Friday, October 16, 2009

Cookies make Awkward Social Gatherings Better!

At long last, it's Friday. As far as weeks go, this hasn't seemed as long as other weeks. The time went much more quickly than I anticipated. I'm very glad of that fact. There have been times when I have needed to hide sharp objects from myself because the week has been so long and so tedious.

One of the reasons it went by so far may be due to the fact we had one of our Awkward Social Events yesterday at work. Oh, excuse me, I lunches. It was originally supposed to be a barbecue but then the managers decided to order out from a barbecue place, thus removing the need for the grill we store in the office's garage. Then when the weather proved to be grey, damp and rather chilly, we moved it into the conference room. So...not so much a barbecue as an inside lunch.

Naturally, silly me, I figured when I found out it was going to be catered, I thought it meant it wouldn't be potluck. Silly Captain Monkeypants. We got the meat bought in but we all signed up for sides and dessert.

Normally, I bring in a savory side dish since I prefer the idea of cooking to baking. I think it's because I'm an impatient creature. Baking requires those exact measurements, proper stirring technique, timing and a really good oven. I lack all those things. While I try to measure exactly, if there are more than 5 ingredients to my baking recipe, chances are I'll probably screw it up somewhere. So, in the past, I've brought in Buffalo Chicken Dip, Guacamole, Salsa Verde and Sausage rolls. All of these things require chopping and prepping but, in the end, can be made simply and easily and usually turn out well.

This time, I decided to be bold. I'd watched an episode of Everyday Italian on the Food Network in which the hostess, Giada De Laurentis, made this cookies called "Chocolate Ganache Cookies." They used store-bought sugar cookie dough, dark chocolate, cream and sugar and that was it. So, when we had to sign up for dishes for this past Awkward Social Gathering, I decided to sign up for dessert. I was the second person to sign up on the list and when I did so, the other person was bringing in something savory.

Well, when it came to cookie-baking time, I once again came to the realization that Giada De Laurentis is magical. I mean, the woman NEVER gets messy. I don't know if they cut her show so that she can wash her hands between each step of cooking/baking but she never gets messy fingers, never smears chocolate on herself and never squirts herself in the eye with a lemon. I find that amazing and slightly irritating. When I'd watched her make the chocolate ganache cookies with her niece on the show, they managed to do it it moments, cheerfully taking a melted chocolate/cream mixture, rolling it into neat little balls and wrapping the sugar cookie 'logs' around it.

Well, I'm Captain Monkeypants, not Giada. It took me about 30 minutes to roll out the 'logs' of sugar cookie. That chocolate mixture of melted dark chocolate and heavy cream got in my hair, under my nails and all over my kitchen. I tried to roll the balls the way I'd seen Giada do it and I ended up with brown smeared hands and had to wash them between each ball.

All in all, the 'quick cookie recipe' took me approximately 2 hours to complete and that's not including the time it took to cool down the ganache in the fridge.

I will say that the cookies were delicious. I know because I ate several when they were warm from the oven. I don't even care for cookies that much usually but these were rather tasty and delicious.

When I took them in to the "Barbecue", it turns out that it was more like "dessert with a side of meat." Normally, we have maybe two or three desserts. Yesterday, there were no less than seven. My cookies were ignored in favour of Chocolate Eclair Cake, Pumpkin Spiced Muffins and Hershey Pie. Needless to say, I was terribly thrilled. I was pleased that the people who did try my cookies ended up eating about three of them because they enjoyed them. I just don't like being out-desserted by Hershey's Pie and Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Especially since I signed up first.

Ah well, some potlucks are like that. It is nice to bake when the weather's chilly outside and the smell of warm chocolate fills the air as the cookies bake. I might have to try it again. This time, I'll try to be more Giada-like and not paint the kitchen with chocolate. What I am finding is that now I actually have a kitchen with space for cooling racks and baking sheets, it is a little easier to bake without fearing disaster. Of course, this does mean more surfaces to mess up but it's a trade off, right.

As for the Awkward Social wasn't quite so awkward. Being a software company with a large amount of geeky males, we apparently have two flat screen TV's and two video game systems. Thus, we spent about two hours listening to people caterwaling on the "Rock Band" game and beating the crap out of each other on boxing on the Wii. It was more fun that working although given the ratio of video game controllers to employee, there was a lot of standing around watching people play. I have always thought there's little more boring than watching other people play video games when all you really want to do is rip the controller out of their hands and have a go but it did beat sitting at my desk contemplating my next project as I'd normally be doing. All in all, it was definitely one of the better Social Events we've had in a while. Even if it was still a little awkward.

Still, the cookies helped.

Happy Friday. Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

Ladyaero said...

I need a new savory appetizer to make...may I have the recipe for your Buffalo Chicken Dip please? If you would like some easier (yet SO fabulous and always loved) cookies, I will send you the recipe for Chocolate Crinkles (they also freeze really well and you can eat them straight from the freezer, a-la frozen 3 Muskateers, or you can microwave them for a few seconds and they'll taste fresh baked).