Monday, July 03, 2006

"Fun House" Cookies

Thought I'd share a baking mishap story so you all don't think I'm a food goddess or anything -- not everything turns out perfectly in my kitchen every single time!

Even though I made cupcakes the other night, I only made six, and they are almost gone (I gave away a couple, for taste-testing purposes,) and my peanut butter cookies are almost gone, and since I'm having major sugar cravings, I decided to bake some cookies tonight.

Chocolate-Chip cookies were a no-go -- I'm out of chocolate chips.

Oatmeal-Raisin cookies were a no-go -- I'm out of oats.

Molasses cookies it was! I even found a yummy-looking Cooking Light recipe earlier today while cutting up magazines. So, I did a little math in order to cut the recipe in half, gathered ingredients, and preheated the oven.

The first question for me is always, "what about the egg?" Tonight, I tried flaxwhip -- I pulverized a tablespoon of ground flaxseed and three tablespoons of water in my mini-prep until it was thick and gooey, and beat it in at the appropriate time. Other than subbing whole-wheat pastry flour for the AP flour, I followed the recipe exactly.

I did not freeze the dough for an hour like the recipe said to, and I did not roll the dough into balls and then dip them into sugar -- I didn't feel like being fussy tonight. (I've skipped this step many times before, with fine results.) So, I scooped and baked. After about four minutes, I was smelling burning sugar, and peeked at the cookies -- they were gooey in the middles but done on the edges, so I turned the oven down by 25 degrees. Kept baking. Took them out, and they were thin, flat little molasses pancakes. I tried to get one off . . . they were too gooey, so I let them sit for a couple minutes. During this time, they nearly permanently adhered themselves to my cookie sheets. After lots of prying, the cookies were removed, severely bent out of shape, looking like normal cookies might look if they were taking a trip through the bendy mirror department of a fun house. They taste great! (Maybe a little too sweet . . . .) Texture is awesome, too -- crisp-chewy, just like a molassess cookie should be. Visual appeal = 0 however.

The next two batches did the same thing, despite being started at the lower oven temperature. Frustrating.

My peanut butter cookies a couple of weeks ago spread like crazy, too, although they did not stick and turned out just fine. What in heck happened? It is rather humid out . . . that could be factoring into the equation. Anyone have brilliant ideas? I wonder if the high fat in the PB cookies helped them slide off better, whereas the higher amount of sugar in the molasses cookies helped them better adhere to the cookie sheets. ;-)

Anyhow, that's the end of the story of the Fun House Cookies.


KleoPatra said...

There is no such thing as a bad cookie, i am sure of it!!! What adventures you had, Catherine!!

Eat Peace Please said...

No-bake cookies! Works for me!!

Sorry about your disaster though...

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

What kind of fat did you use? I find cookies that use solid fat (like margarine--I use earth balance) spread much less than cookies that use oil. Also--the cooling down period would help with the spreading-allowing the edges to cook slower.

MeloMeals said...

Do you have an oven thermometer? I used to have a cookie biz out of my house and my oven was off and none of my cookies came out.. so I got a thermometer and they were perfect.

edgeofnormal said...

How about parchment paper or foil so you can just lift them off the sheet to cool a little? Then you could bend the paper, not the cookie. ;-)

I had an oatmeal lace cookie (NOT VEGAN) from when I was a kid that you had to put on foil to bake. Otherwise, you had to scrape oatmeal off the cookie sheet.

Amanda said...

I agree with amy about the type of fat - margarine or shortening-based cookies tend to spread less. Parchment is a lifesaver as well. A thermometer is probably a good idea - I know I need to get one, since my oven tends to sporadically cause otherwise solid recipes to fail miserably. Also, if you're supposed to freeze the dough and you didn't then that could be a factor. Chilled dough definitely spreads less in my experience.

Dori said...

I don't know how to fix this recipe, but I have a gingerbread cookie recipe that I love.. we make our ginger people from them each fall. I don't think my ginger recipe uses a flax/ egg replacer sub. I only make thse once a year, but when I do I make alot. One year I made more than 150 dozen at one time.

Check this link ouot. I have never had issues with these recipes.,2003