Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Orange Milano Cookies

July 12th

10:21 am: Looking ahead to the rest of the month, I realized this morning that I have very little time to make this month's Daring Bakers challenge.

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Nicole very kindly allowed us to make either both types of cookies or just one. I'm not a big marshmallow cookie fan and in July, the idea of having to properly coat something in melted chocolate is just insane here; I'm sticking with just the Milan Cookies. So I am taking the plunge and my butter is in a bowl softening so that it will be ready when Little Girl starts her nap.

2:27 pm: I'm about to start separating eggs, a task I don't really love, but at least I'm not trying to whip the egg whites to some meringue-type stiffness, so if I break a yolk in the process, I won't ruin anything. I'm also realizing that I must be certifiably insane to be doing this today. It's definitely the hottest day we've had so far this summer. Even with the swamp cooler on high, I can't get the house below 82F. But hey! My butter was very well softened -- that's the upside!

Why am I doing this again?

3:09 pm: Oh. My. I thought I had such a nice plan to make a few round cookies from this, but my plan has gone a little awry. I just turned my sheet pans and I'm not sure this is what the cookies should look like. We'll see after another five minutes, but in the meantime, the rest of the batter/dough is in the fridge to make it firm up a little.

3:30pm: Right. I am now ready to accept that these cookies will not be going in my raging success category of new recipes. They had better taste delicious because, so far, at least, they are not very attractive. I've just popped the next batch in the oven and I'm mixing some cinnamon and cayenne into the remaining batter/dough to make a slightly more "grown-up" version.

4:33 pm: I just realized that I'm an idiot. It never feels good to come to that conclusion, but there's really no escaping it. The filling for these cookies has three ingredients: chocolate, cream, and orange zest. Really, how hard is it to get three ingredients into a bowl? Apparently, too hard for me. Because as I was spreading the chocolate onto my next-to-last cookie, I suddenly realized that I hadn't put in the orange zest. I hadn't zested the orange. I hadn't even taken the organic orange I bought especially for this challenge out of the refrigerator.

Well. Ain't that a kick in the teeth? To add insult to injury, as I was having this revelation, I stopped paying attention to what I was doing and put the topper cookie on backwards, so now I have a half-inside-out cookie.

Sigh.

July 27th

Apparently, I was so disappointed with my outcome in this challenge, that I didn't even properly finish the post before realizing this morning that it's time to post it. My culinary pride already has several cuts in it, but just to make this challenge more of a big fail, the camera I used to take pictures of the cookies (some of which, both cookies and pictures, were quite pretty in the end) has gone walkabout. So a poor showing on the challenge and the post itself. A photo-less Daring Bakers post ... grumble, grumble ... be sure to check out some other Daring Bakers so you can see how beautiful the cookies can be.

19 comments:

  1. You know, while others liked the zest in the ganache, it wasn't a big hit with me. I liked the lemon in the cookie but I've never been big on orange and chocolate. I'm sure they came out delicious.

    These were a bit of a struggle with me too -- every pan I put in the oven taught me something different to do the next time around!! You made it to the finish line; that's what counts!!

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  2. I didn't use the orange zest for the plain milano, and ugh, too much lemon extract in the cookie. Regardless, at least you completed the challenge, and I hope you find that camera, as I know they probably came out gorgeous. despite the difficulty you encountered!

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  3. I like your writing style, and good for you for completing the challenge! I'd have walked away and grabbed myself a beer instead. Kudos!

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  4. I'm sorry the cookies didn't work out the way you had hoped, but great job going all the way and finishing it =D.

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  5. Oh, as one who has just a little bit of pride in her daring bakers disasters, I say, Great Job! It's all in the process, and the worse the result, the better the story....

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  6. You are really tough cookie yourself. I would give up, but fortunately I LOVE marshmallows and made Mallows instead of Milano cookies, otherwise... who knows ;) Kudos on the effort! Cheers :)

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  7. Sometimes, it's just not meant to be in the kitchen. I'm sure we have all had plenty of those days. And it's brave of you to keep trying. I'm sure many more beautiful things will come very soon. :)

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  8. I enjoyed reading your post for this challenge! :) Sometimes I have those days too--good job on finishing the challenge.

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  9. Don't be so hard on yourself... in the lingo of the DB... Forgetting an ingredient is a "variation". You were being creative and taking liberties with the recipe. :)

    We, DB'ers, are very flexible. I'm sure you found the end product to be tasty even with the "variation".

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  10. Love your post!
    I'm sorry the cookies didn't work out for you, we all had those days.

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  11. Heh...you're all too kind! I can't drown my sorrows in beer or wine (allergic, my very bad luck), but I did drown them in the leftover filling mixture. It was a fine challenge...for all the cookies I've made in my life, I've never made an egg-white one like this before, so it was a learning experience.

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  12. I think your post was a success :)
    Better luck with the cookies next time

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  13. I smiled while reading your post! Don't we all recognize those days when everything seems to go wrong in the kitchen. I'm sure your cookies tasted great and I hope you'll find the camera soon. Kudos for completing the challenge despite your difficulties!

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  14. Aww, I'm sorry things didn't go as planned. Sometimes, it's just one of those days... But I enjoyed your post, and I look forward to seeing your next challenge!

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  15. Awww, sorry to hear everything went topsy turvy, I definitely have those days when milk curdles, store runs out of butter and I drop delicate freshly made fondant cake toppers on the kitchen floor to be immediately swept away by my ever so patient "something will drop" vacuum of a dog. It's in the trials that we grow!

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  16. Sorry to hear about the mishap, but don't take it as a blow to your culinary pride. A lot of people's first batches went awry, and your other work on the blog looks great. Next month will be better! :)

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  17. Even though your cookie making went awry, I really enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing! So many mishaps happen in my kitchen daily! Just this morning I put the dutch oven still holding water and silk from last night's boiled ears of corn into the cupboard as if it were clean. A teething toddler plus little sleep means unexpected outcomes and lots of laughs!

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  18. i totally know the feeling... but bounce back and try again next time! your story was fun to read and very honest. see you in the next round. ^^

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  19. I've done that, many times. ;) Too bad they didn't turn out like you'd hoped.

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