Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Moosewood barged in and took over Martha

After I'd browsed a bit, I decided to go with Moosewood, since I'd never made anything from their dessert book and wondered if it would be any good.  

I have eaten at the original Moosewood restaurant in Ithaca NY years ago, and mainly it was good for the atmosphere, aging hippies with grey ponytails and relaxed fit jeans, but sort of sweet.

Anyway, I figured that since I had all the ingredients in the house for cornmeal cookies, I'd make them.  Particularly happy that I had a lot of lemon zest in the freezer and could use it right here. Now, working backwards from tasting to making: they actually taste fine, crumbly, a bit crisp, nice from that viewpoint. 

But the recipe left a thing or two to be desired.  For one thing there's no way on earth I could have got the fifty plus cookies they claim out of this one recipe.  I made mine just a little bit bigger than they said, but barely got 30, just so's you know.  

And there's a point where they say to stir the batter after all the ingredients are beaten in, until it's smooth. You could stir this till hell freezes over and it would still be crumbly.  Way too dry ever to get smooth.  And I had to really model the cookies in my hands to make them hold together well enough to bake.   

As for their instruction to make quite a large amount of topping material, sugar and cornmeal, and dip a glass into it, press down on each cookie to shape it and leave some topping..  Well, the glass didn't hold a crumb of it. So I ended up sprinkling and pressing in the topping which worked okay.  And I have a large supply of topping now for the next time I need that particular mixture, maybe for dessert pancakes or something.

I do wonder if the person who wrote up the recipe had ever actually made these cookies, though, beyond knowing the ingredients.

However, me I am not complaining, as HP's Ecuadoran health care worker used to say.  The cookies did come out fine in the end. So there's a nice supply of them in the freezer now, ready for afternoon teas in the cold weather.  

And a little supply across the street on a friend's step for her to come home to, little treat on a bitterly cold winter's day, and who knows how her commute is, what with snow and maybe ice.


  1. Sometimes it does make you wonder if the cookbook writers ever actually try out the recipes they publish. Glad you were able to make them work - certainly look good!

  2. my inclination would be to tinker a bit, maybe some butter, or more milk...and frosting. there's not much (except maybe meatloaf( that cant be improved with frosting...

    and I agree, sometimes I look at the mess ive just made and realized once that recipe was printed out, no one tried it to be sure the ingredients were accurate.

  3. Friend send a very appreciative text. Evidently she ate one before she even got her coat off...and was very happy with it. I wonder if her husband and daughter will get their share..

  4. I downloaded a little e-book of 10 very simple recipes recently. In one of them, the 4-step recipe apparently switched (between Step 2 and Step 3) from one form (I think it was cookies) to another (muffins, I think), with no warning. Now I'm not saying this kind of thing never happens when I cook, but I don't expect it in an actual recipe!
    I wish someone would leave food on my doorstep, although lately it would freeze rock-solid. Maybe they'd prefer to leave a bottle of rum instead?

  5. It is quite annoying when a recipe lets you down, leaves you confused and with leftover topping. Glad to hear that they taste good despite the trouble.


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