Chocolate Chip Redemption

So here’s the thing:

I’m a fairly accomplished baker. I am asked to provide treats of various kinds for bake sales, quinceañeras, and impromtu get-togethers. My Dutch Cinnamon-Apple Pie won a blue ribbon in a local contest, back when I still went in for that sort of thing. I once saw a member of my family physically knock another member to the ground over the last piece of my carrot cake. Well, not literally OVER it. But there was, you know, a scuffle.

And yet…there are cookies.

To my eternal shame, I have never produced what I would call a great cookie. Edible, yes (although not always). Better than a kick in the shin, yes (again, not always). The most common problem is that my cookies go into the oven as delicious dollops of pure love, but emerge from the oven as Kingsford® briquettes. This inability of mine provides no end of humiliation for me and an equally infinite supply of mirth to my friends and family. I recently had a couple of friends over for pizza and decided to “pop some cookies in the oven” as a treat. Heather, who has long been accustomed to my cookie failures, laughed and went back to poking around on eBay. Sarita, however, was innocent of my checkered cookie past (although I’ve never made a good checkered cookie either, come to think of it), and so smiled gleefully in anticipation. A brief transcript of what followed:

SARITA: “Are you sure they aren’t done yet? They sure smell done. Maybe you shouldn’t have put them in while the oven was still preheating.”

ME: “Nonsense! They will emerge as pillows of chocolate-chip ecstasy, transporting your tastebuds to new heights of delight.”

(Smoke begins to fill the kitchen)

ME: “Maybe I’ll just check on them.”


ME: You know, they’re really not bad. There’s about a centimeter of good cookie that you can scrape off the top of the obsidian base. Try one!”

HEATHER AND SARITA, IN UNISON: “Gee, look at the time! Guess I should head home.”

Later that week, as I was cooking some burgers over a hickory-smoked cookie briquette fire, I thought to myself, “Surely I can make something as simple as a cookie. I’m over-thinking this!”

As it turns out, I was.

So, this afternoon, after tidying up a bit, I put on the Fresh Air podcast and set out to make cookies that would not, in the parlance of my youth, “gag a maggot.”

Amazingly, if one allows the oven to preheat, mixes the cookies in the EXACT proportions stated in the recipe, and throws in a little cinnamon (canela goes into almost everything I make) one gets:

Why is it I never get the full two dozen???

Why is it I never get the full two dozen???

Here’s a close-up:

Glistening with the sweet shine of success!

Glistening with the sweet shine of success!

Now, before the snarky comments begin, it should be noted that I’ve NEVER been a culinary literalist…experimentation with recipes has led to some of my greatest successes in the kitchen. However, just as with fantasy football, navigation skills of any kind, or the appeal of roasted guinea pig, it appears that the part of the brain necessary to deviate from SOP for cookies is missing from my brain (possibly replaced by more space for linguistic trivia and commercial jingles).

However, despite this handicap, I have triumphed! Yes, kids, today it is cookies, but tomorrow, it is…THE WORLD!


Or maybe some laundry and a nap. I haven’t really made up my mind yet.

8 Responses

  1. Mutant cookies!

  2. Mutant? They’re only shiny because I used butter! I KNEW I should’ve replaced it with applesauce, but I was desperate for cookies that didn’t double as weapons or sources of fuel!!!

  3. They look like puff balls. Eek!
    Too much flour.
    The secret is to bake them until they’re “almost done” and then pull them out of the oven….let them finish baking on the cookie sheet. Trust me. I’m always asked to bring my cookies to family/work functions. Or Really Good Bean Dip…..people love the bean dip.

    I’m waiting for Sov debate bakies vs cookies.
    I’ve always loved that.

  4. I don’t think the cookies look bad at all. I do however think that if Claire is going to post the pics of yummy goodness to tease people that she should be offering delivery of such items.

  5. Just so everyone knows, once the cookies cooled they were both matte-finish and delicious. So there. 😛

    Seriously, though, thanks for the tips…we’ll see if I’m able to absorb them for use next time!

  6. Mmmm… mutie bakies!

    Nothing at all wrong with shiny bakies. I bet they taste way delicious. I would most certainly eat one or ten. With milk.

    Instead of butter, try yogurt. I know maybe that sounds weird, but it gives bakies an interesting texture.

  7. some are not perfectly round… those will have to be rejected. Please send all reject cookies to Jayna.

  8. @Jayna: Duly noted, although some reject cookies may not clear the postal system due to concerns about carbon emissions from their coal undersides.

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