Begin odd, but by now at least familiar, intro: "The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe."
When I saw this month's Daring Bakers challenge about a month ago, I was excited. As you can see by the intro, above, it was cookies. Cookies? I'm all about cookies! Plus, these were cookies with frosting in the middle!!! The last two challenges were tough, but this one? In the bag. Oh yeah.
I then promptly forgot all about it until about 9 pm this evening. Yes, this evening, the 27th of October. Reveal night. 3 hours, 2 kids with homework that needed to be checked, and 1 suddenly intimidating recipe* stood between me and the holy land of the completed challenges forum. Sure, it looked hopeless. But I had to try.
Printout in hand, I scrambled to get my egg whites warmed up, my almonds ground, my mixer dry, and my kids to bed. Soft peaks? Check. Stiff peaks? Looks good to me. Definitely going chocolate here. Pull out cocoa powder. Hmm. Recipe has no salt in it. Not a good sign, but I'll go with it. Ovens set. Ziploc bag snipped**. Piping onto baking sheets.
Uh oh. In printout, piped dough looked like mini perky breasts. In kitchen, piped dough looked like mini mud puddles. It's 10:45. Mud puddles it is.
As cookies go from low oven to hot oven, I look for the magic "foot" referred to lovingly in challenge recipe. No dice. Mine are amputee macaroons. As a bonus, they proceed to deflate when cooled, returning to their original mud puddle state.
That's right. I had spent the better part of the night creating amputee mud puddle macaroons...
...with peanut butter buttercream middles. Oh yeah!***
It is 11:28 pm. I am on a major sugar high. Deflated, but not defeated****, I survive to Dare another day.
* Fine print: they were French cookies. Damn.
** Note to self: Get a pastry bag, for heaven's sake!
*** Skippy to the rescue! Appearances aside, the cookies had a lovely, chewy texture and dense rich chocolate flavor. However, without salt, they were entirely too sweet for my taste. The filling (from the Great Cookies cookbook by Carole Walter) was a good idea, but also needed a serious reduction in the sugar department. But there is real potential here, folks. I will keep working on this one, and post a recipe when I get it right
**** The cookies were de-feeted (ha ha!). I was not.