21 November 2005

Glamming it up

Ever since I discovered Pop Rock truffles at Godiva's the other week during my "I need to take a break otherwise I'm going to go mental" Toronto sojourn, I've been obsessed with the fizzy little candies.

This weekend I set aside for more destressing: playing in the kitchen, trying to come up with biscuit and bun recipes (which will be posted later). I was well armed with half a dozen packages of candy...to which The Fussy Eater immediately had visions of exploding cookies in the oven, biscuitty shrapnel embedded in walls and diners everywhere....

Even though I knew it wouldn't work if I mixed the Rocks into the dough, I tried it. To my surprise the wetness of the dough wasn't enough to set off the candy. At the half-way baking point, I opened the door (yes, I know, a no-no): everything looked normal..so far so good. At the 10-minute mark I took them out--the edges were a nice golden colour and the biscuits were cooked to the degree I like them (I don't care for the anemic-looking, raw-flour taste that seems to be all the rage in sugar cookie and shortbread baking).

But upon closer inspection what I thought would happen, did: the cookies' surface was pitted with traces of exploding candy. When they cooled a bit, I tried them. They tasted fine, but it seemed as if the "tropical punch" flavour had totally disappeared into the oven air...or somewhere...sigh. It would have been totally cool if I got it to work.

Oh well, back to Plan B (which was really Plan A, but curiosity got the better of me) and I baked a dozen plain biscuits and let them cool totally.

Given the candies I used were the bluey-green ones, I mixed them with blue, green and purple sugars. I mixed a bit of delphinium blue in with the icing, which turned the glaze a deep, pretty blue. When I did a full-cookie coverage of sparkles (as opposed to just the edges), they took on a sparkly, jewel-like quality (you can sort of see it in the photo, but they really looked phenomenal in real life--note use of past tense...all gone now!)

It worked...quite nicely. When you bite in to the cookie and let your mouth's moisture activate the candies, you get this really nice popping after a few seconds...explosive and sweet at the same time. Both Christine and Janet tried them the next day and candies popped when eaten, garnering two thumbs up.

For those of you who want to add a little glitz to your cookie jar, I've provided the recipe and instructions. Apart from allowing the cookies to totally cool before icing, the only other recommendations I have are to only open the candies when you are ready to use them (I opened them the day I made the dough (when I thought I'd be baking) and some of the poppyness was lost because of the humidity in the kitchen) and to lightly crush the candy so they go farther and don't stand out too much from the sugars.

When I found out that this month's SHF theme was the virtual cookie swap, I thought, simply for the fun-glitziness of this weekend's experiment, I would contribute them to the fray.

PopStar Cookies
Makes about four dozen, depending upon the size of the cookie cutters used

350g pastry flour
1tsp baking powder
200g granulated sugar
150g butter, at room temp
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract

icing sugar
food colouring
coloured, decorative sugars
4 packages Pop Rocks candy(9.5g each)

For the cookies
Cream together the butter and sugar; mix in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the flour and baking powder and then add to the wet mixture. Mix well.

Divide mixture into four portions, forming them into discs. Pop them into the fridge for three or four hours (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 350F; prepare baking sheets. Take out the dough and let rest on the counter for about 15-20 minutes. Working one disc at a time, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut out the stars. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until done. Allow to thoroughly cool on a wire rack before decorating.

To decorate
Mix a thin icing using the icing sugar, water and food colouring. In a flat-bottomed dish, mix the candies with sugar--you can decide the proportions, but I liked the effect of roughly half sugar and half candy.

Brush the cooled cookies with the icing; when they're just tacky (not too wet, but dry enough to have the topping stick without too much popping) cover the cookies with the sprinkly topping and allow to set.

as always,

photocredit: The Fussy Eater



Culinarily Obsessed said...

Pop Rocks truffles at Godiva?? What is the world coming to?? lol that sounds sooo interesting..I can't imagine. And your cookies are beautiful!!

jasmine said...

Surprisingly enough, the truffles worked! It was an incredibly smoon raspberry-Pop Rock centre enrobed in either ivory or dark choccie...

Am trying to convince a truffle-making friend to try making them...I feel the need for a constant supply :)


Anonymous said...

I just love this unique idea. You have been quite brave in the kichen and I applaud you.

Anonymous said...

Such fun! I'd love to make these for a cocktail party!