Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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I broke the frosting!

on December 13, 2009

Yes, I did and I was super frustrated about it. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know what that term means.  However, if you have not worked in the food-slinging industry, to ‘break’ a sauce means you’ve over-cooked it and it is irreparably damaged.  Hollandaise is notoriously tricky, too much heat and stirring, it separates and that’s it, pretty much.  There may be a way to save it, but since i”m not a trained chef, nor have I actually worked the line in a restaurant, I don’t know how to.

I found out yesterday how to break frosting and I was really pissed! I bought a cook book, ‘The Cookie Bible’ maybe a month or so ago and have been dying to try more of the recipes. I’ve made the lemon poppy seed and they were totally fab so I was excited to try another recipe. Cold, cloudy weather really inspires me to bake.  So I cracked open my Cookie Bible to a page I’d previously marked as one I wanted to try. They are called Snow on the Mountain.  Essentially they are chocolate chip/walnut cookies that you roll into a ball, and then when you put them on the sheet, shape them to have a mountain-like peak.  After baking, you put this white frosting on top a la ‘snow’.  Great, the looked delish and I thought it would be fun to do with my kids.

My daughter really enjoyed helping me. I let her take a much more active role in making them and she loved it. She’s always begging to crack the eggs, but since I”m not fond of crunchy scrambled eggs or cookies, I’ve always declined her  offer.  Yesterday she did just fine. We all had fun making them, which was what I was going for anyway.

So the frosting recipe was actually just melted white chocolate chips w/a little heavy cream or milk. Ok, easy enough. So I followed the instructions, melted the chips in the microwave then added the cream. Well, I used half and half, but just enough to make what I thought would be a medium glaze like the recipe said. I’m stirring away when it happened: the once smooth melted chips suddenly looks like sand. WTF? Hmmm, maybe since I added the half and half, it cooled the chips off too much, so I’ll just put it back in the microwave and heat it some more.  Well guess what, that didn’t help one bit.  It was done.  It looked like sand, well very white sand, and it separated, there was oil sitting on top. So just for grins and giggles I tasted it, even though by now it smells like urine, literally, gag.  Yep, it was done, it was grainy and disgusting.  AAACK! My daughter was very upset but we went to the store and got another bag of the white chips.  You can’t have ‘Snow on the Mountain’ cookies with no snow!  This time, I simply melted the chips and stirred very carefully until they were just smooth and that was it. Although I could see at the bottom where it was beginning to break again, so I made sure not to dig too deep when I was frosting them.  Kind of like when you scorch a sauce or a pan of rice, you don’t dig too deep, otherwise the sauce or rice will all be ruined. 

So let that be a lesson, when melting white chips, if you are stirring and it suddenly turns to sand, it’s done.  You’ve broken your frosting.  Or likewise, if you’re making Hollandaise and it separates and won’t blend together, it’s broken.

And there is your cooking lesson for the day!

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3 responses to “I broke the frosting!

  1. Jennifer says:

    I was wondering if you had the recipe for the “Snow on the Mountain” cookies that you would be willing to share. My aunt had the book previously but it has since gone missing and I’ve found myself scouring EVERYWHERE to find the recipe and have come up short handed

    • Hi Jen, thanks for stopping by! I’ll have to look and see if I’ve still got that recipe. It’s been a while since I made them. I’ll look and get back to you.

    • I just posted the recipe. If you’re interested, the book I found it in is available for about $10 on Amazon, The Cookie Bible, it’s full of really delicious recipes and gorgeous photos. Totally worth the ten bucks! There you go! Merry Christmas!

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