Posts Tagged ‘Baking Misadventure’

And the wonder baker blog is revived, not with a bang, but with some plain old boring cookies.

Well, not that boring. It’s still a tasty cookie after all!

I decided to do these because one day my sister said that what she was really craving was some chocolate chip cookies, but without the chocolate chips. What do you even call those? “Chipless chocolate chip cookies” seems to be too much of a mouthful, so I decided to just go with “Buttery Brown Sugar Cookies” and if you make them, you’ll see why. But I did have some leftover mini chocolate chips, so I tossed those in too for a few of the cookies.

I decided to choose Annie from Annie’s Eats’  favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to use as my base. But silly me forgot that when making cookies, butter is almost always creamed with sugar. When reading the recipe and seeing “whisk together dry ingredients”, I tossed the sugar in with the flour and other dry things, totally missing the next line below that said “cream butter and sugars”. So, as an Important Note: Keep in mind that, if you’re making cookies, you’ll probably be putting the sugar with the butter separately! Or you could read the whole procedure before you start, that’s a good tip too 🙂

I really liked the method described to form these cookies. I dipped my half-cup measuring cup into the batter and just scooped some out, not actually measuring or anything. Roll that amount of dough into a ball, then pull into two halves with your fingers. Then you place them on the sheet as seen above. I liked the way they cooked, nice thick edges and a chewy center.

Maybe a little too chewy? As you can see (I hope), the centers are quite undercooked. However, in this house that’s how we like our cookies, so that was a big plus for me. I cooked these big ones for about 12 minutes in the 325F oven and they came out lovely.

The bottoms were just gorgeous. I took them out of the oven when the very bottom edges started to turn just the slightest bit brown. Cookies still cook for a bit even after they’re taken from the oven, so to avoid overcooking, make sure you don’t leave them in until they’re too brown!

I made a small batch of smaller cookies by taking the big ball and splitting in, then rolling the halves into balls and splitting them again. Above you can see the size comparison and the smaller ones cooked for about 8 minutes.

My sister really liked these, so I consider it a mission accomplished! Though whether it was because the butter/sugar element was different or perhaps because there were no chocolate chips, I felt these cookies were extra buttery tasting. Also, I used light brown sugar because that’s all we had, but I would definitely suggest regular or even dark brown sugar to really up the flavor. If you’re into that sort of thing, then you’ll probably like these cookies too. Since Annie says these are her favorite chocolate chip cookies of all time, I’ll probably be making them again soon, but the right way next time.

Happy New Year and even happier eating to everyone 😀

Fridays are pretty dull for me. I take my sister to school at about 8:30am and then have nothing to do until 5:00pm when I head to work. So it’s usually in this big block of lonely time that I find a baking project to sink my teeth into. We don’t have much at my dad’s house, so I decided to go with something relatively simple and then try and jazz it up. I thought Bakerella’s Coraline Cookies would be just the thing, they’re super cute and simple and everyone in my house loves a nice peanut butter cookie.

Bakerella used a simple box mix, but as I didn’t have one and was far too lazy to run to the store, I decided to make a dough from scratch. It only needs 5 ingredients!

Those five ingredients are:

1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
1 large egg
1/4 cup of oil

(I pulled this recipe off of Wikianswers after a google search for “easy peanut butter cookies”)

Mix them all together and you’ll get an amazing smelling cookie dough!

I rolled the dough into little balls using a water bottle cap as my guide and then baked them for 8-10 minutes in a 350F oven. This batch was in for about 10 minutes, but when I took them out and started to press them into the button shapes…

They split and cracked! I was very upset, I had no idea what had gone wrong. Did I leave them in too long? Not long enough? I asked some friends and the general consensus was that perhaps my dough wasn’t moist enough. So, I added just under 1/4 cup of water and mixed it into my dough. Note: Was this part of a recipe or a baker’s help guide? No. Did I know from my many years of experience that this would help and not completely destroy my cookie dough? Not at all. I simply figured that a box cookie mix uses egg, water, and oil in combination with a  dry bag of flour, sugar, and dehydrated peanut butter stuff, so adding water couldn’t hurt. Wonder Bakers live life on the edge of reason!

My dough did look a little shinier when I was rolling it, like the dough Bakerella uses to make her cookies, but in the end the result was the same. They didn’t spread out much and they continued to crack! I even stopped from putting the dough in the fridge and cooked these for only 8 minutes. I was a little bit anxious at this point trying to decide what to do. I didn’t want to add more water since I had already baked so much of the dough, so for my final batch I decided to try pressing the button shapes before putting the cookies in the oven.

There was a little bit of splitting all the same, but I was pleased that the shapes were holding. Now it was just another 8 minute wait before I would know for sure if my plan was successful.

Praise the baker, it was! All the cookies came out like neat little peanut butter buttons! Right out of the oven, after I got over my joy in success, I grabbed a straw and poked the holes by inserting the end and giving a little twist to lift the tiny section of cookie out. Be careful not to get too close to the edges or your cookie will break. You can poke holes in about three cookies before the pieces start to cool inside the straw and give you a hard time, so I recommend gently squeezing out the little pieces after a few cookies. Careful though, they make the straw hot! But of course, if you have more than one straw at hand, using a new one is an option too.

The best part of this baking misadventure is that even the pile of messy scraps and failed buttons I ended up with were still super tasty! Peanut butter cookies aren’t the most exciting, but they seem to be a crowd favorite most of the time. I wish I had had some chocolate for dipping, but I think that even plain these cute cookies made for happy eating 🙂

I love spinach. It’s probably the best leafy green in the whole world. And when you add cheese to the equation, there’s no way to lose! My friend Lauren shared this recipe for spinach and egg cups from The Village Cook and I just couldn’t wait to make them, but I think you’ll soon see why I might have to file this one under a baking flop. Though is it really a flop if it still turns out delicious? I don’t think so, but I’ll let you decide.

The biscuits: I used a tube of extra flakey ones. I found that the individual biscuits were too big, so I ripped off about a third of them before rolling them out, then I put the pieces together. They all sort of came together in funny ways, but they were alright. Just jam them into your muffin cups with enough on the tops to contain the egg.

The spinach: I used a bag of frozen and drained cut leaf spinach and mixed it with lots of cheeses. Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cream Cheese, and a mixed blend with some Asiago and other stuff in there too. Basically a bunch of really tasty white cheeses. I don’t think you could have too much cheese, ever.

The eggs: Well, this is where things got a little messy. When I first tried to just crack an egg right into the spinach, it just slid off everywhere. Herpy derpy me didn’t make an indentation in the spinach to hold the egg, so they were all too stuffed to keep the whole egg in there. Instead of going through and taking some spinach out, I decided to just use the yolks instead of all the egg.

I separated my eggs using the shells that somehow all cracked nicely. But if you want, you can just strain the whites out through your fingers. Messy, but it works great!

Some of them came out perfectly

And some not so much

But after a few minutes in the oven, the ugly ones were just as tasty. I really loved these, they made a great breakfast as I run out the door to school in the morning and a nice light snack around lunch. The egg was fluffy and the spinach and melted cheese was so scrumptious, just like a spinach dip at a fancy restaurant.

You can dig in with a fork or just take a big bite, but either way it’s happy eating!