Last week, while meandering through the produce and power-walking down the freezer aisle (to avoid frostbitten fingers!), I heard a random “thud!” emit from my shopping basket. As I glanced down, my guy gave a sheepish grin. He had tried to sneak in a box of Trader Joe’s candy-coated licorice without me noticing. (Next time, choose something that doesn’t rattle, sweetie!)
When we opened the box at home, we both frowned at the stiff, thick sugar coating. The candies were almost as hard as rocks, and melting them with my crème brûlée torch on made them marginally softer. Disappointed, we nearly pitched the box, but I resolved to bake cookies with them instead.
Bad idea. I could barely saw through the candy coating with a serrated knife OR my sharpest chef knife! I left my mess (and melted butter—that’s important!) on the counter, dashed down the street to Safeway, and grabbed some regular black licorice.
Back in my kitchen, I hurriedly chopped the new candy, rapidly whisked together the dry ingredients, and poured my cooled melted butter out of its ramekin and into my mixing bowl. But as I cracked the egg and tried to add just the white, the yolk passed through my fingers and into the butter below.
Well, darn. No way could I fish out the yolk without losing some butter and egg white, so down the drain that mixture went. I reached for the same ramekin (see where this is going?), tossed in more butter, and stuck it in the microwave. When the “ding” sounded, I rushed over, grabbed the glass, and gasped as it slipped—through—my—fingers (because of the grease on the outside from the previous butter I had melted in it) and spilled ALL OVER the bottom of the microwave.
Arg. I added MORE butter to the same ramekin (no, I didn’t learn), put it BACK in the microwave, and carefully removed it to walk over to a clean mixing bowl. But… The glass was hot and I dropped the filled ramekin INTO the mixing bowl, completely coating its outside with melted butter.
GAH!! If that doesn’t sound like a sitcom script, then I need to start my own comedy show: “Baking With Amy.”
But as I was crunched for time—the dough needed to chill, and my prime photography sunlight hour was rapidly approaching—I refrained from a meltdown of my own (get it?) and took a spatula to the offending ramekin. After cautiously cracking the egg and stirring in the dry ingredients, I popped the bowl into the fridge and san into the sofa for a much-appreciated TV distraction.
Despite all of my butter disasters, the cookies baked off just fine, and I sent some home to my parents when my brother stopped by en route to visit them. That evening, I received this email from my mom:
Okay, we are all agreed. Those may possibly be the best cookies you’ve ever made (the licorice-almond). They melt in my mouth! Your brother said that it was really difficult to stop eating them.
So… Maybe that will convince you to try baking these cookies! (Just take a leaf out of my book and be careful with the butter!)