Tag Archives: Edible Failure

Catastrophic Cookie Fun – Should oatmeal cookies be dribble-y?


How badly can a person screw up making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies?  Try upwards of three hours worth of bad!

The saving grace?  They eventually turned out edible and, dare I say, yummy…and the experience lends itself to an utterly ridiculous, yet awesome, blog post!

Click here for the recipe I used or scroll to the bottom of the post but please NOTE:
The recipe at the bottom of this post has been insanely altered due to my mistakes.  It would be best if you start with the original recipe, found here, if you would like to try making them.

A couple of weeks ago, I meant up with a friend and she had brought along a bag of oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies.  They were deliciously oat-y and buttery, so of course, I asked for the recipe!

It seemed pretty straightforward…but three hours later, 6 cookie experiments later, my dribble-y inedible batter had become edible, while I still had no clue what I had done wrong!

One thing I have noticed since that Ultimate Cookie Challenge day, is that the recipe called for grinding 8 ounces of oats into a flour consistency.  I didn’t have a food processor and skipped that part.  THEN, I found I eventually had to add flour to the batter to hold the cookies together.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So, dear readers, if you see something in this entry that I have overlooked and that may have contributed to my cookie catastrophe, feel free to point it out!

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I began by mixing the butter, white & brown sugar, egg and vanilla. If you’re thinking, “Holy crap, that’s a lot of butter!”  I agree.  That was the main problem, as you will see, with my batter.  The original recipe was in ounces, which I converted to cups.  I have checked and rechecked my conversion…1.25 cups of butter is what I keep coming up with.

Mixing up the butter and the sugars

Wet Ingredients Mixed

In another bowl, I mixed the few dry ingredients:

Dry Ingredients Mixed

While doing this, I also roasted the rolled oats at the same time.  I’ve never roasted oats before but I have to say, even if you don’t *have* to, roast them anyway.  They made my kitchen smell so good!

Rolled Oats ready for the oven

Baked Oats

Here is where I go off track from the original recipe.  I don’t own a food processor, so I didn’t have the means to grind the oats into flour as the original recipe required.  I also don’t have a stand mixer, rather I have my two hands and a wooden spoon or my little electric hand-mixer to choose from.

So, at this point, I mixed everything together, wet/dry ingredients and oats, using a wooden spoon and ignored the ‘flour’ grinding.  My first mistake.

I noticed the batter was quite runny so I used a tablespoon, scooped some batter onto a piece of parchment paper and popped it in the oven.  I had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t work, so I figured experimenting with one was the way to go.  I was right.

Cookie #1 - Def Too Much Butter!

Obviously, based on the above pictures, I was right!  I baked it for 6 min, then turned the tray for another 4 min (they were supposed to bake 12 minutes total but it started to burn). The butter ran across the parchment paper and the resulting cookie looked like this:

Cookie #1

The edges were burned and breaking…inedible…all the way.

I had a bowl of failed batter and a free afternoon ahead of me, so what did I do?  I decided to experiment and see if I could fix them!

Moving on to Cookie #2…I scooped another tablespoon of batter and added two teaspoons of oats to it.  Cooked it for 6 min, turning the tray and continuing for another 2 minutes before it looked burn-y.

Cookie #2 - Added Oats

Cookie #2 fell to pieces.

Cookie #2 - Crumbled

Next up, Cookie #3!  To this dollop of batter, I added ½ tsp of flour, thinking that the batter needed something more to hold it together.  Baked 6 min and then flipped tray, baking for an additional minute.  The resulting cookie looked quite similar to the original cookies my friend had made.

Cookie #3 - Added flour

For Cookie #4, I applied both additions from Cookies #2 and #3: ½ tsp flour and 2 tsp oats to the dollop of batter.  Cooked 6 min and then another. 2.5 min.  This cookie turned out to be the best of all of them so I decided to go ahead and alter the whole batch.

First 4 experiments

Here’s where I make it even MORE complicated.  This is the Capricorn coming out to play so if crazy in-depth (possibly pointless) details annoy you, or if you just don’t like math, skip this part! *wink*

I’d been altering a tbsp of batter at a time.  Now I had decided to alter the whole bowl but how much batter was in there?

I used a cup to roughly measure and it appeared I had approximately 2 cups of batter, which I figured would be about 24 tbsp/cookies.  So, half a teaspoon of flour to each and 2 tsp of oats to each would equal an additional 12 tsp flour and approx 24 overflowing tablespoons of oats (better than having to add 48 teaspoons which was my first measurement!)

So, I went ahead and added 12 teaspoons of cake/pastry flour and, since the added oats hadn’t seemed to make a great difference, I cut the number in half to start and added 12 overflowing tablespoons.  I again put a sample in the oven and placed the remaining batter in fridge.

While Cookie #5 was baking, I called a friend to share my cookie experimentation and have a good laugh.  He made a good point when he asked, “Have you tasted any of the experiments so far?”  Um…no.  THAT got a laugh and he encouraged me to try them!

In hindsight, I definitely should have been tasting my creations but I was so caught up with the experimenting part, plus…they didn’t look all that yummy.  So, I tried cookies #3 and #4.  They didn’t taste all that bad but they were quite greasy and brittle.

At this point Cookie #5 was ready.  I had baked it for 6 min and then flipped the tray for an additional minute.

Cookie #5 - Altered batch

It actually tasted fine but it was still brittle and falling apart.  By this point, I was getting the sense that the flour was necessary to hold everything together…plus, the more flour I added, the less the edges seemed to burn.  So, I decided to add a little more.  (Don’t worry!  Cookie #6 is the final product! lol)

For the final batch alteration, I added 2 tsp more flour to the mix, refrigerated dough for 20 minutes, then popped a whole tray of cookies into the oven. Baked 6 minutes, flipped the tray and continued for another 2 min.

