For the first cookie swap, I selected Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies (compliments of JTB, what a shock). Since I had a friend visiting and a day off, we decided to bake up a storm and do a test run of the cookies. These are essentially ginger snaps that are chewy and with chocolate chips in them. So this requires molasses, delicious, sticky, dark molasses--which comes in nice tall jars when the recipe calls for only 1/4 cup.
Being a great team, said friend and I divided and conquered the ingredients. For once you can play with the dough on purpose and roll them in sugar. Literally got sugar everywhere because they don't always roll, they sometimes more push the sugar around and off the plate.
The recipe says they are done when large cracks appear on the cookies and they looked perfect! And tasted delicious. They didn't make as many cookies as we thought, probably because we made the dough balls larger than required. Of course this meant we might as well eat them all and I could just create a new batch of smaller cookies for the cookie swap. I was going to dominate with my geniously copied cookie recipe that combines holiday cookie with classic chocolate chips.
As I ran through the ingredients and instructions I realized my mistake: the recipe called for 1.5 sticks of butter and I only used 1. Danger, Will Robinson. Butter is not like a minor spice that you can pretend you forgot on purpose, butter is butter! It's EXTREMELY important! Stupid gingerbread house diverting my attention. Now I will have terrible butter-less cookies for a cookie exchange at work where I have built up my reputation as a baker through months of endless treats. Don't panic, don't panic, you still have the remaining dough. Only 10 cookies are in the oven so I can just add the butter to the mixture. Slightly less than the half stick but crisis averted!
Surprisingly the first 10 cookies looked perfect, they looked as they should, puffy with large crack on the top. The following rounds did not look right at all. They looked like dark chocolate chip cookies, spread out more. I of course repeatedly tested the cookies to see if they tasted any different but inevitably cooked all of them longer than I should have.
I guess I'll never know if people found them terrible because at the swap, it was like a pack of vultures just going from box to box grabbing and stuffing in a bag. I realized that this was a strategy. Kids and spouses want cookies and these women work all day. By participating in a cookie swap, they can make one round of cookies and get 8 varieties back. Apparently you can freeze cookies (which is what they do) and bam! Cookies for Christmas Eve. Genius.
Moral of the story: Don't multi-task and bake, kids.
On the bright side, our gingerbread house took second place (we lost by 4 votes). It is literally held together by Twizzler strands and I greatly enjoyed eating the roof afterwards.
|The epic gingerbread creation.|