Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Apples to Applesauce Cookies

Greetings on the last full night of 2009! Now that the big holiday season is almost over, I am finally getting to the business of cookie baking! I decided to start with the very first recipe in the book for my maiden adventure, and that was Applesauce Cookies. These are from the "drop cookie" category in that the dough is simply "dropped" onto the baking sheet and not formed into nice little shapes ahead of time. This particular dough also had to be chilled for "at least two hours" before baking. Since I couldn't get to batter assembly until later last night, I decided to make this a two night ordeal.

So let's see... essentially this was not a difficult recipe as far as the mixing goes. However, it does call for two cups of well drained applesauce and 1/2 cup of cold coffee, neither of which are ingredients that I normally keep on hand. But I embraced the challenge and strained off two cups of applesauce and broke out my little Mr. Coffee brewer and made a fresh pot of French Roast. Also worth mentioning is that I omitted the raisins called for in the recipe, but this is because they were non-essential, and to be honest, I just hate raisins.

After a full evening of mixing (thank heavens for my stand mixer), I put what appeared to be a LOT of batter into the fridge for 24 hours. When I arrived home, I got out my two new baking sheets and my handy metal scooper, and went to work. My dishwasher is now humming with all my messy dishes for the second night in a row, so I can share the results with you. First of all, the consistency of this cookie turned out to be on the cake-y side, which is fine. It's sort of an apple/spice/nut mini cake. Really not bad actually, and I definitely did not miss the raisins. However... for some reason, the cookies made at the end of the batch got a little inconsistent. I was using the same size drops, pans and baking time, but for some reason the last batch of cookies through the oven came out much thinner and more spread out. I'm not sure if this had to do with the temperature of the batter (although I did put it back in the fridge for a while) or perhaps due to a settling of certain ingredients in the batter over the past 24 hours. The flavor/texture of the cookies was fine, but the didn't come off the pan as nicely - these will likely be the bits kept amongst family consumers.

All in all, not a bad experience for the first recipe attempted. With the New Year just a day away, I will likely not return to baking until next week, but I will be starting with an orange flavored cookie AND the frosting that goes with it. It was apparently submitted by a woman in Iowa and it was hugely popular for her, so hopefully I can do it justice. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

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