Cookie #6 - The Final Product

Finally! A tray of cookies!

So, in the end, I followed a modified version of the recipe.

I added 12 teaspoons of pastry flour and 12 tablespoons of oats and, hours after I began, I had two batches of yummy cookies!! Whew!


RECIPE

The Oatiest Oatmeal Cookies

Finally! Cookies!

(Recipe taken from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-oatiest-oatmeal-cookies-ever-recipe/index.html)

NOTE: Due to a number of problems I had making these cookies, see above, I have altered the recipe to reflect what finally worked for me in the end.  If you want to try these cookies (and you should! because they’re yummy!), you may want to start with the original recipe at the link above and see how it works for you.

I repeat, the recipe below is NOT the original recipe!

  • 2 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 (a little less than 1/2 cup) ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ – 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spread the oats into a single layer on a half sheet pan. Bake until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes. Cool the oats in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Mix butter, sugars, egg, vanilla in one bowl
  4. Mix your dry ingredients: baking powder, salt, cinnamon, flour in another bowl.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet, mix lightly and then add the baked oats.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches between each mound.
  7. Bake until the cookies begin to brown around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.
  8. Cool the cookies on the pans for 2 minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

(Original, unaltered recipe found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-oatiest-oatmeal-cookies-ever-recipe/index.html)


Nana’s Perfect Shortbread – Part 2


Shortbread Cookies Take 2

So I made a second batch of shortbread cookies and changed a few things around to see if I could make the cookies light and flaky as my grandmother used to do.

I shortened the baking time by almost half, hoping that would keep them from being as hard as the first batch.

Unfortunately, although I changed the baking time, I ended up having to slightly microwave my butter as it was too hard to work with and the middle liquified, which I didn’t realize until I added it to the dough.  I’m thinking that may have de-flaked my cookies as it seems to me that cutting in the butter is quite important for that layered light and flaky pastry texture.

I also had a friend of mine suggest using a different flour rather than all-purpose, which is what I have been using.  He suggested bread flour and I am now wondering if pastry flour would make a difference?  Any thoughts from my more experienced readers?

For the story behind my first attempt and to see the recipe I used, please check out my initial shortbread post “Nana’s Perfect Shortbread…Well…Almost”


Curried Plastic and Butternut Squash Soup


Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

This past Saturday was a frustrating day for many reasons that I’ll not bother mentioning here.  One occurrence though is worth mentioning, partially due to the humour of the situation (which I didn’t necessarily see until later) and also because by telling the story here, maybe some of my readers can avoid the same plastic ridden fate.

The creation of my soup began quite well.  I halved a few butternut squashes, quartered some onions, oiled up a head of garlic and popped it all in the oven to bake for an hour.  In 60 minutes, it was all ready to go and smelled pretty good, even though it looked like this:

Baked squash, onions and garlic

Tangent: It would seem that showing food mid-way through preparation isn’t the way to go.  Most of my recipes look fairly inedible between step.  My lovely boyfriend made a comparison I found hilarious…and will not share here in case someone doesn’t find it quite as funny as I.

Back to the point…things were going well.  I put half of the baked vegetables in my blender with a fraction of each of the other ingredients in the recipe, pureed them until smooth and then poured the resulting soupish-ness into a pot.  The second half didn’t go nearly as smoothly.

Halfway through blending, all hell broke loose and somehow…I have no idea how…I *didn’t* end up with squash soup everywhere.

How to explain what happened? … Pictures are probably best.  (I should note at this point that it’s thanks to the lovely boyfriend that I even *have* pictures.  I was pissed and told him what had happened via text.  Followed by my asking, “This will be funny later, right?”  He responded and said it most definitely would  be…I wonder if he wasn’t laughing at that moment *wink*…and that I should be sure to take some pictures because it would make a great blog entry!)

Visual aid:

Plastic Soup

Close up shot:

So, as you can probably work out from the above pictures, the plastic cap that sits in the middle of the lid fell through the lid, into the soup, and voila!  Plastic butternut squash soup.

Tangent: Pardon me while  I go off on a tangent again…but why the heck was my blender lid in two pieces anyway!  I never actually use the middle plastic piece for anything…wouldn’t one solid lid make a bit more sense?

Needless to say, my second batch of soup was an Epic Failure and was flushed with a sigh…well, and a swear word or two…  Or three.  Does a long exclamation of run-on swear words count as one or many?

If you have been paying attention, you will recall that I did manage to create one batch of plastic free soup before the blender ass-plosion.  That soup turned out absolutely fantastic as the following pictures prove!


RECIPE

  • 2.5 lbs (40 oz) of butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered
  • 6 cloves of peeled garlic (I roasted a whole head of garlic)
  • 1 2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 chunks(Forgot to add the fresh ginger and had to use dried instead)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 tsps of salt
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • 1 tsp of medium curry powder
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of Garam Masala
  • Sour cream for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Roast squash, onions, garlic and ginger until brown and soft- over an hour, depending on your oven
  3. Puree in your blender or food processor with chicken stock until completely smooth. Should be done in batches.
  4. Heat on medium heat- add salt, pepper, curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, garam masala to taste.
  5. While the mixture is hot, but before it bubbles, slowly add the heavy cream. Add until it is the desired color and thickness for your taste, and allow mixture to bubble. Lower the heat, and continue to cook on low flame for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, and let rest for 10 minutes. Before serving, add a dollup of sour cream.

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