Saturday, December 16, 2006

When will I ever learn?

So, yesterday I was supposed to make a half batch of pretentious cookies* as a holiday gift for Gogo’s ballet instructor. At 4pm, the studio manager called to inform me that today’s class was being canceled. My butter was already at room temperature, so I went ahead and made the dough. The directions said to chill it for 30 min. I was tired and thought I was going to go to bed early (I ended up assembling holiday cards and stayed up much too late), so I left the dough in the fridge overnight, not thinking it would be a problem.

I pulled the dough out of the fridge to make the cookies tonight, and it was nearly rock hard. Well, duh! A dough basically made of butter, sugar, and flour will harden like butter when refrigerated for an extended period of time.

Since I was planning to make sugar cookie dough tonight as well, I thought I ought to check the recipe to make sure I wasn’t going to mess it up by refrigerating the dough overnight instead of just for an hour or so. Lo and behold, the recipe expressly says to refrigerate the dough overnight. It’s a good thing I had decided to get ahead of myself and make the dough tonight. That would have been a fine surprise tomorrow morning.

(For the record, I broke the dough into pieces and let it sit for a few minutes, and all was well. The cookies are fine. I have also learned to bake these on the middle rack; on the top rack, you get burnt coconut instead of toasted coconut.)

*The cookies themselves are really good, and the recipe is quite easy. I just call them pretentious because it’s an Ina Garten recipe from “A Barefoot Contessa Holiday” on the Food Network (I’ve linked to the regular recipe on the site; if you go to the recipe through the show link, it has all this “limited time only for legal reasons [copyright]” business). When she makes the cookies, she’s doing so as holiday gifts for her friends instead of trying to shop for them. She wraps them up, 5 or 6 to a bag, and then goes around delivering them in person (2 bags each). They all live in huge houses or quaint cottages (these are The Hamptons, after all), and they all see her coming and invite her in. She begs off in every instance…she has more deliveries to make. It’s just all too much. But the cookies are divine!

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