Saturday, August 7, 2010

Must Be Karma

Ever think there are some things that are just "meant to be"?

Bad things sure, like when you get a speeding ticket while you were trying to make up for being late, or letting your kids have that "one last candy" only to have them bouncing off the walls and fighting each other for a long drive home. But good things can be meant to be too. Good things like how buying an acquaintance a cup of coffee can lead into a weekly ritual and a blossoming best friendship, or how a simple smile becomes a laugh and infects all those around you. I'm a firm believer in doing nice things for others, particularly those that deserve it but also the ones that haven't quite received their come-uppance yet. It took me a long time, but eventually I realized that by treating those people that abused their situations badly I was doing nothing more than stooping to their level. Call it maturity if you will - I call it the bumpy learning curve of life. Enough people have helped me out in my life without asking for nor expecting anything in return that when I sense the opportunity to give back a tiny bit I try to make it happen.
Most of the people who directly impact the direction of my life's wanderings happen to be in the medical field, but there are a few special gems out there who for me an appointment is almost like a visit with them instead. One, my RMT, is a bona fide foodie at heart who taste tests everything I've thrown at him, listens to my aimless ramblings (as you all do here!) and shares his band White Noise Conspiracy's  incredible, unreleased songs with me. So when I was at my massage therapy appointment a few weeks back and my RMT mentioned he and his girlfriend were craving the "Sweet Karma" snaps from ShaSha but hadn't been able to find them in years, I was immediately interested in a "clone" attempt. Except for one thing - I had no idea what the heck Sweet Karma snaps were. I (of course) knew ShaSha's baking company, and their line of spelt-flour cookies in general, but not those specific ones. So I did a little digging, and discovered the answer to the mystery - swirled snaps, using both the Company's whole grain ginger and cocoa doughs in a marble of flavourful goodness.

Hm. Cocoa dough, no problem. Gingersnaps, easy. But marbling dough? How the heck would I do that? I struggle at the best of times making icebox sugar cookies, and all I could think of was to stack the doughs side by side, cut super-thin slices and cut out the shapes from those. Until - da da da daaaa! - the happy karma gods smiled on me by pointing me along to Zoom Yummy and Petra's recipe for "cookie lollipops". She had a spectacularly detailed play-by-play of how she marbled the dough, and I figured there was no better way I could think of that would look that good in the end!

It was remarkably simple, I have to admit, once I had both doughs made and chilled. The tricky bit was getting the final dough rolled to the right thickness, which is something I always struggle with when it comes to cut-out cookies. I knew it would have to be quite thin, thinner than standard cookie dough, to get the crisp "snap" texture right. But it had to be thick enough to not burn on the sheets in the heat of the oven. I settled on about 1/8" after a half-sheet of quarter-inch cutouts spread too much. A few batches in I realized that the best looking biscuits were ones I had chilled, rolled, cut out and frozen on parchment lined (rather than SilPatted) sheets, so I finished up the four-hour experiment by stashing trays of tiny heart cut-outs in our deep freezer, baking them the next morning.

Now, the cookie recipe I used stated it made 30 standard-sized cookies. But I made minis, so I knew there would be more, and I figured on about double to triple the yield depending on what the original author had used as a cutter for their snaps. I wound up with more. A lot more.

So all in all, how many cookies did I make out of that one batch of dough?

Yup. 334. You need a ton of tiny cookies? You got em. Share 'em around and earn some good (sweet) karma for yourself!

Mini Marbled Snaps
Be careful when "marbling" the dough - you don't want to take it too far because then the whole thing turns into one colour.
Makes 330(ish)
3/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp fancy molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 ½ cups whole spelt flour
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tbsp water
  1. Combine butter, sugar, molasses and honey in a saucepan and melt together, stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the flour and divide dough into two separate bowls.
  3. To one bowl of dough, stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, stirring well to combine.
  4. To the other bowl add the cocoa powder and water, mixing well to combine.
  5. Cover dough in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours.
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. On a plastic-lined countertop, roll out a third of one portion of the dough to about 1/4" thickness.
  8. On another floured surface, roll out 1/3 of the other portion of dough to 1/4" thickness (keep remaining dough in the fridge).
  9. Transfer the dough on the plastic wrap to the top of the other dough and press lightly to adhere the two sheets.
  10. Gently gather the doughs into a ball and re-roll into a 1/8", marbled-looking sheet (you may have to lightly knead it to marble, don't do it too much!).
  11. Cut out cookies using a miniature cookie cutter or fondant cutter. Freeze trays 30 minutes - 1 hour.
  12. Repeat rolling/marbling/cutting/chilling process for the remaining dough (doing three batches ensures it stays cold and won't require as much re-rolling).
  13. Preheat oven to 350F.
  14. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets, set on a cooling rack, for 30 minutes before transfering the parchment to the racks and cooling completely.
Amount Per Cookie
Calories: 9.6
Total Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 1.1 mg
Sodium: 3.1 mg
Total Carbs: 1.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 0.1 g

2 comments :

David T. Macknet said...

Yikes, that's a lot of cookies! You're sure you didn't just make a super-sweet breakfast cereal? :)

It's funny, how the silpat doesn't really do so well with cookies. I've also found that parchment is superior, particularly with snaps.

Tonya @ What's On My Plate said...

Um that's a LOT of cookies!