Baking Disasters

i-phone-284Have YOUR cookies ever turned out like this?  Yes, folks. those are cookies.  Well, they were SUPPOSED to be cookies.

As I’ve written before, they can’t all be winners.  For me, these disasters seem to occur when baking, where there is little room for error.  One incorrect measurement and it could be curtains.  That is exactly what happened here.

Rainy day.  Kids had a half day of school.  What to do?  Bake cookies!  They unanimously agreed on chocolate chip, which was a good thing since I had all the ingredients in my pantry (my favorite recipe is from The Joy of Cooking or the Toll House recipe).  As I went to grab a stick of butter, I remembered that I had a box of Earth Balance sticks I really wanted to use up.  Earth Balance is a great vegan “buttery spread” that really does taste very good without all the saturated fat of real butter.  It comes in tubs and sticks.  I really like this product, except for one thing:  the sticks are not normal “stick shape”.  They are shorter and fatter than regular sticks of butter.  I know, I know, this should not matter.   A stick is a stick.  Four ounces is four ounces.  But I was distracted, and in my head those stubby little sticks were HALF a stick each, not a whole stick.  That “little” mistake ended up being a BIG one.i-phone-288

As I whirred everything together, I thought the dough seemed soft.  I scooped them onto my parchment lined baking sheets and still was stymied.  Too soft.  But why?  As soon as the oven door closed and I began cleaning up, I realized my mistake.  Those TWO Earth Balance wrappers sitting there on the counter should have been ONE.  Well, it was too late, and I knew my cookies were going to spread like California wild fire.  I had to double the baking time to even have any prayer of saving them. 

In the end, they were very flat. very crispy, and very buttery.  Not exactly what I’d intended, but the good news was my kids could care less.  They actually weren’t bad, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.  However, I learned my lesson (PAY ATTENTION!  STUBBY BUTTER IS THE SAME AS REGULAR BUTTER!). 

i-phone-286NOTE:  cookies can also get flat if you MELT the butter instead of simply softening it before mixing.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.


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4 Responses to “Baking Disasters”

  1. Mike Says:

    I love how they look on the starry plate though! Oh well 😉

  2. Livin Veg Says:

    I love Earth Balance butter:) I use it for all my butter needs. They are oddly shaped though.

  3. zoe p. Says:

    Stubby butter! Ha! It’s not just Earth Balance that can play this trick . ..

  4. Sonal Says:

    I love it! I’m debating whether I should post my not-so-perfect pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving.

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