I need more cookies like I need a hole in the head, but something about Christmas makes me want to spend all my spare time baking (although my favourite pair of jeans severely, severely disagrees). And nothing welcomes the jolly fat man quite like shortbread, does it?
On Saturday I decided to try a new recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, a cookbook that sure has getting a workout in my house as of late.
This was my first attempt at a recipe from the "Fancy Cookie" section of the book. Up until now I have pretty much stayed safely in the confines of the "Drop Cookie" category, but on Saturday I decided that it was time for a challenge. Actually, it was less about a challenge and more about a blinding desire for shortbread cookies and something to blog about. (Hey, at least I'm being honest here).
To make the shortbread into the cool textured shapes you see above, you pipe the dough onto the baking sheet (as opposed to rolling and cutting it). So I made the dough, got out my pastry bag and attempted to squeeze out perfect little star shapes.
Nothing that came out of that pastry bag even remotely resembled a star.
I nearly broke my hands trying to squeeze the thick dough through a very old star-shaped nozzle that I'm fairly certain was not large enough (but was the largest that I had on hand). I know I am kind of whimpy and have a fairly low threshold for pain, but doing this seriously hurt my hands. It hurt my brain, too, as it was a very tedious and unrewarding process (my hands killed and STILL the shapes looked more like crumpled up newspaper than they did elegant, abstract stars).
Once the piping part is over, it is smooth sailing - they are baked for a short period of time and then topped off with a dollop of freshly made chocolate ganache and cooled for an hour or so.
I definitely nursed my wounds by sampling quite a few of these cookies over the course of the weekend. Further, I fed them to a group of friends that came over to watch UFC 124 on Saturday night and so these cookies have been given the omni seal of approval as well. (Speaking of UFC, it's always exciting to celebrate wins with vegan athletes!).