Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy [Early] Halloween

Allow me to preface this with the statement that I don't cook. I can't do it. I have some sort of mental block against it. I can't boil potatoes without them getting too mushy. I can't fry bacon without starting a grease fire. I've given up altogether. My husband recently came to terms with this truth, and as a result, he now does all the cooking, which is awesome. I can chop veggies, clean dishes, serve salad, and he handles the hard stuff.

With all that said, I do occasionally get the itch to bake something. And let me tell you, as a culinarily-challenged individual, baking and cooking are two completely different animals. Baking is much more mathematical, much more precise; if you follow the recipe, your baked goods generally come out perfectly fine, edible at the very least. This week, I got one of those itches (ugh, not one of those itches - I mean the baking itch). My good friend Pinterest recommended months ago that I make adorable little sugar cookies, shaped and colored to resemble candy corn, for Halloween. I'd seen several variations, but this was the one I eventually used. Mine didn't turn out quite as aesthetically pleasing, but they are indeed perfectly fine, and certainly edible.

Candy Corn Cookies

Remember when I said "if you follow the recipe..."? Yeah, I didn't exactly do that. There were a few things I changed, or should have changed but didn't, that could have been contributors to my cookies being less than optimal:

Mistake #1: I should have used white flour, instead of settling for the unbleached wheat flour I had on hand. If my flour hadn't been brownish, then the white parts of my candy corn would have actually been white, and the yellow and orange more vibrant.

Mistake #2: I should have been more precise when dividing my dough into thirds before adding food coloring. As it is, I think I had too much "white" dough and not enough yellow and orange.

Mistake #3: I should have cut the recipe in half, but I didn't realize until too late how much dough I had made. I ended up with 9 dozen cookies! Granted, they are fairly small, about 1.5in/4cm wide and 1.5in/4cm long, but there are a lot of them.

Candy Corn Cookies

It did bother my OCD a bit that these candy corn cookies are not an entirely accurate representation of their namesake. Candy corn are supposed to be yellow, then orange, then white at the tips. The way this recipe (and most of the others I saw on Pinterest) makes them, half your cookies end up with their striping reversed. Now, I did see one recipe on Pinterest that involved making white-orange-white cookies and then dipping the fat ends into yellow icing. But I was already too lazy to go buy white flour, so you can bet I wasn't going to bother collecting the ingredients to make icing too.

None of these mistakes/annoyances was catastrophic. And the cookies are still delicious. I'll just have to force more of them on my coworkers since I made so many. All in all, I'd call it a success!

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