By far, one of the most challenging tasks I have found here has been cooking. More specifically following recipes. Last night we had two of our friends over for dinner, I decided to make something I know well, tacos. They were delicious, if I do say so myself. However, this was something I have made numerous times with simple ingredients. I didn't need to follow a recipe. Since we had just received our KitchenAid mixer in the mail, I wanted to bake a little something special for our guests. Sort of. I found a fun recipes for cheesecake cookies on my Facebook feed that seemed easy and delicious. These cookies require few ingredients and do not take long to prepare and make, so they were perfect! Or so I thought.
I ran into a few problems while trying to execute this baking adventure. The grocery stores that are within walking distance to me are smaller than what I am used to. They just offer the basics and some extras. For example, they have shredded and sliced cheeses, the basics, but then they also offer Brie and blocks of parmigiano-reggiano, the extras. However, when it came to getting the ingredients needed for my cookies, I was a bit stuck. I couldn't find peppermint extract and they only had red and blue liquid food dye, so I bought the multi-pack of gel colors. Big mistake, you will see why below.
In America, our recipes use the Imperial System, so I am used to measuring with cups and ounces. The packaging for products here come in grams. Which can be easily fixed with a scale and the internet. This recipe called for 8oz. of cream cheese, one package has 180 grams. My phone didn't get service in the store and I wasn't about to stand there and do math on the back of my shopping list, so I grabbed two cream cheeses and moved on.
Once I started to combine the ingredients, I had two choices, measure it exactly on the scale we have or just wing it. I chose the latter. I did the same thing with the butter. Tee hee. The rest of the measurements were fine because I have measuring cups and spoons. So all was well. Until I put a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon. That's not the Metric Systems fault. Oopsy. No to worry, I had a chocolate bar that I chopped up and mixed in before baking.
A bit of honesty, I am not an avid baker. Would bake when necessary, for Christmas cookie competitions and potlucks, but other than that, nope. So I didn't know that the gel food coloring wouldn't be great for this particular adventure. It was hard to squeeze out and a lot does not go a long way with these, so the cookies were not tri-colored as the recipe shows.
I refrigerated the cookie dough for about 45 minutes, more than recommended, but it seemed a bit sticker than what the video showed. That extra time in the cold did not help with that. The dough was super sticky and impossible to rolling balls so I just made spiked blobs on the parchment paper and tossed them in the oven. At this point I was done. Except I wasn't, our oven goes by Celsius and this recipe has Fahrenheit, so I googled the conversion and set my oven to an easy 176.667˚C and sipped a tea while we waited for our guests.
Overall review: they were good even though they were one color and flavor, had too much salt and were not perfectly shaped. They had a subtle sweet flavor and were very soft. 10/10 would try them again. Next time I will measure them exactly, find the peppermint extract and get liquid food coloring.
*All photos by me unless utherwise stated.