Friday, September 20, 2013

Baking for Real People: Oatmeal Ginger-Cream Pies

Preach it, sister.

{Baking by Picture}

So, I saw this recipe in my latest issue of Country Living magazine, in an article entitled "Heirloom Desserts" from contributors Josh Kilmer-Purcell  Brent Ridge, of  the 'Beekman 1802' brand.  It sounded so simple, and they even gave criteria for a recipe to become "heriloom": 
1. It must be delicous
2. It must be (relatively) simple to make.
3. It must have ingredients that are readily available to everyone. (source)
Delicious? The picture looked pretty good. Ingredients? Looks like I have everything...Simple? Turns out that was relative...

The picture. Hopeful end-result. Yeah. Right.
I should have realized I was in over my head when the first step of the recipe was to *toast* the oats. Riiiiight. Instead, I laughed and called my sister.  You've gotta share the fun when a recipe asks for more effort than you'd put forth to eat it...

Oats to toast. 
Then, *meanwhile*, I'm supposed to be stirring everything else together, BUT, I'm supposed to go back to the oven and shake the pan with the oats, or turn it around a few times, or something like that. You're lucky these oats aren't getting burned, buckos, there's no way I'm shaking them around, meanwhile stirring everything else. Nope. 

Meanwhile stirring
This next part of the recipe was the best, and illustrates why you should read the *whole* recipe before starting out. Or not. Do what you want. I usually do ;).  You'd think you could just "drop by rounded teaspoon-ful" in the old *every other cookie type recipe in the world* manner...but no:
...roll dough, two tablespoons at a time, into balls, or use a #30 (1-counce) ice cream scoop; for each sheet, drop 12 balls, 2 inches apart. With dampened hands, flatten each ball to a 1/2-inch thickness..
Umm...not gonna happen.  Didn't I mention that I was throwing these together in the 12 minutes I had left before having to wake the sleeping baby up and throw everything in the car to go to work?  With all due respect to those of you with 1-ounce ice cream scoops (I'm thinking of you, Mrs. M!)...
(source - w/ changes by yours truly)
So, I ended up winging it, as usual, and just made some blobs on the pans.

But look...she used parchment papers! Pro. For sure.
Now, on to the cream filling! Luckily, I had some candied ginger ("readily available ingredients" - ha!) in the cupboard from the last time I thought about trying a ridiculous recipe, but stopped at the smartest point: never starting.

Chop chop w/ the Cutco
And...stir it up!

This looks kind of gross. It's cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and the candied ginger bits.
I actually made the frosting later, after I came home from work.  I pulled the cookie parts out of the oven, and off I went.  I didn't really look at them, except to think "those don't really look the same, now do they?"  I came home to these:

Pretty dang flat.

But, life gives you flat cookies, and you're bringing dessert to the party...what do ya do? Add more sugar and get going!

Finished product. Nailed it. 
SO...they looked nothing like the picture....BUT, everyone said they tasted great. I suppose I forgot the cardinal rule of baking (of all cooking, really): add more butter, more sugar, or both, and you win! 
Happy Baking!

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