These cookies bring up existential questions about what constitutes a 'cookie'. If Martha hadn't put the word "COOKIES" in big, bold type on the front of the book, I would have thought I was making candy of some sort, since the mixer didn't get used and corn syrup was involved. Not that I mind; I like making candy, too. It's just that I don't like it when I'm not sure if I stand in cookie-shire or candy-land. It makes me nervous.
I hate to be cliche, but I'm going to be anyway, and refer to the dictionary to sort this out for me (I was going to say 'us', but I'm probably the only one who cares). OK, because I'm lazy and don't want to go get the real dictionary, Dictionary.com defines 'cookie' as: "a small cake made from stiff, sweet dough rolled and sliced or dropped by spoonfuls on a large, flat pan (cookie sheet) and baked." I guess that's as good a definition as any, and I suppose it applies here, since I made a dough, dropped it onto a cookie sheet and baked it.
(Doesn't the dough look gross? It actually was tasty, kind of like brown sugar fudge... but it looks like vomit.)
But, the definition of 'cookie' brings up more issues. If a 'cookie' must be dropped onto and baked on a cookie sheet, what about brownies? What about lemon squares? What about those tiny pecan pies you get at Kroger at Christmastime? If those aren't cookies, then Martha is lying to me about them, because she's included them in her COOKIE book. And Martha Can't Lie! (Except for that whole insider trading thing... but we won't talk about that.) My world has been shaken to its core. The only recourse is to go eat some tuiles.
The dough was easy enough to put together, and the baking went well, really no more complicated than any other cookie. The excitement happens when you get to take the cookies off the baking sheet. You are supposed to form them around a rolling pin or a cannoli mold (who has cannoli molds? really?), and I tried for the first couple batches. Then I said "F-it" and decided my cherry tuiles would be flat, which makes for easier storage anyway.
About one third turned out looking pretty and nice, and the remainder were all sorts of misshapen, with big holes in their middles. But, even the ugly ones were really tasty. They kind of remind me of a really thin Worther's Original Caramel, with cherries. I bet they'd be yummy crunched up over ice cream, but we just ate them plain, and they were still tasty, despite the existential angst they caused.
Next week: Burbon Currant Cookies, p. 152.