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Problem with a Cookie Recipe

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi. Kevin here. I'm a decent home cook and a very inexperienced baker. I'm making cookies and using the Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. I tried the recipe for Lemon-Apricot Sandwiches and it was a disaster. I don't think I deviated form the recipe and can't figure out why it was such a bomb (and I"m a little ticked off since I bought some very expensive almond flour just for this recipe!).

So I'm just wondering if the recipe may be off. Maybe Martha made a mistake? :) Or maybe there was a misprint. In any case, it says that it makes 18 cookies (which are sandwich cookies, so 36 cookies in all). The dry ingredients are 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/4 cup cornstarch, along with 1/4 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. . The wet ingredients are 1/2 of butter and a little lemon juice and lemon zest. My point is that the dough that came from the recipe was very scant, and even with a very thin cookie there was no way there was going to be anywhere near 38 cookies (I ended up not even making them because the dough was so wet and sticky that I couldn't even get them off the rolling mat).

If anyone knows or can hazard a guess as to what went wrong, I would be very very grateful.

Thanks, and happy holidays.

Kevin
post #2 of 7
Without stepping on toes and making anyone cry....I consider myself an expert baker and have been disappointed by MS's recipes time and time again. IMHO they just don't work. Don't waste any more ingredients trying to double the recipe. There are lots of great cookie recipes out there....a lot of the more popular baking sites are on a star system. If you haven't already used up the almond flour...wrap well and store in the freezer.
post #3 of 7
Sounds like its drop cookie, and you're used to making hand shaped or rolled cookies. You only need a slight dob and they spread in the oven (and hopefully rise). The biggest problem with this recipe is that it'll never rise as its missing a leavening.

Add some baking powder; drop em an' bake em!
post #4 of 7
Many recipes are not fully tested and could be missing an ingredient. My wife mad cookies one day from a recipe in NY Times. I came home looked at them (they were bone white and tasted funky ) the recipe forgot sugar. So if you do find good ones save them .:chef:
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post #5 of 7

Drop Martha

#1 - agreed - the initial problem is that it is a Martha Stewart Recipe.

With any recipe from any publication, including professional books - test them first before you have yourself committed to an event and don't have the goods to show for it. As has already been pointed out - mistakes happen.

I#2 - would also agree that this is possibly a drop cookie, or you need to chill the dough a couple of hours before rolling. If you are making a rolled dough with this, make sure all the ingredients are cool, and do not cream the butter.

No idea why there is granulated sugar in this, if it is meant to be a rolled dough, unless it is meant to cream the butter for drop style cookies.

The starch will made the cookies pretty tender, and as a sandwich cookie, it likely may not need any leavening, as leavening will make the cookie spread, as well as rise, and make them more tender.

Make sure you are using the correct flour, as retail cake and pastry flour does not work very well for most cookie recipes. It is finer in particle size, and the protein is denature by chlorination. All purpose flour is used for most cookies, and in this case the almonds and starch are weakening the structure and providing tenderness. Add a cake flour to that mix, and the result would be pretty crumby - pardon the pun - couldn't resist.
Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
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Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
Reply
post #6 of 7
FWIW, here's the link to the original recipe and method. Lemon-Apricot Sandwiches and more delicious recipes, smart cooking tips, and video demonstrations on marthastewart.com

Did you chill the dough before rolling between sheets of parchment paper?'

As far as the accuracy of recipes, Suzanne has experience with mistakes in recipes by 'experts' and famous chefs. Writing and editing recipes is a difficult job! Not everyone is up to it. :D
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post #7 of 7
others at MS have mentioned challenges with this recipe too. It may be the almond flour. If it is not really fine, the dough will be too sticky, also I disagree with creaming the butter until fluffy.

Measuring by volume, especially flours, and powdered sugar, is never accurate. based on a 1:2:3 approximation by weight, it looks like it should work, even though there is a lot of juice in there, as far as liquids go.

I might be in the mood to test it out tomorrow - I'll let you know if I do.
Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
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Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
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