August 30, 2009 by skwishface
T’other day, I made a batch of dark chocolate ganache to top some peanut butter cupcakes. Two cups of heavy cream and 16 ounces of dark chocolate can get together to defy all laws of mathematics and physics and create several small buckets of ganache.
What to do with such a wealth of creamy chocolatey goodness? There was a poof! And a little angel appeared on my shoulder. You should create baked goods that you can share with friends and family, she trilled, That would be the generous and good thing to do! With a sizzle and a hiss, my shoulder devil appeared. She didn’t say anything, She just smirked and held out a spoon.
So I sighed and hopped online. And there I found The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for shortbread cookies.
Have you met The Pioneer Woman? She knows a thing or two about the cooking stuff and she’s got a kitchen that I covet shamelessly. In the making of her shortbread cookies, here is the hardware that she uses:
2. stand mixer
3. pastry cutter
5. cookie cutter
6. rolling pin
Of these items I had:
Was I going to let this stop me? Hell no! I bake now. I’m a baker. Ahoy!
First things first, real butter and sugar in a BOWL. Because I am prepared.
I put the beaters to it and presto!
My shoulder devil reappeared and brandished her spoon again. Fluffy, sweet, buttery goodness? Tempting.
But! I desire cookies. And so I sifted together some flour and constarch into the butter/sugar fluff.
Here is where P-dubs recommends the use of a pastry cutter. I’m not 100% sure what a pastry cutter is, though from the picture on her site it looks vaguely familiar, but I’m pretty certain there’s not one roaming my kitchen anywhere. So! I made do with a fork and my bare hands.
Once the dough was, well, dough-like, I rolled it all into a ball and wrapped it in cling wrap. Which I LOATHE with the fiery passion of a thousand hells. I’m one of those people who can’t keep the stuff from sticking to itself in really unhelpful ways. But somehow I got through this step.
I was supposed to let the dough chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. But The Girl needed a bottle and The Boy wanted to play cars and time just flew right by. It was more like an hour.
Which was okay! I’d just have to spend a little more time with the rolling pin, that’s all.
Oh wait. I don’t have a rolling pin. I have a handle-less coffee mug.
Turns out: coffee mug works pretty darn well. I had to divide the dough ball in half to work with it, and there was alot of flour sprinkling involved. Once I got it rolled out to about 1/4 of an inch thick, I confronted the issue of cutting it into cookie shapes.
No cookie cutter. But! I sho nuff do have a sharp little paring knife. First I trimmed the edges of the dough to make a square.
Then I sliced it in a grid pattern to make rectangular cookie shapes.
Were they all perfectly the same size? Nah. But I decided that the variations in size would make the finished product more artistic. Or something. Just go with it.
The little raw rectangles were arranged on the cookie sheet I don’t have with the silpat baking mat I never dreamed of owning. I call it my glass pyrex lasagna pan. There’s not a picture of this step because I’m a doofus.
20 minutes at 325 later, and I had stacks and stacks of rich, buttery cookies. They’re little, but they’re intense. Shortbread is very present on the palate.
Crisp and crunchy and yum. But I’m not done with these little darlings yet. Oh no! There’s still the matter of the dark chocolate ganache.
Even sammiching them up by twos, I had dozens of these things. They were everywhere. Some went to my office, some to my mother-in-law, and some in the freezer. They freeze up nice, by the way.
And the rest? Well, let’s just say my shoulder devil put her spoon away and just handed me a glass of milk.