Feb. 16th, 2016 07:35 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
One of my baking goals for ages has been to learn a basic cookie recipe which I can then modify with interesting flavours and additions. So I was really pleased when [ profile] ghoti and the her younger kids wanted to spend our afternoon together making chocolate chip cookies. And I know the littles are really quite good cooks, but somehow it's reassuring if making cookies seems like a thing three-year-old can reasonably tackle; the parts of it that are hard involve being cautious with a hot oven, which I already know how to do.

[ profile] ghoti said she usually estimates quantities, rather than weighing. I had formed the impression that baking means you have to be much more careful about quantities than cooking, but maybe she's just really good at estimating! Anyway I tried weighing things but my little kitchen scales seemed a bit off, couldn't zero the dial properly.

The basic cookie mix is butter, flour, sugar and egg. The flour and sugar have to be mixed with the fat by creaming, which is one of those cooking words I've always had trouble with. I had the impression that it meant something to do with mixing stuff really vigorously with a wooden spoon, but in fact we used a fork and mostly just mashed the ingredients together, making the butter into small, covered crumbs. Then we mixed in the egg to make something with the consistency of dough. It didn't matter if it was a bit uneven / lumpy, which again went against my expectations of how baking works.

Then we put slightly random amounts of cookie mix on a greased baking tray. During cooking everything flattened out into lots of overlapping, slightly sticky mega-cookie. I think if I really cared about making distinct individual cookies I would have been more careful to measure out similarly sized balls of dough and make sure there was plenty of space between them.

Anyway, even though everything was kind of approximate and carried out by a very inexperienced baker and some small children the cookies were very nice. That definitely feels like something I could try on my own next time (if I ask for the recipe with the exact proportions), so it was very good for my confidence as well as being tasty.

February 2016

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