Cookies & Bars

When Good Intentions Go Wrong

Egg Yolk Coconut Cookies
Ugly, dry cookies.

Although we don’t remember every lesson from the earliest days of school, the one that should remain is basic counting. We’ll return to this point shortly.

We had an angel food cake to make, which meant there would be a dozen yellow yolks just waiting to be used. We are not ones to waste our scraps. Crème brulée, flan, a fatty omelette, ice cream, even the Sinful Forbidden Dancing dessert…the choices were all there there. Instead, we decided to test a very basic recipe for an all egg yolk cookie. We had most of the ingredients and substitutions for the things that were missing. It would be a quick fix with our own added flair. We were ready to taste them! So ready we forgot that baking is all about measurements…and counting.

If there ever was an experiment with a cookie, it was this moment.  Not only have we never made cookies with only egg yolks, but we’ve also never used a higher ratio of brown sugar in a non-chocolate chip or molasses-like cookie.  We went halfsies on butter and shortening to keep the cookies from going too flat and crispy. We tossed in our friends lemon and orange zest to add flavor and texture instead of extracts found in the original extract. None of those were the complete downfall–it was the fact that we doubled the recipe without doubling the egg yolks! That’s what happens when you decide an eggy breakfast burrito (recipe coming shortly) would be a great way to start the day as you’re simultaneously making cookies. Our recipe was a failure–a dry, crumbly, tasteless failure. Egads.

Remember: You can make all the substitutions you want, but just keep in mind 6 x 2 = 12, and you’re bound to be more successful than us.

By doubling the recipe, we had a lot of dough leftover.  Here’s a selection from our second batch–one third of the size, covered with icing and sprinkled with more coconut.  Better in the taste department, but still not award winning.  Next time, we’ll keep our counting hats on!

Only Egg Yolk Cookies-The Duo Dishes

Only Egg Yolk Cookies – Approx. 4-5 dozen cookies
5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening, butter flavored
12 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2  teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Zest of 2 lemons, minced
Zest of 2 oranges, minced

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 egg white

1.  Cream butter, shortening and sugars in an electric mixer.

2.  Add eggs a few at a time, then vanilla.  Mix well.

3.  As ingredients mix, sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and zests.  Pour gradually into mixer.

4.  Add coconut and incorporate well.

5.  Dig out 1 1/2 tablespoon hunks of dough and roll into balls.  Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet 1 inch apart and flatten slightly. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges brown slightly.

6.  As cookies cool, whisk egg white in an electric mixer until frothy.

7. Add powdered sugar gradually and continue to mix well. Pour in extracts and combine until thick, glossy and smooth.

8. Allow cookies to cool completely before spreading icing on each one. Let cookies sit until icing has hardened or pop in the fridge overnight to set.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


31 thoughts on “When Good Intentions Go Wrong

  1. Oh no! Sorry to hear your cookie experimentation didn’t turn out well. I find myself making mistakes like that all too often – like halving a recipe but not halving the eggs. Usually I get myself confused with butter because I weigh it in ounces and recipes give it in cups. Anyway!

  2. Oh, I can so relate! I had about three baking experiences in a row that simply bombed. It was enough to make me consider giving up baking again, since cooking savory dishes is so much more satisfying…But, I will persist.

    Great blog! I cook with my husband too, so I feel like we are kindred spirits.

  3. It takes cojones to admit your failures. Having experienced hunger as a child, I am very unlikely to judge anything that would fill up that void in my belly without making me throw up as a failure; however, there are things that are better than others. Cookies better be real good because no one *has* to eat cookies!

  4. I’m so not a baker. It’s too darned precise and I’m famous for not measuring.

    At least you tried.

  5. OOOOH, what a pity for the 1st batch of cookies!! We know that it happens to all of us,…just keep trying & trying!
    Your 2nd batch looks so delicious!! Yum Yum!!

  6. Mistakes are nothing to apologize for. After all, some of the best things happened by mistake. Case in point: molten chocolate cake. It was invented by Jean Georges Vongerichten, when his pastry people accidentally pulled a chocolate cake out of the oven too early. Now, all of us are very grateful they made that mistake. 😉

  7. Hey!!! No worries! We all have our mistakes in the kitchen… I actually just tried making macarons and it was a MAJOR FAIL! But breakfast burritos are quite tasty!

  8. There’s no such thing as a bad cookie. That’s what a glass of milk (in my case, chocolate) is for! 😎

    I will remember, when I halve this recipe, that 12 /2= 6!

  9. girl don’t u know ugly is good sometimes!!! 🙂
    it’s going to take me 2 hours just to catch up on ur past two weeks! bear with me as I read and drink Carte Noir coffee!

  10. I made a horrendous batch of snickerdoodles that were super dry a couple weeks ago. Had to throw the entire batch out — such a waste! Kitchen fails definitely happen to all of us!

  11. Oh man… doggy just cracked me up with his comment. It was bound to happen. lol.

    From the pictures they looked tasty. I’d still take em’ even if you told me what happened. A cookie is still a cookie in my book . =)

  12. Hahaha, oh no! So sorry that math hurt these little cookies. They look good, though…you can’t tell that they’re dry or crumbly from the pics. In fact, with frosting, I’m willing to be they taste pretty darn good, no?

  13. That is a seriously HUGE batch of cookies! Such a bummer it didn’t work out right 😦 I hate when I’m doubling or halving a recipe and have a mind melt in the middle of it!!

  14. Oh no! That’s a bummer. Messing up recipes always pisses me off, myself. You could call them biscuits and dip them in tea I guess… 🙂

  15. Just wondering what you did with the left over dough!? Not for my own personal use (unless you offer) but really I’m wondering if you refrigerated it and if that altered the texture any.

  16. See, even a cookie with less egg yolk is better than no cookies at all (and guess who MY favorite Sesame Street character was…) These don’t look half-bad, and I can’t wait to see the breakfast burrito.

  17. I love your eagerness to try new recipes and ideas.
    Next time you are left with yolks alone.. make rich short bread cookies.. my all time favorite cookie and they are sooo good with tea and coffee! 🙂

  18. I’ve flunked math since kindergarten; I’m the last one to throw a stone and the first one to commiserate. 🙂

    Failed cookies can be pulverized in a food processor and used in place of graham cracker crumbs. No stranger to failed cookies, needless to say, I have tons of these crumbs in the freezer.

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