In my continuing quest to slow down, I have temporarily put aside learning how to bake a decent loaf of bread due to Monsieur's increasingly frequent comments regarding a passing gluten intolerance. Strangely, this intolerance tends to disappear when cookies and cakes are on the menu. Hmmm, I think I will have to try my hand at baking cookies. I am very fond of ginger and molasses cookies and, as I had unearthed a long forgotten carton of molasses in the kitchen cupboard, I set about attempting to bake them. I used a recipe from epicurious.com which I won't copy here for various reasons to be explained later. I have never used molasses in cooking before and so had no idea how hard it was to get out of the carton. I wonder what Monsieur thought when he came home and saw this.
Note that I do not have a mixer. In this house, mixing is done a la Little House On The Prairie style, with elbow grease and a wooden spoon. The molasses is so viscous that I am unable to mix it consistently throughout the cookie dough. I am sure that extreme minimalists everywhere would applaud my exhaustive and exhausting efforts with a wooden spoon. However, all I can think of is the time Monsieur came home with a steam vacuum cleaner instead of a mixer. Honestly, a steam vac! In despair, I give up and throw the batch of "cookies" into the oven and hope for the best.
Suffice to say, the cookies are a failure. They don't rise or spread out and develop strange crevasses all over. In fact, with the strange spotted colouring, they almost look like chocolate chip cookies. In fact, they look like Frankenstein monster cookies!
Gloomily, I eat a breakfast cereal bar wrapped in a non-recyclable wrapper. Yes, I know. Fortified with mass-produced food, I am determined to try again. Forget faffing with molasses, also known as edible road tar (although if you have experience cooking or baking with molasses please send along any tips or suggestions!). This time I will try that old standby, chocolate chip cookies. I have a bag of peanut butter chips so I decide to switch out the chocolate chips. Obviously, my rebellious spirit is still alive and kicking. I use a recipe from Martha Stewart's website. Thank heavens, the Queen of All Things Good doesn't disappoint.
Strangely, though, the cookies nearest the heating element stayed smallish (the row at the top) while the cookies on the tray further away from the heating element in the oven spread out more (the row on the bottom). Baking is an exact science and to me a mysterious one. Still, whatever their size, they taste scrumptious.
Perfect for a Hootin' Halloween.
Or, for would-be Dragons and Dragonettes, a Roarin' Halloween.
Wherever you are, I hope you have a Spooktacular Halloween!
I'm linking up with Natasha In Oz.