December 2: Eggnog Truffles

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Cooking (and baking) is just following directions.

I say that a lot. If you can read at a sixth grade level, own some measuring cups and spoons, and have access to Google for those terms you may not know, you can cook just about anything.

(I tell this to JDub all the time, to which she replies that it’s not the lack of knowledge that holds her back; it’s the lack of desire.)

::sigh::

I found a recipe in this:

It fell out of my Food Network Magazine. I chose the Eggnog Truffles, partly because I like eggnog and partly because it was one of the few with a picture of what it should look like.

So, I went to work. Ten egg yolks is quite a lot, but hey, it’s a small price to pay for no bake, JDub-could-do-this, holiday goodness.

After adding all the ingredients to my glass bowl, I had to improvise a double boiler. It doesn’t quite say this in the instructions, but thankfully, I knew how to read between the lines.

It’s there that the recipe peaked.

The directions are vague and awful. This is supposed to be a truffle, which is a candy. There needs to be a candy thermometer involved and a temperature to hit. Neither were mentioned in this recipe. It said to have it simmer over a pot of boiling water for 25 minutes or so, and take it off when it is thick and glossy.

Kinda subjective, don’t you think, Food Network?

I stirred and stirred. For 26 minutes, I whisked and stirred and sweated, frankly. I had to hold on to my bowl with an oven mit.

(Honestly, all I can think about right now is just how mad I’d be if I were JDub. If I were her making this creation, I’d give up when I found out I’d have to figure out how to separate 10 eggs.)

That’s a lot of eggs.

Holding with one hand, stirring with the other. At first, I was afraid I was going to make scrambled eggs with nutmeg, but things started coming together.

And after the allotted time, I got this:

Looked thick and glossy to me, so I took it off the stove and let it cool completely. See, Food Network, this is where the candy thermometer would come in handy. Sure, it might scare off novice cooks, but so will epic easy “no bake” fails attributed to your shitty insert. What if this sent me into a culinary shame spiral from which I could never recover? Do you want my batter on your guilty hands, Food Network?

I think not.

After they cooled, I greased my hands up like a 8th grade boy at the dermatologist and went to work.

They started as round balls, really. And then I threw them in gold sanding sugar. And watched them succumb to gravity.

The last few were like sticky mounds of hair paste. I gave one to Disgruntled Husband and he was not impressed with the consistency.

They are in the fridge right now, where hopefully they firm up. I don’t have a lot of hope for them.

Here’s what pisses me off about this: I can cook and bake. I’m actually pretty good at it. It’s following directions, after all, but these directions were awful. I believe since it was the last recipe in the insert, it was cut brief to make their word and page count. And it makes me look bad now.

Not to mention waste a whole lot of f-ing eggs.

Eggnog Truffles
(from Food Network Magazine pull-out insert, December 2013)

Whisk 10 large egg yolks with ½ c sugar and a scant ¼ t each of cinnamon, nutmeg, rum, and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring often, until very thick and glossy, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. With oiled hands, roll the mixture into ¾-inch balls. Roll in sanding sugar.

Cookies today: 12
Cookies total: 33

December 1: Snickerdoodles

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Happy December!

It was a busy weekend around here. This late Thanksgiving threw me for a curve-ball, but I kinda like going straight into December from Thanksgiving.

I mentioned in another post that I have made Pfefferneuse first every December. Well, that changes in 2013. My dad is about the only living person alive that actually likes Pfefferneuse, and he’s asked me not to make it this year. Seeing as they were so labor intensive and not at all popular, I decided to scrap them entirely. Good thing my parents never decided the same about me.

I made the dough this morning before work, chilling it while I was gone. Mini Me was happy to help me with the mixer.

Seeing this made Hoover seethe with a jealous rage, so I let him try as well. I filmed him because of his rad sound effects.

That’s not the mixer you hear; that’s my Hoover.

After work, I came home and made the cookies, but discovered I was out of cinnamon. So I substituted cayenne pepper.

(Kidding. Just kidding. I sent DH to the store and waited.)

I forgot how much Snickerdoodles spread when you bake them, so this was the result.

I figure it’s scientific…like molecules or something. Cookies can be education and delicious. Just don’t ask me which atomic element these are supposed to represent.

I broke them apart and cooled them. They may not be round, but they are still cookies.

Snickerdoodles
(from Gooseberry Patch Old Fashion Country Cookies)
½ c butter or soft shortening
¾ c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ c flour
¼ t salt
½ t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
cinnamon and sugar

Cream shortening (or butter) and sugar. Beat in egg. Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture; stir. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and roll in the cinnamon and sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Cookies made today: 21
Cookie total: 21