Instead of buying presents this year, I've decided to give the gift of baked goods to my Australian friends and family. To kick off the baking season, I planned to make some brownies (more on these in a later post) and jam-drop cookies. Simply baking wasn't enough for Andy, who was a bit bored. He wanted a contest. I was reading the paper, so I let him go first (since we've only got one mixing bowl).
He opened up VwaV, looked at a few recipes, and then ignored them all. He dumped in some flour, and lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. He soaked raisins in tea to rehydrate them. He took some leftover silken tofu out of the fridge, which was just enough for the brownies I had planned. When he realised he couldn't use it, he started to lose interest in the competition. When I offered to take over, the competitive streak took back over. To the spicy flour, he added some sugar, a bit of cocoa powder, bicarb soda, and chopped peanuts. In went the raisins, some vegetable oil, and the raisin-y tea. For no measurements whatsoever, the texture was only slightly stickier than an average cookie dough.
Then Andy looked at the dough and wondered how to bake it. Well, inspiration took over again as he envisioned a giant cookie. Out came the springform pan, and in went the dough. Oh, but it didn't stop there. Before baking, he sprinkled the giant cookie with shredded coconut, and blobs of raspberry jam (in the hopes that the jam would melt and spread in the oven).
My by-the-recipe jam drop cookies seem boring in comparison!
Not to mention tiny! Look at the size difference between our cookies... (And some Belgian style homebrew)
So how did Andy's giant cookie extraVEGANza turn out? The texture was somewhere between a slice, a storebought fruitcake, and a cookie. It got better the next day. The flavour was like nothing I've ever had before. The jam was definitely the star ingredient.
I hope all your holiday cookies adventures are as exciting as mine!
UPDATE: I forgot to mention the winner! Thanks for reminding me. Whenever we have cook- or bake-offs, we don't really decide on a winner. There isn't much of a partial observer to decide in the house... but I'll give the award to Andy, for being incredibly creative and somehow pulling it off despite completely winging it!