Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What Constitutes a Cookie Exactly?

I've decided I would like to enter a cookie contest that our town's newspaper is having this year.  The rules are pretty simple - bake some cookies, take a picture, send along a copy of the recipe and a dozen for taste testing.  If you win your recipe and photo gets published and you get $100.

Because I am both A - a lucky duck, and B - a person who makes up a lot of recipes for baked goods because I'm never satisfied with a boring plate of cookies, I think this is well within my wheelhouse.  The recipe has to be original or significantly changed from the source material.  Ever since I worked in a candy store and I was enlisted to help taste and create new flavors of fudge and candy I have felt confident in trying new things and have created lots of new treats for my coworkers and family over the years.  I know I can make delicious things and put a creative twist on the traditional ingredients, but here is a question for you...

What exactly would you consider a cookie to be?

I would really like to make my signature holiday treat for this contest.  As many of you know I make rum balls all the time.  I have flavors I've made for special occasions, and my favorite go to which is a Mexican chocolate variety that I have recently made with Fireball whiskey to up the cinnamon flavor.  I'm thinking that the Almond Joy rum balls I made to raise money for Relay for Life a few years ago would be a really eye catching and delicious entry, but is it a cookie?  You don't technically bake them although you do a lot of labor intensive melting, mixing, rolling and prettifying.  I think I could write a recipe that was easy to follow and also able to be modified to make without actual alcohol if necessary (although it would be sad!), but I also want to have a qualifying entry and I may have to resort to a different "cookier" recipe.  I have a candy apple cookie which might be fun too.

What do you think?  There aren't many specific rules, and I do think the Almond Joy rum balls would be a crowd pleaser.  They consist of marzipan, Parrot Bay, chocolate and coconut along with a bunch of other good stuff.  The candy apple cookies are a shortbread base with a melted cinnamon caramel swirl and a crumb topping of apple and white chocolate.

Should I do a taste testing?  Do you think I would be able to find volunteers?  Is this a dangerous question?

My rum beanie is an important part of the process.  Obi-Wan finds it hilarious.

For some reason I can't flip these pictures.  The Almond Joy rum ball is the one that is cut in half to show the marzipan center.  The three flavors I made in this batch were Gingersnap spice (the ones with the Os piped on them), Almond Joy and Mounds which had no marzipan and were made with bittersweet chocolate.

Any suggestions you have as to what I should enter would be helpful.  If I ever made some delicious treat that you tried and you have recollection of that I might have forgotten and you can jog my memory that would be cool too.  I made a LOT of cookies for Target folks, so it is possible I've forgotten a cookie masterpiece.  I also have a new idea for a cookie I've never made before.  It involves a crispy brown sugar cookie that will be dipped in a caramel sauce and rolled in a special super secret topping.  I'm not quite ready to play my hand because I really want to make them and have a trial run to see if it is possible.  I think they're going to be pretty fab.  I'm glad that I like the process of baking more than I like the cookie eating.  I usually have two or three at the most and then Andy/Tristate eats the rest.  Unless it is nut tassies.  If I could only eat one cookie for the rest of my life it would be those.  Or pizelles.  Tough choice!

Any winning ideas?  Comment here or on Facebook.  Thanks in advance for your input!

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