I just got back from dinner with my cousin Gladys celebrating my birthday at Oishi, a Japanese restaurant in Boston’s South End. I was still feeling like making something, anything at all for practice. I know I am supposed to be working with eggs to further my skills, but I don’t think I can stomach another omelette, fritata, scrambled egg or anything of the sort for a while. My plans for making mayonnaise for my lunch sandwiches was thwarted by the power outage that I experienced and continue to experience as I can’t use deli meat for sandwiches anymore and need to get some more. Keeping up with the Irish theme I searched for something quick and simple and settled on Irish Shortbread cookies, what I hoped would be a great end to the evening as dessert.
The recipe for “Irish Shortbread Cookies” was simple requiring flour, sugar, salt and butter. How could this go wrong? I mixed my ingredients and rolled them. This dough was really sticky and stuck to my “non-stick” rolling pin. The cookies were easy to cut with a pizza cutter, a trick I learned from Alton Brown on his show Good Eats and were put on a cookie sheet. The dough was pricked with a fork as the recipe requested and I set my timer.
After about 10 minutes I knew something was wrong. The cookies were just flattening out on my cookie sheet and some of the thinner ones began to brown. I took them out earlier than the recipe called for at 15 minutes, flat and missing the fork prick marks with the thinner ones close to burnt.
Unfortunately I don’t know what went wrong, yet this incident did remind me that recipes can’t be blindly followed. I wasn’t expecting them to rise, but instead harden up as moisture evaporated from the dough. I suspect that the heat was too high causing the butter to melt faster than the moisture evaporated. On the bright side, the non-burnt cookies do taste good although they are a bit on the oily side.