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Amparo Bertram

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08:28 am: Adventures in cookie-making
Yesterday I went out grocery shopping and picked up supplies for making chocolate chip cookies. I mixed together a batch and spooned the first dozen onto the oven trays. I was hoping that they would turn out thick and soft. Instead, they melted into a thin, crispy layer covering the baking trays in an amoeba-like fashion. Grrr.

I figured that if I confined the area to which they could spread, they'd turn out how I wanted, so I spooned them into some heart-shaped candy molds that I had sitting around. This time, the consistency turned out well, but some of them overflowed the molds, making them look mushroom-like. They just weren't attractive enough to give out as gifts.

I decided to use the remainder of the dough to make a flat sheet to cut into bars. That would have gone okay, except that the center bottom refused to cook through. (This is a problem with the heat distribution in the microwave/oven that I'm forced to use.) I wound up having to take it out of the pan, flip it upside down, and put it back in to bake for another 10 minutes. By that time, it had ceased being presentable.

I had started early enough in the afternoon that I still had time to try again, but I was out of chocolate chips. I dug up a plain sugar cookie recipe from one of my Japanese cookbooks and tried that. I even located a nice Christmas tree cookie cutter to use.

The problem is, Japanese cookies are typically a half to a third the size of American cookies, so when I went to use my cutter, I soon realized that I would never get the two dozen I would need to give one to every student. I somehow managed to make it stretch, mostly by rolling the dough out thinner than recommended.

They came out looking quite nice, but the flavor wasn't all that great. (One broke, so I was forced to eat it.) It tasted rather like faintly sweetened flour. Now, this is perhaps to be expected, considering that it was a Japanese recipe. In general, Japanese sweets are all about the appearance. They LOOK pretty, but the taste is often meh.

They are perhaps salvageable, if I whip up some frosting or something to put on them. The students might like them, since they are used to Japanese sweets anyway. However, I'M not satisfied. I'm thinking of picking up some fresh eggs and butter and trying an American sugar cookie recipe instead.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:kirbyfest
Date:December 10th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
(Link)
http://www.sunset.com/sunset/Premium/Food/1995/12-Dec/Cookies1295/ChocChip1295.html#why

My mother likes thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies. I like thick and chewy. Since I'm the family baker, guess what we get? ;)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 10th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for the link! From reading that, I imagine my oven wasn't getting hot enough. I'll have to try it again sometime at a higher setting.
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:December 10th, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
The other thing you can do is put the dough in the fridge to harden the butter. The colder the butter when you bake them, the less they will spread.
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