Sometimes, despite your best effort, your cookie crumbles.
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A week ago I made a batch of Linzer Cookies in honor of Valentine’s Day. I had visions of pretty heart-shaped cookies with beautiful crimson red centers surrounded by a dusting of powdered sugar. I thought my family would love these cookies and eat them up in a flash; everyone jockeying to get the last one. It turned out that the cookies were a cracky, crumbly pain to make and they obtained a disappointing, lukewarm response from the family. Win some, lose some. Let me tell how my cookie crumbled.
I was excited to try this recipe for Linzer Cookies. I loved the idea that the dough was made with almond flour. I shrugged off the reviews that said the dough became too soft to roll. I thought I could handle it. A good chill in the refrigerator and it would be fine, I thought.
The dough came together well; no problems. It was soft, but I had worked with soft dough before, and I didn’t think twice about it. I divided the dough into two pieces, wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and placed them in my refrigerator for a good chill before rolling out.
I prepped my work surface with my silicone mat, rolling pin, and extra flour for sprinkling to prevent sticking. I began to roll out the first piece of cookie dough and the edges began cracking. I used my fingers to close the cracks by pinching the dough back together; that usually does the trick. As I continued to roll deep fissures formed in the dough and they kept expanding no matter how much I pinched and reformed the dough. Then, just when I thought I had the cracks around the edges tamed, the dough started forming a multi-spiked crack right from the center of the dough! I’ve never experienced that before. I pinched the dough together and cut out the cookies as fast as I could before any more cracks could form.
In the picture below you will see the indents of my fingertips in the dough caused by my efforts to close the cracks.
Once I survived that terrible rollout, I brought the remaining scraps of dough together again. The dough felt soft and melty. I quickly tried for another roll but realized that I needed to return the dough to the refrigerator to chill once again. While that piece was chilling, I grabbed my second piece that was ready and began to roll out the dough experiencing the same headaches that I had received previously.
After rolling and re-chilling this dough several times, I realized that the initial cracks that I received in the center of my dough on my first rollout were due to the fact that the dough was just a tad bit too cold. I did not receive any more center cracks on my subsequent rollouts, but still continued with cracks around the edges. I rolled, chilled, rolled, chilled, rolled chilled until I finally had 24 hearts cut out. Phew! Sorry I have no pictures for you of the rolling out process. My hands were busy the whole time. No time to reach for my phone to take a picture. Just know, it wasn’t pretty.
I baked the cookies for a full 10 minutes. I thought they were done so I took them out of the oven and let them cool. After about 5 minutes I began to move them to a cooling rack and in the process, two cookies broke. I realized that the cookies were not baked enough, so I placed them back into the oven for a few more minutes. The second sheet of cookies I left in the oven for about 13 minutes. Those cookies were baked well and transferred to the cooling rack without incident.
A little jelly on the bottom half, a little powdered sugar on the top cookie, sandwich them together, and I was never so happy to be done making cookies. A few cookies crumbled so I wound up with 11 finished Linzer Cookies. That was a whole lot of work for 11 cookies!
It took 3 days for the 7 people in my home to finish those 11 cookies. That was a very lukewarm response by my usually cookie-loving family. The cookies were good, just not great, and for some reason, they did not appeal to my crowd. This finicky dough is not going to get a second chance from me. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes the cookie crumbles.
Have you ever had a cookie mishap? Share your story with us in the comment section.