Martha Stewart, domestic empress and ex-con, has a lovely book devoted entirely to cookies, which, as you know by now, I love. The 175 recipes in the book are conveniently categorized into seven sections, whose titles are descriptive but, oddly enough, sometimes read like personality characteristics: light and delicate; soft and chewy; crumbly and sandy; chunky and nutty; cakey and tender; crisp and crunchy; and rich and dense. I decided on something rich and dense—the Sarah Bernhardt Cookies. How could I say no to something with “an almond macaroon base […] topped with a silken chocolate filling and then covered in melted chocolate, resulting in a truffle-like cookie with a bit of a crunch.”
Enticing, right? I thought so.
But no. Thirty dollars and two and a half hours later, all I had to show for myself were the paper-thin almond cookies pictured above. They looked like pathetic, somewhat misshapen Pringles, and I tried to salvage them by making them into sandwich cookies with the failed filling-turned-frosting.
How did that work for me? Well, they were edible, and I might even go so far as to say they were… tasty, but they certainly weren’t great. Or as great as I wanted them to be.
So, demoralized by failure, frustrated by my unnecessary expenditures, and hungry for answers, I turned to Google Search, typed in the cookies-that-shall-not-be-named, and came up with an amusing and, thankfully, reassuring post by the New York-based food blogger Jon-Marc McDonald of bake it til you make it.
McDonald is equal parts humorist and baker—he’s smart, snarky, sassy and downright hilarious. But what I appreciate most about him is that he’s a seriously good baker who takes himself and his trade lightly—i.e. someone I might do well to learn from.
Will I follow after McDonald and attempt to bake it ‘til I make it tonight? In a word, no.
But will I be helping myself to a few more spoonfuls of that fudgy filling/frosting? Yes, yes I will.