Sometimes I’m not quite sure how I fit through the door of the Hog House. Must be those elastic doorframes I had fitted…
At the weekend, not an hour after filling our faces at Honey & Co, my pal Lex Leafy and I started plotting a Great Bakeroo.
The regular Ogglers among you may remember the first time we did this; dedicating two whole days to searching through recipes, licking out bowls and making tasty treats to line our stomachs. That time, despite the heat, we not only cooked up a lovely Spelt and Ginger Cake – plus a batch of Peanut Butter Fudge – but we also devised a recipe of our own: the Raspberry Cheesecake Blondie.
This time, we wanted to push things further, deciding to expand our tasty repertoire to cookies, buns and a brand new type of sponge.
The rules were simple: whatever we made would have to be exciting – and delicious.
So it was, that – after browsing the land of tinternet – we settled on our first bake of the day: a Martha Stewart recipe for Zucchini Nut Bread Cookie Sandwiches.
Admit it. You must be intrigued.
Cookies made with Zucchini (a.k.a. Courgette), then sandwiched together with a sweet Cream Cheese filling? Who wouldn’t want to try them out?
I mean, I know Martha’s been a bit of a naughty girl in her time, but was that the recipe’s fault?
Anyway, having placed our thoughts of criminal misdeeds to one side, things started very promisingly.
The cookie batter – comprising of oats, sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, almonds (not in the recipe, but we fancied a change), and, of course, the shredded Courgette – was, frankly, extremely delicious.
Had we not just gorged ourselves with various buns and devilish desserts, the whole thing might have swiftly disappeared. As it was, we limited ourselves to a teaspoon each, and dolloped the rest on the baking tray.
At this point, we and Martha first began to disagree. In the recipe (available here), she suggests two tablespoons’ worth of dough for each cookie. Keen to do as we were told, we followed her instructions.
Now (Maths time!), given that the ‘yield’ of the recipe is 14 sandwiches, this should have meant 38 cookie dough splodges.
But no. Somone hadn’t been doing their sums. What we finally ended up with (even after reducing the size of our splodges) was a meagre set of 17. In other words, only enough for eight-and-a-half proper sandwiches.
Somewhat predictably, once they came out of the oven they were pretty gosh darn big. Should you attempt the recipe yourself, I’d advise much smaller portions (a tablespoon’s worth should be enough).
Another minor issue was the cooking time. The recipe asks for 17 minutes and – this being a Cookie recipe – we were hoping for something crisp and chewy to emerge when they were done.
Sadly not. What we got was definitely closer to the Nut Bread end of the spectrum: soft, with only the slightest of crisping at the edges. We gave them an extra few minutes, which helped, but – unwilling to risk creating something burnt or too dry – we stopped at just over 20 minutes in.
Thankfully, they smelt pretty good – so no need to press charges for crimes against cooking.
Even so, when it came to preparing the Cream Cheese filling, the curse of slightly off measurements struck us again. Anticipating that these recipes usually ask for far too much frosting (drowing out flavour with icing sugar), I decided to halve the quantity.
To my amazement, despite being generous spreaders (ahem), we still ended up with a great big surplus dollop.
Life’s a bitch sometimes, but what can you do? Use the extra for something else, I suppose…
Never mind. As you can see, the results didn’t look half bad – if slightly on the large side.
As for the taste…
Well. Somehow they weren’t nearly as delicious as the mixture (why, oh why, is that always the way?! Scientists? Brainboxes? Feel free to explain below).
Not that they were unpleasant, mind – they just didn’t live up to the promise of the batter.
In all, I would describe them as a hearty treat – not the wicked Cookie creation we had hoped for. The Courgette component was flavourless – just adding a touch of fat-free moisture, I suppose. The strongest tastes came from the light brown sugar and cinnamon (again, not really a bad thing).
Texturally, Ms Stewart certainly gained some brownie points – though again I would say it was more Nut Bread than Cookie. Soft on the whole, with a generous dose of oats and nuts, I felt like I was doing myself some good, and really enjoyed the pockets of crunch.
The Cream Cheese helped things down as well – it was tempting to think that all Cookies should come with some stuffed in between them…
It would be a good use of my surplus supply, I suppose.
I’ll just have to re-elasticate my doorframe first.