeded there. Where did I fail? 

My cookies look nothing like the book's photograph, all pure white center, fluffy like new fallen snow. My cookies look like a dog pee'd in that new fallen snow as the cheesecake center has a yellow tinge (granted idarkroom doctored artsy photo above isn't helping my case). These cookies are FRA-GEE-LAY! As in fragile on the highest level. I've had several casualties (breaking, crushing, digesting in my belly) therefore my yield is flirting with the number of about fifteen or sixteen when there should be about thirty. My party tomorrow shouldn't have more than about 18 people. But I shouldn't be concerned. I won't be serving up these time-sucking cookies, now, will I? 

They are in refrigeration mode until morn. I will test the cookies again, thus reducing my yield and bringing the number down even less. That's ok. My glorious silver banana leaf platter is narrow and can't hold many cookies to begin with. They will look like pieces of art. All six cookies. And that's if they make it in the car ride over to the soiree. Thank goodness I'm not in charge of desserts! This was a blitzkrieg cookie number. So no pressure. Except for the pressure I put on myself to be like Martha! Rats. Another cookie bites the dust!


Yield: About 3 dozen
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 plus ¼ teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 ½ teapsoon sour cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy for about three minutes. Beat in ¼ cup sugar and 1/8 tsp. salt until smooth. Mix in one egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, ½ cup sugar and ¼ tsp. salt until creamy and combined. Mix in the last egg yolk until well-incorporated. Gradually add flour and mix until combined.
4. Scoop out level tablespoons worth of the dough and roll into balls. Place balls onto parchment-lined or greased baking sheets. Using the handle end of a thick wooden spoon, or your finger, make an indentation in the center of each ball.
5. Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully use your thumb (or the end of the same wooden spoon) to press the middle of the cookies, remaking the indentations. Place cookies back into the oven, rotating them from their original position, and continue to bake until slightly golden around the edges, about 7 minutes.
6. Remove cookies from the oven and fill the indentations with the cheesecake filling. Place back into the oven and bake for about 8 more minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cook completely. When cool, place cookies into the refrigerator to chill before serving.