It's the day before the Fourth of July, and in true American tradition, I'm going to go on a loud, angry rant about other cultures. See, other cultures have invaded our palates and horrendously expanded the spectrum of basic ingredient options. There's white, rye, whole wheat, buckwheat, rice, gram (a.k.a. chickpea), maize, tapioca, potato, and I'm sure others that I can't name. And then there's wheat bran, wheat gluten, malt, potato starch, cornstarch, and what have you. There's red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, mirin minus the vinegar, plain old white vinegar; there's olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, sesame oil... every time I run into a recipe I want to try, there's one particular ingredient that I don't have and whose unique flavor is the true raison d'être of the dish in question. I guess what I'm saying is that I hate the fact that there are myriad forms of flours and flavoring options. Stupid variety.
This all comes about because in my quest to make as-close-to-authentic-as-possible pumpernickel bread, to be used after its curing period in my Independence Day picnic lunch, I've found a dozen recipes from a dozen reputable sources, each unsatisfactory in its own particular way, often the way that involves me not having wheat bran or wheat gluten and not wanting to buy some just to be used on this. I thus combined two recipes into one that may or may not be successful. I'll let you know tomorrow.
Today's cream cheese cookies are, however, a major success. I altered the cream cheese/butter ratio to be a little more in favor of the cream cheese and increased the amount of baking powder in them just a little to make them more light and pillowy. They looked a little pallid just plain, so I decorated them with some melted 85 percent chocolate.