Week 2: White Chocolate Whalers

White Chocolate? If you're like me, you don't care for the stuff. I mean, it isn't even chocolate! Really. Since white chocolate doesn't contain chocolate liquor it cannot be classified as "real" chocolate. But last week's recipe was so overwhelmingly chocolate-rich, dark, and yummy-that I felt I needed to go to the other end of the spectrum.

I must say that this is the most unique cookie I have ever made. The batter is, for lack of a better word, weird. At one point while it was mixing I lost some hope that this cookie was going to be any good. However the air was perfumed with the lovely smell of vanilla and orange (zesting is the best!) so not all was lost even if the cookies were a bomb.

Recipe courtesy: Great Cookies

1 c. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. grated orange zest
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
1 c. superfine sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 c. rice cereal (Rice Krispies), divided
3 (3.5 0z) bars white chocolate, like Lindt, chopped into chunks

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter with the orange zest over low heat. Set aside to cool to tepid.
3. Combine flour and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whip the egg yolks and whites on medium speed until thick and lightened in color. Add the sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until well blended, about 1 min. more. Slowly pour in the butter mix, then add vanilla. Mix for 1 minute longer to combine, scraping the bowl down as needed. The mixture will thicken as beaten.
5. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in 3 c. of the cereal. Strain the dry ingredients over the batter, folding gently with spatula until just combined. Fold in the chocolate pieces.
6. Place the remaining cereal in a flat dish. Using a large ice cream scoop, drop the mounds of dough into the cereal and toss lightly to adhere. Place balls of cookie dough on cookie sheet, 3 inches apart. Using the heel of your hand, flatten into 3 inch disks.
7. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Let rest until firm enough to handle then transfer to cooling racks. Stores in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

My verdict: My family and I did not care for these cookies. I know they can't be that great if my two year old won't finish a half of one. The Rice Krispies add a nice crunch, but the flip side of that coin is that the baking process gives them a stale texture. At first I was concerned my cereal was stale, my box did have ads for "Star Trek" the movie that came out last summer, but the box was unopened and I tried them alone and they were fine. I find that I'm really chewing on the cookie and the cereal is getting stuck in my teeth-eww. The orange flavor is nice though, but if I want something deliciously orange, I'll make my orange brownies! I say pass on these, but if your curious or enjoy stale Rice Krispies, then go for it!

Don't forget to check back for survey results. I could be really wrong about these cookies, but I'm not holding my breath!

Okay! Survey Results. These cookies received a "3". Honestly? These people are too nice. The overall opinion was that these cookies were dry and the Rice Krispies had a stale taste. One survey said, "Texture is strange-soft, yet 'tries' to be crunchy...like stale rice krispies or something. Not BAD, just not expected." Agreed! These will not be going in the Christmas tins.

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