Why does everyone want to make cookies during the holiday season? They look so small and innocuous. Innocent little delights to fill your belly…but they mess with your mind! I started out with all sorts of joy in my heart and good thoughts for those who would receive the goodies, and then…
I ran into all sorts of road blocks straight away.
Studying the Toll House Traditional Recipe, I measured and mixed with precision. One of the first “hiccups” came when Spaceman asked about the baking powder in our spice cabinet, uh oh. I thought the baking soda in the refrigerator must have been what I used when I baked a round of cookies not too long ago. After remembering that I actually used the one Spaceman pointed out and that the refrigerated one had been in there for, oh, maybe a year or more, I raced to google the effects of old baking soda. It seems you can get quite sick from this. Since I had already mixed it in with the flour and salt, I had to scrap that bowl and start anew.
Still undaunted I used my quickly diminishing flour stock to get myself back on track. I added the flour and the salt and then, mistakenly dumped the baking soda in the “wet” goods bowl not the “dry” goods bowl — uh oh. I tried scooping out what I could and pressed forward. (By the way, does anyone know if there is a difference between baking soda and baking powder? I assumed they were the same and moved onward.)
As I was mixing my two bowls of ingredients, I had placed the sticks of butter needed on top of the stove to try to soften them…not such a good idea. They melted on one half and stayed hard on the other. This made for some challenging blending with the beaters. Spaceman came to help when he smelled something burning (I already came close to burning out one of his blenders on a previous baking adventure). Anyway, we managed to get the “wet” ingredients smooth as the recipe called for, with some coaxing.
Per Spaceman’s suggestion, we placed the bowl inside the sink prior to me starting to add in the “dry” ingredients. This was probably a better idea than I initially thought when I lifted out the bowl and saw the sides of the sink were covered in “stuff”.
Now was time to plop little balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet (my mom made all of this seem so easy when we used to bake together, or she baked and I got sick on too much cookie dough while she wasn’t looking). Things were looking up. I was happily on my way to getting sick on the cookie dough as I merrily scooped and plopped. Spaceman wrote more Christmas cards next to me. It was a true Norman Rockwell moment.
Then the buzzer went off. Cookies were done…or not. They looked mostly raw with a slight browning on the bottom. This could not be right so we pushed them back in for more time. Buzzer blaring once more, we pulled them out again not looking much better. However, the bottoms were too dark to keep in for any longer.
Now they lay cooling on a rack. Can you tell which are the raw and which are the cooked?
Soon they will go in care packages for the staff at a children’s hospital I am involved with that supports their Spiritual Care Department (at least there is close medical care if needed). Another dozen will go with me Friday to a cookie exchange — an anonymous cookie exchange thankfully!
I really do not understand why some people find baking relaxing. To me I say — holiday cookies, why?
To answer the question I posed, option b is the cooked group.
The first photo of this post is courtesy of Achituv, thank you!