Sunday, December 14, 2008

Round up of my 12 Days of Cookies, A Gourmet cookies extravaganza!!!

As of now anyone who has looked at my blog knows that I spent 12 days starting on the 1st of December and posted a new cookie everyday for 12 days. This event was called the 12 Days of Cookies, A Gourmet cookie extravaganza. I was invited to participate in this little event and jumped at the chance of doing it with some of my favorite bloggers (be sure to check them out!!!).

Jerry - the seat of my Pants
Sandy -At the Baker's Bench
Courtney - Coco Cooks
Kelly - Sass & Veracity
Claire - The Barefoot Kitchen
Andrea - Andreas Recipes

The event was coordinated by Andrea of Andrea's Recipes. The idea behind it was that for each of the 12 days at the beginning of December we were to choose a cookie from Gourmet's online magazine and bake and post one for each day! Gourmet had decided that instead of doing a feature cookie recipe they were going to feature their best and favorite from all of the years leading up to 2008! The recipes started at the conception of the magazine in 1941 and went all the way through to 2008. The big thing was that we weren't suppose to tell each other what ones we were doing and to make the post a surprise. Some day's we posted the same cookies but this was all part of the fun!

I wanted to have one place on my blog that had all of these cookies so that if I was interested in revisiting one of them I would be able to find it easily and you wold be to!! I will be including some personal notes following each recipe!

Without further ado her is my 12 Days of Cookies!

Day 1: Lemon Thin (read my full post here!)

Lemon Thin was first published in Gourmet Magazine April 1976

My Verdict: These cookies were delicious and were everything I thought they would be. Light, crispy and full of flavor! I had some problem trying to get the size and the timing right. After my first batch I was on the right track.

Will I make these again? I most definitely will. They would be a great snack for a hot summer day around the pool!

Day 2: Jelly Centers (read my full post here!)

Jelly Centers - Gourmet Magazine June 1948

My Verdict: I loved the flavor of these cookies. Not too sweet. If I made these again I would definately fill them with a homemade jam or jelly. I think that would really add to these. For me though they were a little fussy to make and I found some of the (very short) directions a little confusing. There wasn't even a bake time in the original recipe.

Would I make these again? Probably not as they were a little fussy for me but they did look really elegant and I could see how they could have been a really popular cookie back in 1948!

Day 3: Cranberry Turtle Bars (read my full post here!)

Cranberry Turtle Bars - Gourmet Magazine November 2001

My Verdict: I love these bars. I love the tartness of the fresh cranberries mixed with the pecans. Just a wonderful flavor explosion. They also look so festive and seasonal.

Will I make these again? Oh yes without a doubt and I don't think I would change a thing! They are both tasty and pretty! These ones are being frozen and given as Christmas gifts!

Day 4: Mocha Cookies The Bakery (read my full post here!)

Mocha Cookies The Bakery - Gourmet Magazine October 1990

My Verdict: I did not like these cookies. I had more trouble with these than I have with any cookie recipe ever. Was it the way it was written or was it user error? Not sure. They never puffed up for me and I also waited for the top to become shiny and crack. As you can see that didn't happen for me. I think I ruined one of my favorite baking sheets as the batter oozed under the parchment and baked on tight! Oh well...

Will I make these again? No way! I didn't even finish baking these ones. Hope the rest of you faired better if you tried them!

Day 5: Mocha Toffee Bars (read my full post here!)

Mocha Toffee Bars - Gourmet Magazine December 1987

My Verdict: Mmmmm! These were really good! They taste very adult like with the espresso flavor coming through just enough to enhance the chocolate and the nuts...oh the nuts, the nice salty nuts with all that rich sweet chocolate!!! I am really liking the bar cookies of this series. Not only are they a bit less time consuming but I haven't really had too much trouble with them!

Would I make these again? Not sure. I liked them but there are a million more cookies that I want to try. I like these flavors together but maybe a cookie with all of them mixed together or a brownie?

Day 6: Biscotti di Regina (Queen's Biscuits) (read my full post here!)

Biscotti di Regina (Queen's Biscuits) - Gourmet Magazine November 1955

My Verdict: I LOVE I'm not sure if it was them or the fact that I was sooooooo tired of mocha and coffee and chocolate! No really. I LOVED these. They are so Italian cookie tasting. I wanted to just drown it in an espresso but alas I only had hazelnut coffee!

They are sweet and cake like and covered with wonderful toasted sesame seeds and on top of all of that they are so easy to make. I made the dough the day before and then in the morning used the 450° oven to warm my kitchen and bake these little bits of goodness!

Would I make these again? OMG yes and maybe next week...

Day 7: Coconut Bars (read my full post here!)

Coconut Bars - Gourmet Magazine October 1953

My Verdict: Even once I got this all pressed into the pan and it was cooking, the timing was way off. I think I only cooked it about 15 minutes. Poured the topping on and cooked for another 15.

I only just now realized that I could have made my life easier by lining the pan with parchment and it says in the italics part of the description. What is with these recipes????

Cutting it was next to impossible. I had to wait until T. got home to cut it. He finally just lifted the whole thing out of the pan and cut it with the huge knife!!!

Would I make this again? Maybe. I think there are a lot of things that could be done better but overall everyone liked these. There was a yummy gooey layer between the crust and the top that was wonderful. Nice and sweet. my oldest daughter thought it was honey! Even T. who "hates" coconut was munching away on them!

Day 8: Kourambiedes (Greek Butter Cookies) (read my full post here!)

Kourambiedes (Greek Butter Cookies) - Gourmet Magazine April 1974

My Verdict: I hated this recipe. I almost quit baking cookies with this one. I swear I have never had a recipe for cookies (sugar people!!!!) turn out this bad. If not for the fact that I am incredibly stubborn and determined I would be hanging up my hat and baking no more of Gourmet's top pick of cookie recipes in the history of their magazine! WTH Gourmet- do you need recipe testers??? I'm pretty good at it by now!

