Overall, Cookie Bake '08 was a great success. Almost all the cookies were well received and they all got out of our house before we left on one of the best vacations in a long time. Here are all the recipes used and reactions to them.
Pecan Snowballs - First attempt at vegan baking a complete success. These taste exactly like pecan sandies and I even had someone think that I bought them instead of made them.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies - aka Breakfast Cookies. These were by far the biggest hit at my office. I think they would have been absolutely perfect with mini chocolate chips, but the big ones worked just fine. A co-worker took them home to his kids and they flipped out. Cookies and chocolate for breakfast?!? I am currently their favorite person. These were very moist and stayed that way for at least four days.
Cinnamon-Sugar Pinwheels - The second biggest hit in the office. These are also Matt's favorites. Super easy and quick.
Off to Bed Butter Cookies - Aside from a really lame name, and being a pain to get into a roll, these came out nicely. They took much longer in the oven than the recipe called for, but didn't dry out at all.
Hazelnut Shortbread Sticks - I really liked these, but I think the cookies should have been slightly smaller. I made them roughly the size of my pointer finger, and they probably should have been pinky sized instead. I also used semi sweet chocolate for dipping them in, and I would definitely use milk chocolate next time.
Earl Grey Madelines - I really liked these, but they weren't the biggest hit in my office. Based on some comments left in the recipe I doubled the amount of tea used for infusing the butter (which is something I would definitely do for another recipe) and it wasn't nearly as strong as I anticipated. I made this in a mini cupcake pan because I don't have a madeline pan. Make sure to use good honey and fresh lemon because you taste that quite a bit in the final cookie.
Chocolate Chip Cookies - I use the Barefoot Contessa recipe (which apparently has now been made into a mix you can buy). Classic, easy, but shouldn't be doubled in an Artisan stand mixer without a word of caution. Ideally I like to rest the cookie dough over night (it really does make a better tasting cookie and they keep their shape better) but I didn't have time this time around. Still got rave reviews on them.
Tip of the day - if you want browner cookies use a darker cookie sheet. It actually does make a difference, even if Matt thought I was full of it.
Hope everyone had a happy holiday season and Happy New Year!