Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cookie of the Month: Irish Lace Cookies

Last month I initiated this new feature on my blog with the Lemon Snowflake cookie, the very tasty treat I had been given for Christmas. When it was time to come up with a recipe for this month, I thought since it was almost St. Paddy's Day, and I'm just a wee bit Irish, that I would look for an Irish cookie recipe. After searching around and discarding numerous regular-cookie-dyed-green recipes, I found this traditional recipe for Irish Lace Cookies. It's pretty simple:

½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

Cream the butter with the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and beat in the flour, the milk, and the vanilla; then stir in the oats.

As you can see, the very small amount of flour produces a very gooey dough. You drop it onto the sheet in spoonfuls, and bake 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 350F oven. After you take them out, you end up with something that is very flat and a little bit crispy:

Now, I pulled the recipe from the internet (usually a good source of recipes) and read through the comments. Many people had observed that these cookies were really difficult to remove from the cookies sheet, but a couple said they had used wax paper and had no trouble at all. So I topped my super-big fancy cookie sheet with some wax paper and plopped the cookie dough on top. Ungreased sheet, the recipe said. Bake until golden, the recipe said. Thus I did, and I got the following:

You probably can't tell from the picture just how devilishly the cookie is sticking to the wax paper, but it was so bad it resisted all attempts to scrape the cookie off, let alone "quickly turn the cookies upside down and roll them into cylinders." I ended up with bits of paper in my cookie, so I put the sheet back into the cooling oven to keep the cookies warm, and then scraped off crumbs a bit at a time. I took the crumbs and molded them into something resembling a cookie cylinder, and you can see the pathetic results below.

Now, these ugly-looking not-quite-cookies were actually very tasty: as you might expect, they had a strong, buttery caramel flavor from the butter and the brown sugar. But they were definitely not worth all the trouble I went through. I suppose I should try again and use a stone baking sheet instead—then I could scrape away until I had every single crumb—but April is coming soon and it's time for another new cookie. I wonder what's good for Easter...?

Final rating: nom nom (two of five noms)

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