One Smart Cookie!
So apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks! And, as much as I hate referring to myself as an old dog, I have to say thank you to all my readers. I asked for some help finding a great cookie recipe, and all I can say is WOW! Not only did you come through with some great recipes, but I also got an entire list of things that go along with it. First I have to say that the Nestle's Tollhouse cookie recipe was the most highly recommended. Above that, there were some oatmeal recipes, peanut butter, and I am still waiting for my niece to send me her "out of this world lemon squares" as soon as she is done with her homework. I plan on trying each and every one of them, but one thing that I learned is that it is not all about the recipe.
I got some good tips as far as the recipes go. Almost everyone agrees that you need to double the vanilla - always. One person said to use half again as much almond flavoring too. That one sounded good. We seemed to be equally split on the real butter vs. margarine people. And, the most interesting tip was to add an envelope of instant pudding mix to the dry ingredients. Several people came up with this. They also even suggested using different flavors to change the flavor of the cookies. I am definitely trying that one.
Moreover, I also need to:
Bake them for the minimum amount of time (I am good at doing the minimum amount required);
never leave the kitchen, they must be watched closely like children; (my children are grown, I'm beyond this now. This could be part of the problem.);
use air pillow pans (pillows make me sleepy. I could be in danger of a spontaneous nap);
use only salted butter (there goes my blood pressure);
use only dark brown sugar;
bake them on parchment paper (paper and fire - not a good idea to me);
use only wax paper to cool them - no racks (what's a rack?);
take out a minute early, but leave on the hot pan to carryover cook for the last minute;
practice makes perfect, try them over and over again (this should add a good 20 pounds);
buy an oven thermometer; (here's an idea.)
clean your oven (I gotta tell ya, this one really sucks);
rotate my trays (I'll leave that one alone);
melt the butter first (hmmm);
use half butter/half shortening (which half?);
cookies should be placed on either brown paper bags or paper towel after removal from the oven
refrigerate the dough before baking (first I'm melting, now I'm cooling. I'm feeling little schizophrenic);
make bar cookies, they're easier (you read my mind);
add an extra 1/4 - ½ C flour to the recipe (my ex- always did that, but I think it was a lot more than that. He's an over-achiever.);
use only fresh baking soda (this should probably go for all ingredients);
bake at 300 degrees for longer (straight from the Mrs. Fields recipe book);
remove from the pans right away (contradiction from another reader, not sure which way to go here);
bring the eggs down to room temperature (and pray they don't hatch);
cream ingredients by hand (probably get carpal tunnel now);
always sift the flour (don't have a sifter thing either, can you get them at the same place as a thermometer?);
use a scoop instead of a spoon for uniformity (I say individuality is refreshing);
watch the timer, critical;
Ask Alton on that Food TV-thingy (I do but he never answers me);
And, last but not least: Have Fun.
Two things I learned here. One, baking is kind of a science. All of the ingredients have to work together like an experiment. If you mess with part of it (like temperature, etc.) then the cookies won't work. And second:
Have fun. Who cares if they aren't perfect? I don't. God certainly doesn't. He knows me too well by now. I will never be perfect, and am so very grateful that I am not expected to be. That would end badly. More than one person suggested buying some cookies, putting them on a plate and pretending like I had made them. That has definitely been my style up until now. In today's harried world, that is the preferred cookie acquisition method of my home. But I think I'd really like to learn this. My own daughter even showed me up two days ago with some amazing double chocolate (white and milk chocolate) chip cookies. Thanks, Kelly. So, I am going to set aside some time for me to practice and become:
One Smart Cookie!
Hebrews 12:2: He is he author and perfecter of our faith.
Psalm 23:6 "...my cup overflows."
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Bionote: Lori is the author of three business books, numerous church skits, and several articles. She lives in Sacramento with her two children, two dogs, and cat. She loves to hear from her readers, so please email your thoughts and questions.