October 3, 2011

On Baking Cookies

I'll make no secret about my ignorance in baking cookies. I may have done it before... I know I've made brownies. I do have a sweet tooth, and odds are that at some point I baked some out of desperation.

Now, of late I'm doing my best to watch my figure as I creep toward 30 years old and the inevitable demise of my metabolism. So I'm trying to avoid unhealthy things. And yet, someone left me some butterscotch chips, a true rarity in these parts. And I'm on an oatmeal kick - oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins, check. What more do you need for cookies? Eggs? I've been known to fry or scramble them. Flour? I keep that around in case I want to fail at battering and frying something. Salt? Check. Butter? Obviously. Despite my bachelordom, I know these are essential for baking and I keep them all on hand anyway. I started thinking - cookie-baking is a skill I can further develop in my spare time here, and it just so happens I have the majority of the necessary ingredients. Gotta start somewhere.

And so it came to pass that I decided to bake some oatmeal cookies.

I located the following Betty Crocker recipe:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

blah blah 350 degrees blah blah combine ingredients drop dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet, bake 9-11 minutes blah blah cool on a rack.

I don't have a cooling rack. I didn't think about this until the cookies were actually in the oven.

What I had to start with.

I had to plunder the Marshall's house for the remaining stuff. Since this was my first time baking since moving here, there was no way I was going to have vanilla on hand. I didn't have any baking soda that hadn't been sitting in a freezer for less than a decade. Also, I didn't have a mixing bowl. Also, I was out of eggs for some reason.

me, plundering the Marshall's house.

Everything you need for a breathtaking baking adventure

Dial it up to 350 for fun. No digital clock ovens in this house. Analog, baby. That's how I roll.

There they are. No turning back now. That's butter and sugar - essentially frosting. The butter, for the record, smelled and tasted a little funky. Not enough, though, for me to think it was unusable. A more experienced cook might have turned back at this point. But like I said - no turning back now. We're doing this.

Add eggs and vanilla and stir "until light and fluffy." I guess this is light and fluffy. Then combine all the rest.

Artist with art. Taking self-portraits and not looking like a doofus is very difficult. Poor framing. Meh.

That's definitely not the prescribed two-inches apart. No big deal, though, right? Who cares? It was at this point that I realized - what in the world are they supposed to cool on? My mom always put them on newspaper. I don't read newspapers here. Bare on the table? Nope. I had something:

Paper towel, baby. A few of them got a little close together and turned into squares. No biggy. I'll fast forward to the end here:

They really don't look too bad.

Now. Finished. I can enjoy a few of these, but I'm going to have to give a lot away. I tasted one two a few. I should have added more raisins. I don't think the butter-funk played a big role. A few taste testers will tell. 

All in all - not a bad experience. I followed the recipe. They look like cookies. They taste like cookies. I can chalk this one up as a success.

1 comment:

georgi said...

Betty Crocker recipes are actually one of the best...if you ever want to get a basic cookbook, recipes that hold up through time, you can always fancy a recipe up later, by adding or subtracting an ingredient, (if you prefer cashews to walnuts...etc.)
Yor cookies made my mouth water, thinking of hot chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven.
My last airplane flight on Frontier
they give out a microwave hot cookie, almost as good...lol