Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cantaloupe Cookies

It all started with a 99-cent cantaloupe from Aldi. It smelled good; it looked good. It did not get along with pregnant digestive track. I was burping cantaloupe all day two days ago. Because Joe isn't fond of the orange melon, and Stephen also tried and rejected it, I decided I would need to transform it into something else. My mom got me a copy of Gourmet's Cookie Book for Christmas, and I've been getting inspired before bed several nights now. (Even Stephen likes to look at it with me. He'll say: "How 'bout we read the cookie book?") What about cantaloupe cookies? I thought either a thumbprint or kolachky or bar cookie might work. Recipes for cantaloupe quick bread and cake abound on the Internet, but I couldn't find any cookie recipes. So this morning I decided to chop the thing up into tiny bits and cook them over medium with a big mound of sugar and a big shake of cardamom and a little tiny shake of ginger powder. I also added the zest of one lemon. Surprisingly, it turned into a very thick jam. I guess cantaloupe has a lot of natural pectin? I made a bar cookie base of a cup flour, 1/3 cup butter, some sliced almonds and a 1/4 cup instant oats, which I pressed into a square dish and baked for 18ish minutes until it was very lightly browned. I spread the cantaloupe mixture over that and then beat 2 eggs, the juice of one lemon and 3/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbs flour in a bowl and poured it over everything. It baked at 350 for maybe 20 minutes and came out like....
Not terribly pretty in my estimation, but pretty good for a completely experimental cookie. It's intensely lemony and sweet and rich and gooey. I'm pretty sure they need to be refrigerated. I think I could have upped the cardamom and ginger to give it a more obvious exotic flavor.