Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Hanukah Miracle.... I think

We definitely had quite a night here -- the 1st night of Hanukah.

I came home from work with a definite game plan. I already made the rugelach dough this past weekend, so all I would have to do is take the dough out of the fridge (it has been defrosting in there since the morning), roll it out, process the chocolate, melt some butter, do some whisking for the washes, and voila, thirty-six gorgeous rugelach (or rugelai??) would be baked in no time, and soon on their way to my office for a lovely Hanukah brunch.

All was going to plan. I put the dough closer to the radiator in the kitchen, so it would get easier to roll out. Processing the chocolate in the food processor turned out to be a challenge. So, to not kill the motor on my beautiful cobalt blue mini chopper (Kitchenaid, natch!), I turned to my very old and very uncool blender. But, the blender worked. So, go figure.

I put the rolled rugelach onto baking sheets that were lined with wax paper. I realized I ran out of parchment paper, so during lunchtime today, I made a quick run to Duane Reade, and was only able to find wax paper. I had some memory of wax paper not being the best thing to bake with, but time was running out and I wasn't about to become choosy.

Not all 36 cookies could fit on one baking sheet, so 30 of them went in the large baking sheet, and six of them in the smallest. The smallest went on the bottom rack in the oven and the large went on the top. All was going well. I was making good time.

And the oven started smoking... For some odd reason, there was smoke filling up inside the oven. I thought it was probably because of something that I baked before that never cleaned up, and since the cookies were only going to bake for about 20 minutes, I didn't think it was a big deal.

Then, Rafa came home. And then, the fire alarm started going off. Even having the kitchen window completely open didn't seem to help. We quickly got our rotating fan in there, and that did seem to help, but the bottom cookies were close to being burnt to a crisp. I took them out first, and being the optimistic person I am, I still gave them a sugar wash because I hoped beyond hope for a miracle of miracles that they were still salvageable in some way.

I was really worried about the other 30 cookies, so took them out soon after. With all cookies on the stovetop, rotating fan at full blast aimed towards them, and the fierce December wind blowing the other way, we finally got the fire alarm to stop going off. But the fate of the cookies did not look good. They were completely stuck to the spawn-of-the-devil wax paper. I hate wax paper! Do you hear me, wax paper?!!! I HATE YOU!

I couldn't believe this was possible. I wanted so much to share these cookies with my coworkers. I really wanted to show off these cookies. They are really THAT good!

After leaving the situation, and then lighting the Hanukah candles, I decided to have another look at the cookies, and managed to carefully save a few of them. I realize how ironic it is that a miracle happened when oil would burn for eight nights, and the horrible wax paper almost burned down my entire house... but it didn't, and I might even have some somewhat gorgeous (although slightly undercooked) cookies to bring into work tomorrow.

But let's not forget about the ones that didn't make it.

So a miracle happened here. And the fire alarm works. Good to know. :)


Georgina Ingham | CulinaryTravels said...

Looks like they came out well in the end though Ilana. I could just eat one right now. Sorry 'bout the chaos!!

George xxx

PS Lovely to see the menorah in the background too.

Lisa said...

Happy Hanukah!
Oh, wow! I'm sure they tasted good, though. And I'm glad to see that your menorah is nowhere near any dangling curtains.

Anna's kitchen table said...

You inspired me Ilana - I took up your challenge to make the rugelach!

Shame about the wax paper and mess..

Happy Hannukah!

PS You might be interested in my latest post.