Monday, October 3, 2011

Cookie Catastrophe

We got new neighbors a few months ago, a very nice young couple with a little boy. I met them while going to work and we bonded right away over similar interests. I decided I was going to make them some cookies to welcome them to the neighborhood! I'd made cookies before and they were great, so I wanted to try a new recipe. While scanning my selection of cooking blogs, I found a recipe for some called "World Peace Cookies". Chocolate cookies with chocolate chips. Awesome, perfect, let's roll. Printed the recipe, bought the ingredients and that weekend, prepared to bake.

(recipe from Becky Bakes)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used milk chocolate chips)

Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth but not fluffy. Add both sugars, vanilla, and sea salt; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended (mixture may be crumbly). Add chopped chocolate; mix just to distribute (if dough doesn’t come together, knead lightly in bowl to form ball). Divide dough in half. Place each half on sheet of plastic wrap. Form each into 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Wrap each in plastic; chill until firm, about 3 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies appear dry (cookies will not be firm or golden at edges), 11 to 12 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

I mixed the dry ingredients, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and ready for the flour. How much flour did the recipe call for? A cup and a quarter.

Now, before I go further, let me explain that I have several measuring cups. One of them is a two-cup measuring cup with different measures on the side for liquid, sugar, and flour, because an ounce, being a unit of weight, varies between substances. The cup measure is only on the liquid.

So I have this cup ready to measure out flour for these cookies and think "hold on a minute. 8 oz is a cup, but according to this thing, 8oz of flour is much larger than 8 oz of liquid. So I need 10 oz of flour to make a cup and a quarter."

Logic, at this point, has obviously led me very far astray. I measured out 10 oz of flour, put in the cocoa and baking powder, and slowly dumped it into the butter mixture. Mix. Mix. Mix... well geez, I think, this isn't coming together at all. It was still completely powder. Not even kneading it was making it come together. So I threw in some more butter and it finally became a dough-like substance. Make into balls, squish 'em down, pop 'em in the oven, and 12 minutes later, we have...

Hockey pucks. Little brown hockey pucks that tasted like flour. Oh my god they were so inedible. Hubby, being the sweetheart he is, said they were fine dunked in milk, but they were still pretty horrible to me. It was like eating flour that vaguely tasted of chocolate. Needless to say, those ended up in the trash can and I got to work on batch two, which ended up much, much better.

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