It seems hard to believe that the only hoops we will have to jump through in the future are the ones she will no doubt put us through over the years. I can finally exhale.
Thank you all for the years of support you’ve given me throughout this difficult journey to parenthood.
And speaking of my little cutie-pie, her school is having a holiday cookie exchange today. I’ve been so geeked to officially bake cookies for the first time as a mom.
As background before I share my latest drama, let me explain that I’ve been baking cookies for eons. As a child, my mother would send me to bake sales with Oreos, claiming that she was unable to bake cookies (not that she had ever tried.) When I started cooking for the family at 9, I also began following recipies and baking my own cookies. I also baked them when my brother and sister needed them for school. So this is a lot of years of baking experience here. And this makes what happened last night completely unfathomable.
I spent the weekend scouring the partially unpacked boxes in our basement looking for the really cool ginger cookie with black pepper recipe that I had found in a magazine almost 10 years ago. But unfortunately I was unable to find any of my clipped recipes. They are lost in the morass that is our basement.
I then moved to my old standby, the Snickerdoodle. I’ve made snickerdoodles so many times that it’s silly. I printed the recipe from my Mastercook program and set to work. Zara, who was not happy in the family room without me, was moved to the kitchen floor where she was given a whisk and a bowl for her own mixing. Yet when I got to the stage where it was time to roll the little balls, I realized the dough felt weird. It was too sticky. I added a little flour but it was still stickier than usual.
I went ahead and rolled the balls in the cinnamon sugar and placed them on the baking sheets. I tried the convection bake setting and waited for the output. Eight minutes later I was like, oh my god! The cookies had all melted into each other and were completely flat (usually the snickerdoodle is a little puffy). Then I couldn’t get them off the cookie sheet despite my having coated them with Pam. It was a disaster (though they tasted fine, according to AdoringHusband) I couldn’t show these cookies at a holiday exchange!
I couldn’t figure out what went wrong. Was it the convection bake setting? Did I let the dough get too warm before rolling the cookies? Did I screw up the recipe? What the heck happened? I used to be able to make these cookies in my sleep.
I looked back at the recipe and thought the ratio of flour (3 3/4 cups) to cream of tartar (1/2 teaspoon) and baking soda (1/2 teaspoon) seemed off. Maybe when I scaled the recipe the last time, I didn’t return the correct proportions to the ingredients in Mastercook. So I consulted Google to get another recipe.
I found Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles, the highest rated of the snickerdoodle recipes on Allrecipes.com. At 11:10 PM, I started from scratch following Mrs. Sigg’s instructions (though I didn’t have any shortening, I just used all butter, which is the way my normally successful recipe goes).
This time the dough felt like it should. I decided to forgo the convection bake and just use the regular old oven setting. Eight minutes after placing them in the oven, I pulled out a sheet of flat snickerdoodles. They looked better than my original batch, but they just weren’t puffing up like they usually do. Truthfully they looked like my old snickerdoodle’s tubercular, wasted cousin. But they were at least decent enough appearing that I could take them to the cookie exchange.
But now I am puzzled. What the heck is wrong with my snickerdoodles? Could it be something about my new ovens? Did the cream of tartar and/or the baking soda go bad? (I think these give the cookie its pillowy goodness, according to my cousin, Tyler) Did I overmix? (I’ve heard that you come out with two different appearing snickerdoodles when you mix by hand and when you use an electric mixer. Yet I think I have used an electric mixer before.) What happened to my always-perfect, never a problem, failsafe cookie?
Bloggy-chefs, please help me out?