Bake Like An Egyptian!- Hazelnut Cookies! -247 eggs, 187 cups of sugar, 189 1/2 sticks of Butter, and 237 1/2 cups of flour used so far- 29 recipes to go!

October 1, 2011


Martha's Hazelnut Cookies

André's Hazelnut Cookies

Cookies hand-shaped into pyramids is a cute trick. It would have been a better trick if these cookies were actually palatable. People ask me what have been the best and worst tasting cookies in Martha’s book. Martha’s Hazelnut Cookies are definitely a contender for the worst. Simple enough to make, hazelnuts are ground into a fine meal and combined with whipped egg whites, vanilla extract, flour, sugar and salt. The batter is chilled and then shaped into pyramids and baked. The recipe is found in the Light and Delicate section of Martha’s Cookie Book. They are, however, neither light nor delicate. They’re also not very tasty for that matter. I love hazelnuts. They are fragrant and flavorful. They have a distinct taste that is the perfect compliment to chocolate or coffee. On their own they are quite nice, too. My biggest issue with this particular cookie was its texture, best described as a lump that is baked into a firm clump and cooled to the consistency of stale, left-over cake. It was just unpleasant and after Dan and I sampled these we promptly deposited them in the garbage can. I did notice that Martha offers the recipe for Hazelnut Cookies on her website and, suspiciously it has no semblance to the recipe that’s in her book. Perhaps this recipe accidentally made its way into Martha’s book due to an editorial oversight. Who knows? It’s a bad cookie, a really, really bad cookie.

I don’t have a great deal of time to blog today. A seemingly insurmountable amount of tasks needs to attended to this weekend and is distracting the heck out of me. That compounded with the fact that I baked a really awful cookie hasn’t put me in much of a mood to share a story.

Instead I will leave you with a quote from NPR’s Ira Glass. I stumbled across it this week posted to a friend’s Facebook account. It is not necessarily eloquent but it is quite accurate.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

– Ira Glass

So, I guess I’m ignoring my self-imposed deadline and not posting a story this week.

I think Ira would understand.

The next post and the next cookie will be better. I promise.

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