After many days inside with this cold, I finally made it out for brunch today with my wonderful friend Jonathan. He’s one of those people that can instantly make you to believe in your career, where you’re going in life, and the power of a $6 mimosa. As it naturally does, our conversation eventually took the turn towards our cycling frustration and confusion of whether we were pursuing our acting careers/living out lives “correctly”. We happily came to the conclusion that these years are meant to be about figuring out that exact balance, and are right where we needed to be. Jonathan is off of another great tour and I’m planning a wedding! Cheers to that! Hooray brunch!
On my way home, I realized I never stopped for the ingredients I intended to use for cookies that I was going to blog about. I was bummed that I wouldn’t have a post tonight or…delicious cookies. BUT WAIT! I just an existential conversation about doing things our own way, enjoying the journey, and other things crocheted on pillows! I didn’t need a recipe! You keep talkin, mimosa!
So I figured with a little guessing and a beer to help me through, I could adjust Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe (here) and make it up for what I DID have in the house. Maraschino cherries, ricotta cheese, and Mount Gay Rum.
And now for a baking experiment:
Cherry Ricotta Cookies with Rum Glaze
Baking beverage choice: Hoegarden (your hands are messy, so you wine glass would be a hot mess)
2 cups dark brown sugar (brown sugar helps cookies maintain their shape instead of spreading out into hockey pucks. Science!)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (any more than 30% and apparently cookies get grainy)
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
1 stick cold butter (Cold is supposed to make it more fluffy and sandy. This did not work. Feel free to play around)
1/3 cup juice from maraschino cherries and several mashed up cherries
16 ounces of ricotta cheese (Weird, right? Cheese in cookies.)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup warmed up rum
Note: I am not a pastry chef. I don’t bake often and I stubborn about following recipes. If you know a decent amount about baking, I apologize.
1. Make sure brown sugar isn’t hard as a rock. If it is, whack with hammer and then place in microwave, covered with a moist paper towel for 30 seconds. Make sure nothing lights on fire.
1a. Combine brown sugar with warmed-up rum. Mix. Taste, don’t burn your tongue. Put in fridge.
1b. Preheat oven to 375. Butter up that cookie sheet. Because, butter! Why not?
2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Don’t feel obligated to use the whole wheat flour. I just needed to get rid of it.
3. Cut in cold butter. This is essentially when you take a fork and knife and pretend you’re spastically slicing your steak into lots of little bits. Do this until it breaks up into little round bits, or until you get frustrated, then just smash it with your hands.
3a.Save draft of blog post so that your computer doesn’t freeze and erase your entire post. If not, get second beer.
4. Add cheese, eggs, cherry juice, and cherries. Remove rings (I did not do this, and now I have an heirloom engagement ring made of cheese), and mash with love. The reason I suggest just using your hands is that you don’t want to over mix dough. The more you pull it apart, the more you piss off the glutens. Don’t piss off your glutens.
5. My batter was pretty sticky and I had to rinse of my hands before putting them on the cookie sheet.
6. Cookies will not spread out that much so they can be relatively close together. If they merge, you have a monster cookie, and that’s not a real problem.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they look toasty on top. I have a convection setting so this was about 14 minutes exactly. But it will be a bitter longer with a standard oven.
8. Remove and let cool for at least ten minutes and then drizzle a bit of rum glaze on top of each cookie. You do not need as much as you think. The rum glaze is basically straight uncooked rum, so it’s strong.
9. EAT YOUR COOKIES! You made your art, now eat it with beer. And remember that even if you don’t have the right things in your fridge right now, you can still make something delicious.