When I started The Kitchen Trials, my thought process was that this would be a great place to document my successes and failures in the kitchen. After all, no one always gets all the recipes they try right the first time.
I know I sure as heck don’t. Most days it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not I’m going to slice a finger open, burn myself on the oven rack or manage to burn the living daylights out myself. And then there are the recipes that just don’t turn out right because I haven’t mastered the technique or I’ve totally misread the directions.
Regardless, I still keep at it. I still think my kitchen is one of the best places to be.
The cookie recipe I selected for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap tested that conviction, but it did not beat me. Well, it beat me up and singed the finger and palm prints off of my hands, but it did not beat me.
Here’s the deal with a recipe like piroulines; they take a ton of patience and practice. When you’re still getting to know your kitchen and all its quirks after a big move and starting a new job and celebrating a major holiday, piroulines might not be the best recipe to tackle.
Of course, I didn’t let that stop me. Nope. Not me. I decided I just had to make them; come burnt palms or singed finger tips.
The end result were cookies that are good, I think. They weren’t as beautiful as the piroulines that come in a tin from the store, but they were my homely little creations, and I’m proud of them. I just hope my Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap recipients liked them, too. You know, like everyone loves the toys from the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph.
Speaking of my Cookie Swap recipients, you should check them out! Erin at Knot and Bow, Suzy at Frosting for Dinner & Tripp at It’s Tripp. And thank you to lovely ladies who sent me my Cookie Swaps: Pam at Cave Cibum, The Collected Works of Clownface, and Athena Plichta.
(adapted from The Great Big Cookie Book, whose directions for making these beyond the batter making stage were crap)
Makes 20. Maybe. If you don’t have to chuck half of them for being ugly as sin.
2 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line at least two cookies sheets with parchment paper. Be sure it lies flat on the cookie sheet or else it will be tough to make the cookie shapes.
Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff. Add sugar gradually or about a third at a time; make sure it’s thoroughly incorporated before adding more. Add the flour and butter, and beat until smooth. I add half the flour, then half the butter and repeated the process to make sure the flour mixed in well.
That was the easy part. From here on out, grab a hold of your patience.
Drop one small teaspoonful of dough on to the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Using the back of your flattest teaspoon, spread the dough out into a thing, crepe-like cookie. I also recommend making sure the edges are a uniform thickness. And, it sometimes worked best for me if the edges formed the tiniest bit of an ledge around the thinner center. Beyond that, you want the cookie to be as uniformly thin and smooth as you can possibly make it.
Repeat the process. Typically, I could only fit about four cookies on a sheet at a time. I could’ve fit more, but then it makes the post-oven steps more difficult. About half way through the second batch of cookies, I traced the bottom of a salt container in four spots on the reverse side of the parchment paper. This gave me a guide for how big to make the cookies and to help make them uniformly shaped.
Put cookie sheet in the oven for about 3 minutes. While cookies are baking, grab a very clean, very splinter-free wooden spoon, spray its handle with non-stick cooking spray. Set out your cooling racks, too.
Now, remove from the cookies sheet from oven and use a metal spatula or a plastic spatula flattened against the cookie sheet to separate the cookies from the parchment paper. Return the cookies to the oven for just a few seconds to heat them up again.
Open the oven and remove just one cookie from the sheet. Transfer the edge of the cookie to the handle of the wooden spoon and wrap the cookie around it using your hands to mold it. Be sure to lay the bottom of the cookie along the handle and to keep the top side of the cookie facing out. This makes it much easier to manipulate the cookie.
Repeat the process with the other cookies. Leaving the cookies you’re not yet shaping in the oven until it’s their turned to be wrapped around the spoon’s handle. You have to work quickly; not only because the cookie are hot as all get out and are burning the prints off of your fingers and palms, but because you don’t want to burn the cookies in the oven. Another good reason to only bake four at a time.
You’ll notice in the pictures above some of my cookies are dyed green and red. I just added a couple of drops of food coloring to the dough at the same time that I added the butter and flour.
The top photo also features cookies with candy sprinkles in the dough. I accomplished by sprinkling the candy decorations on before popping the cookies in the oven. The sprinkle side is the top side and the outer layer of the piroulines. In the first batch of cookies out of the oven, I had drizzled colored white chocolate on the cookies and rolled them top side in (that’d be the wrong way). They went to pieces because I used too much white chocolate drizzle and rolled them the wrong way (top side in).
To cover up some of the uglier edges of the cookies and to add a little more pizzazz to the ones that made the cut, I dipped the cookies in melted chocolate and white chocolate, and then finished them off with candy sprinkles.
All told, it took me three batches of dough to make enough cookies to send to my Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap recipients. And it took me four nights to do it all, too.
Now, you might be asking, would I make these cookies again? Not likely. Not unless my parents or someone else wanted to watch me make them for the laughs. Well, actually, I might make them again — just to prove that this cookie recipe did not get the best of me.