Friday, February 26, 2010

There is a Reason They are Made by a Machine.

I grew up with homemade sweets. No Little Debbie, no excess packaging or preservatives and plenty to share with my friends at lunch. I was raised in the School of Scratch and am not intimidated by complicated recipes. My mother is a deft baker and I can remember helping (or should I say 'helping') her measure and mix since I was a kid. So, when my sister emailed me a recipe for homemade Girl Scout cookies last week I accepted the challenge and got started right away.

Forgive me while I go on a bit about the way this recipe is organized. Perhaps I am too used to things being in the proper sequential order but while I was baking these cookies I was baffled that no one has bothered to amend it. I could probably shave a solid 30-40 minutes off of the prep time just by using a bit of foresight and my superhero power of multitasking.

Amendment #1. 300 degrees comes quicker than 350. 20 minutes is longer than 10-12 minutes. Toast that coconut first. You can stir it every five minutes while you are painstakingly cutting the little circle centers out of your dough, re-rolling it and repeating. Trust me, there will still be time to get those extra 50 degrees of heat before you are done with this job.

Amendment #2. Unwrap the caramels while your cookies are baking and your toasted coconut is cooling. I mean, really.

Amendment #3. Dip the base of your cookie in melted chocolate and transfer to parchment paper BEFORE you put the caramel/coconut topping on. Duh. Then you don't have to move your cookies around so freaking much. This is important because you are attempting to get one buttery substance (caramel) to stick to another buttery substance (shortbread). Your only hope is gluing that shit together with chocolate and not touching it until you get it in your mouth.

Next time I will be baking the bars instead because it occurred to me a bit late in the game that I do not own any kind of cookie cutter. So I used a cup. Oh well, big cookies are better -even though I did make tiny bitesized ones out of the center holes (adorable).


  1. That's A LOT of coconut!

    And there is absolutely no way any picture will top that finished product picture. Man vs. Machine? Machine wins again.

    But one question: How were they? In the end, I don't give a crap about looks as long as they are good.

  2. I know, the picture was taken before I put the chocolate on top but it really didn't make them any better looking. Each of those fuckers were as big as my fist. They tasted great though. It's one of those close your eyes and open your mouth kind of things and I'll try to make prettier bars as soon as my complexion balances back out...

  3. Knowing they were as big as your fist (and that they were good) is helping the outlook on these things from my end. Don't judge a book by its cover.

    ...especially if it is sugary and the size of someone's fist.

  4. Indeed. Otherwise, "Pow! Right in the kisser!"