Sometimes when I am baking or cooking things go wrong for no apparent reason at all. Recently this happened while I was preparing for my baby sister's wedding. My cousin and I decided to make an elaborate cookie table as a special gift for my sissy. This required hours and hours of cookie baking days before the wedding. In the end, I was to bake 10 different types of cookies (10 dozen each). Needlessly to say, this was a big task. I was so fortunate to have an army of helpers that made the whole endeavor a great experience. So what does this have to do with regrouping you ask.... well, while I was preparing the dough for a marzipan pine nut cookie, the dough decided to liquefy and there was no way on earth that I could have rolled it into little horns as the recipe said. I quickly decided to change course and make a Chinese almond cookie in its place (this is not the kind of regrouping I am talking about). Now I had a dilemma. I had a liquid mess that I spent a fortune on (almond paste is not cheap). I had to employ all my baking know-how to fix this one. I knew that adding powdered sugar would only sweeten the dough and there was no guarantee that it would firm it up. I also knew that freezing egg whites dries them. So I decided to freeze the dough (loosely wrapped in cling film) with the hope that the dough would "dry" and then I would be able to mold it. Plan B worked!! The result was a tasty cookie that looked pretty fancy to me.
I should say, regrouping does not always work. Sometimes things just don't work out and the only place for the dough is the garbage. So, next time things don't work out, try regrouping. The worst thing that will happen is you will find out what doesn't work.
16 oz. almond paste, room temp.
3/4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar, spooned in and leveled
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 c. pine nuts
Place the pine nuts in a shallow bowl. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll into 1 1/4-inch balls, moistening your palms with the ice water to keep the dough from sticking. Roll the balls in the pine nuts, pressing gently to adhere, then shape into crescents. Place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
6 oz. bittersweet Chocolate, cut into 1 inch chunks
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp. hot water, if needed