Over the past two weekends I’ve tried several kinds of cookies and had success with only two of them. I’m not happy with a 2-2 outcome, and one of those wins was a close call, so I’m determined to better my cookie winning record this month. Here’s how it went down:
Blondies – Win
I remember my mom making blondies when I was growing up. I found the idea fascinating—blonde brownies. What an idea!
Last weekend I made my first blondies using a Joy of Cooking recipe. I added chocolate chips because Chris always wants me to do that, and that’s just about the only way to get Jonah to eat a cookie. The recipe didn’t include chocolate chips but I stirred in ½ cup just before spreading the batter in the baking dish. These turned out really yummy, and required me to do something I hadn’t done before—brown butter before mixing it with sugar. Apparently that increases the carmelizing effect. Ah, I love anything carmelized.
Peanut Butter Cookies – Loss
I’m pretty much done with this recipe, which I failed at this summer too, although I may try it one more time without Splenda. It’s a very simple recipe—just one cup of peanut butter, one cup of flour, sugar, and an egg—that I tried because it’s one that’s easy for Jonah to help me bake.
When I made this in July, I overcooked them because they never, ever browned on top and I kept letting them go just a couple more minutes. They were hard as rocks. This time I took them out when the recipe said to and didn’t’ worry about browning. They weren’t over-cooked, but they were terribly crumbly, and my husband and father-in-law could taste the Splenda. I think it utterly nauseated my father-in-law. But Jonah ate them. Probably because he made them.
Brown Sugar Cookies – Win
I wanted to replicate a brown sugar cookie my friend Lisa made for me when my first son was born four years ago, although I didn’t have her recipe to work with. These were a close call but ultimately came out tasting great even though I don’t think they looked or tasted just like Lisa’s.
I made them on a Friday night when I was tired from a long week. The recipe was a challenge to me, as it was my first try at a non-drop cookie. The recipe makes a cookie dough that can be rolled into a tube and refrigerated or frozen, then sliced into cookies. My plan was to prepare the dough Friday night and bake the cookies on Saturday. Well, after the dough was all done and put in the refrigerator, I noticed the baking soda sitting on the counter, and suddenly realized I had forgotten to add both baking soda and salt. I got pretty angry at this point. Finally, after some moments of complaining, yelling, and slamming dirty dishes around, I took Chris’s suggestion and pulled the dough out of the refrigerator, smushed it, and folded in the baking soda and salt, then reformed the rolls of dough. Then I sliced up one of the rolls into 24 cookies and baked a batch to make sure they tasted okay. Lo and behold, they did! I served them at a church children’s ministry meeting on Sunday, and they disappeared.
I made one creative experiment with this recipe that did NOT backfire. The recipe called for both brown sugar and white sugar. I used the amount of brown sugar called for, but for the white sugar I actually used half white sugar, half demerara sugar, a granulated raw/brown sugar. As a result, several of the cookies had pretty brown carmelized sugar streaks on the top.
Honey Molasses Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Loss
I made these before as monster cookies with M&Ms, and this time I wanted to make them with chocolate chips because Chris requested some chocolate chip cookies. They are made with whole grain white flour, and they’re not your typical oatmeal cookie.
And apparently they don’t taste that great when you leave out the chocolate chips.
That’s right. I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips. I completely forgot them. I don’t know how I managed to do that, since it’s the most important ingredient of a Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Now, I like a good oatmeal cookie, but I think that the addition of chocolate is best for this particular cookie, which is a little dry and grainy baked at the recommended time without anything special added to the oatmeal and whole grain flour for taste and texture.
The cookies might have been a little better tasting if cooked for less time, but it wasn’t until they were already done that I realized what I’d left out. Now they make me think of stereotypical “health” cookies.
I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty depressing realizing late on Sunday night that the chocolate chip cookies you’ve just baked and have been promising yourself and everyone for lunch during the week are actually NOT chocolate chip cookies.
Next weekend, I’ve got to redeem myself.