Ah, Saturday, blissful Saturday. My husband went to go see some ridiculous dude movie with the guys, and little Jack and I had the house to ourselves for the afternoon.
Of course I decided to spend the afternoon relaxing, watching the House marathon on USA Network, and sipping wine. Wait, no I didn't. I decided to clean and bake while Jack napped. Cleaning was fine, but baking? Not so much.
I thought I would try this fabulous recipe for something called Zand Gebak that I saw earlier this week on The Pioneer Woman's website. I've been dreaming of lovely shortbread cookies topped with rich mocha all week, and today was my day to make my own.
No, it wasn't.
The recipe started out fine. Well, I didn't have quite enough butter but that's okay - I was close. I brewed some strong coffee, per the recipe. I creamed the butter and sugar together, added the vanilla, salt and baking powder, and reached for the flour.
Except that it wasn't flour. It was sugar. The Target brand flour and sugar foiled me again. The packaging for their flour and their sugar look EXACTLY alike to me (except for the fact that one says "sugar" and one says "flour," but who looks at those little details?). I had two bags of sugar and zero bags of flour. And with a sleeping baby, there was no way I could make a quick trip to the store. But not to worry, I have other flour. Wheat flour. That will work, won't it?
Here's an important lesson:
WHEAT FLOUR IS NOT THE SAME AS FLOUR. IT IS AN ABOMINATION. I THINK IT CONTAINS SAND. AND ANGER.
Nevertheless, I sallied forth. I kneaded the dough with the wheat flour, trying not to get too skeeved out by the texture (have I mentioned that I hate wheat flour? I hate wheat flour. It feels like sand) and I rolled it flat so I could grab my trust roundy cookie cutter and cut some circular cookies.
Except that I don't have a round cookie cutter. I have about sixty gajillion Christmas cookie cutters, and a turkey. I settled for a Christmas star since it was far less Christmasy than, say, Santa. I could at least pretend that I meant to make star-shaped cookies. I cut out two dozen stars and put them on the cookie sheet and let them bake for ten minutes while I worked on the mocha butter. Which I didn't have enough butter for, but at this point, we were sallying forth, right? No looking back even if my kitchen catches fire. The mocha butter looked mostly like the photo, so I was pleased, and turned my attention back to the star-shaped cookies in the oven.
And...they had baked into one giant cookie. Helldamnfart.
But I was undaunted. I washed up the cookie cutter and cut the warm-but-not-crisp mass of cookie into star shapes. Crumbly, crappy-looking, broken up star shapes. Well, the look isn't as important as the taste, right? And with the mocha butter on top, surely they will taste fabulous.
I spooned just the right amount of mocha butter onto each cookie and watched it run off the sides of the cookie and then immediately soak into the cookie, thereby further rendering the cookie into a mushy pile with both the look and texture of sand. I could have built a damn castle with it.
Next, I did what any sane person would do (finally). I tossed it all in the trash, poured the remaining coffee into a mug, added a dash of Southern Comfort, and got right to that House marathon on USA Network, and devoured half of the bag of chocolate chips that should have gone into the cookies.
But not without one parting thought to this recipe:
Ahh. I feel better.