Anyway, these turned out dry and incredibly flavorless. I am going to save then and try and make a tart crust with them or something. I took them with me and I met one of my girlfriend's and asked her to taste it. I thought she was going to gag. It was almost to dry to swallow!

Would I make these again? No way in Hell would I ever do this again! Feeling pretty strongly about this one. There are no redeeming qualities to these cookies. Please don't make them!!!!!

Day 9: Rugelach (read my full post here!)

Rugelach - Gourmet Magazine May 2004

My Verdict: I really liked these cookies. Their flavor reminded me of something from my childhood. It reminds me of our Christmas dinners at my Grandma's house but I can't quite put my finger on what it was. I don't think it was these exact cookies but...

They called for golden raisins and for some reason I could not find them so I used regular raisins. They probably are a bit stronger flavored but they were still delicious. T. does not like raisins so I made one log with just the nuts and the sugar. Those were good too.

Would I make these again? Probably but only for someone really special. Not that they were hard or anything but they seem really special for some reason. Could that just be the memory attached to it? Not sure.

Day 10: Dutch Caramel Cashew Cookies (read my full post here!)

Dutch Caramel Cashew Cookies - Gourmet Magazine March 1972

My Verdict: I really liked this cookie. The only thing that I was very sad about was that it only made about 18 cookies!!! Not nearly enough of a good thing!

Would I make these again? Oh yes and next time I would double or triple this to give me more!!! See how nice and gooey the praline is? This was after it was baked. Before it was just crisp and delicious! I LOVED these cookies!

Day 11:
Spritz or Norwegian Butter Cookies (read my full post here!)

Spritz or Norwegian Butter Cookies - Gourmet Magazine March 1983

My Verdict: I truly love these cookies. They were my test to see if I could succeed at making a butter cookie after this disaster! Well I can and very well too! I wanted to dress them up a little so I sprinkled some red and green sprinkles on them and I think it made them look very festive. I wasn't going to try piping them as I was already a little gun shy after my last ones so they did get balled and flattened. I loved the way these tasted and so have the girl's. They love being able to take a different type of cookie to school with them each and every day!

Would I make these again? Most definitely. I think with the sprinkles they will be very good in cookies tins for gifts. These will be made again next week!

Day 12: Chocolate Wafers (read my full post here!)

Chocolate Wafers - Gourmet Magazine February 1950

My Verdict: My family made me make these! They wanted chocolate after all of the others that I have posted! I really liked these but mine are nothing like what the ones Gourmet magazine made. Somehow missed the part about the chilling time???? So I made my cookies and wanted to roll them out. The stuff was like glue and I knew this wasn't going to work for me. I rolled it into a log and set it in the freezer. I was short on time (can you tell). Pulled the log out and sliced it. Could I get it thin enough? No way, my dough was still too soft but I needed to get these in the oven! I rolled the edges in sugar and plopped them in. I knew my timing was going to off but I sure didn't mean to burn them!!!

I am really kind of sad that this event is coming to an end. At a crazy time of the year I didn't even have to think about what I was going to post on any given day and I got to bond with some wonderful people over our trials and tribulations of these recipes!!! Do I wish this last cookie had of turned out better? Oh yes, I would love to be going out with a blaze of glory but my timing was off and these are what I ended with!

Would I make these again? Probably not. Too many other great cookies out there that have decent directions attached to them!

I can't wait for next years cookie event!!!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!



RecipeGirl said...

Nice summary!

Oh shoot, wish you had posted this yesterday. I had huge troubles w/ the cookie recipe that I chose for my cookie exchange and ended up scrapping it and made fudge instead. You might have persuaded me otherwise on your ringing endorsements of a couple of the above!

It would be neat if someone at Gourmet cared to comment :)

Andrea Meyers said...

Wonderful round up! I'm so glad you baked with us and had a good time (with some of the cookies). :-)

BTW, Top Gun was standing next to me as I scrolled though your post, and when he saw the Regina cookies he exclaimed, "Mommy, are we going to make more balls?" ha ha ha

glamah16 said...

Great roundup.This was so fun doing this. Next year for sure!

Elle said...

Love the roundup, Judy! It's too bad they didn't all work out for you, but it seems like it was a good experience!

Sandy Smith said...

Terrific job on the roundup! I'm going to miss your daily cookies! (Not mine, though. Not going to miss baking cookies every. single. day. :)

Merry Christmas!

Darius T. Williams said...

I mean really - all the cookies look just great!

Peter M said...

Judy, a wonderful round-up of your cookies and a nice postcard of all your efforts. I hope you have some left for the holidays.

Rachel J said...

"WTH Gourmet- do you need recipe testers??? I'm pretty good at it by now!"

That made me laugh my arse off-congrats you did it! I am on my cookie rollercoaster now but am not attempting 12. BRAVO!! :)

Thistlemoon said...

Wow, Judy! That was a lot of work, but they all look delicious! What a fun experience and a great event!

Maggie said...

Wow—what a wealth of cookies! Thanks for all the recipes and reviews.

Anonymous said...

I'd missed quite a few of these (tis the busy season!) so thanks for putting them all in one post.

Now I am sooo hungry, lol.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Now you can back to your regularly scheduled program Judy...I'm looking forward to more of your delicious fare:D

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I loved this event and all of the cookies. I wish I had the time (its been a busier-than-i'd-like month) to try them all because they all look fantastic!

@design_love said...

Be thankful you didn't try the Gourmet Brandy Snap recipe. They had such a weird consistency I ended up throwing them away! I'm sorry some of yours didn't turn out either...