Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lessons Learned

Reflections while baking cookies: Lessons Learned

1) softened butter is not the same as melted butter
2) planning on 5 different kinds of cookies sometimes means having 4
3) experimenting with baking a new type of cookie when you need them is not such a great idea
4) try to pay attention when you mother teaches you how to bake may need to know 40 years later

Everyone in my family knows the story of Wanda's No-bake cookies. My mom tried to save them...she baked them. She froze them. She tried to feed them to the birds. Well, they were not really edible but they make a great story, one that the next generation is already laughing about. I feel pretty much that way today. I planned on baking 5 different kinds of cookies (three American and two Austrian) to take to my mother inlaw so she had cookies for holiday guests. I made the American ones first....peanutbutter/peanutbutter with chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies and molasses cookies. The molasses cookies were sort of different. No surprise there...I couldn't find molasses so I used something called "sugar beet" which is similar but not really the same. But fine...these cookies were all good and I am happy. Then came the vanilla Kipferl. I can't really complain about the taste....they taste totally like what they are supposed to taste like. But they look so weird!!! I think some of them look maybe okay but some of them look like vanilla worms! Or maybe vanilla crabs!

OK...but so far, so good. I'm doing alright. How hard could "cut" cookies be? You know...the kind of cookie that you flatten out with a rolling pin and use cookie cutters? I just know I was taught how to do this. And I had dreamed of the perfect little cookies with jelly filling...I even went in the basement and got my rolling pin!

I just have no idea what went wrong.

They had holes in them! And they didn't hold their shape! and they were sort of chewy in a carmel sort of way!

I tried sprinkling them with powdered sugar.

I tried baking them longer than called for.
Nothing really helped. I did finish making them all but I am NOT giving them to my mother inlaw! Mommy......where ARE you????????


Kathy A. said...

lol!!!! Thanks for the great laugh hon. Cookies, I love cookies.

Anonymous said...

The first pictures of cookies looked great! The vanilla "crabs" looked awesome it will just take a few times to get the "perfect" form. Cut cookies.........hate them... of course me and rolling pins....won't go there as I do everytime I bake a pie. Can't stand the rolling pin....wish I had mom's rolling pin it was always the best!!! You did a great job and glad you stayed away from the no-bake cookies!!! Love - Erica

quiltmom said...

You get A+ for trying something that you don't feel comfortable doing. My mom is an Ace baker and for that reason alone I don't make many things that are baked. It took me years to brave making bread because both my mom and mom in law are/were fantastic bread makers. It does take practise to get them to look the way they should.
If you decide to take up cookie baking- find about 4 kinds that you want to perfect and then make them a few times and regularly. One of the reasons I am not a very good baker is because I do it so infrequently that I have lost the feel for the dough.
I am sure the cookies were delicious and that your mother in law appreciated your efforts and thoughtfulness.
Have a great holiday season.
Warmest regards,

Susan said...

Stores are for cookies!
PS Love the new stitching!

Plays with Needles said...

5 Gold Stars for Effort!!!! And for Christmas, I give you Teddy Roosevelt:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who, at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.