Being an alpha employee, I eagerly signed myself up to bake ‘something nice’ for my boss’s Birthday party at work. Since I don’t own the gobsmackingly gorgeous raspberry ice pink Kitchen Aid stand mixer I have been drooling over for months now, Anthony Valerio’s Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes with Fiery Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting will have to wait. But how awesome would those cupcakes look next to my raspberry ice pink stand mixture! Sigh… perhaps a Valentine’s Day gift to myself?
I needed a simple recipe that didn’t require state of the art kitchen equipment. I stumbled upon the blog Butter which used a Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Baking Illustrated. Natasha’s cookies came out perfect, so mine would too right?
On a slow Sunday afternoon, I embarked on what I assumed would be a baking masterpiece.
- Mix together flour, baking soda and salt then set aside. Check! So far, so good.
- OK, second step. Beat the butter and sugars together until smooth with a mixer or wooden spoon. Should be easy… Lacking my beautiful stand mixer, I decide to speed up the mixing process by melting the butter in the microwave first and then place it in the mixing bowl. I then tightly pack two large cups with dark brown sugar and tip it in the mixing bowl…..
Whhoomp! Butter sloshes up the sides of the bowl in a volcanic eruption! I’m left standing in my kitchen showered in sticky butter. I glare in disbelief at the butter filled kitchen counter and what was supposed to be my crème de la crème cookie mixture… Why wouldn’t it magically put itself together? Instead of quickly cleaning up the mess, I command the mixture with my raised eyebrows and exasperated expression to fix itself. No, the fairies from Sleeping Beauty are obviously on vacation or have decided I am unworthy! I would have to clean up this disastrous mess and salvage this already doomed mixture. Rolling my eyes, I admonish myself for signing up yet again to bake something for a co-worker’s birthday celebration.
Taking a deep breath, I try to clean myself up and not freak out that I am an idiot to bake in a cashmere sweater and my favorite slippers that are now blotched with gigantic greasy butter stains (even though the slippers are long past their expiration date). Giving up on myself and praying to God my roommates don’t come in while I clean up, I turn to the counter and see the butter has even attacked my roommate’s plastic container that holds two recently baked croissants. I quickly attempt to clean the container, reddening with embarrassment – how to explain the butter film now coating the container to my roommate….?
After my attempted cleanup, I look at the bowl, no longer knowing how much butter is in the mixture since so much has sprayed out. Four years at University and I couldn’t predict that the thin liquid consistency of the butter wouldn’t support the big solid heavy mass of the brown sugar falling into it….
So with a last ditch effort to salvage this cookie mixture, I decide to add another stick of butter to the mixture. More butter the better right? I pop a stick of butter in a bowl and place it in the microwave…
Suddenly, I smell burning. Burning! Ahh, I totally forgot I was cooking naan for a snack so I wouldn’t eat the entire cookie mixture while I baked (it’s happened before…). I rush to the oven and pull out two blackened naan’s smoking to the point of fire singed! The last thing I need is for the fire alarm to go off, which I have absolutely no idea how to turn off. I run to the kitchen sliding door and whipp it open. I then hear a pop, an explosion from the microwave. Oh my god! The butter! I whirl around horror stricken… dropping the cremated naans I rush to the microwave. Afraid of what I might find, I tentatively open the door and cringe, great, something else to clean up… It’ll have to wait.
I ignore the melted microwave mess and add the remaining butter left to the mixture, now completely at a loss as to how much butter is in the mixture. I continue to follow all the recipes steps and add a ludicrous amount of chocolate to hopefully balance out the butter…
I even follow Butter blogger Natasha’s terrific tip on how to roll the cookie dough balls.
1 Roll 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough mixture into a ball
2 Separate the ball into two halves rotating the halves 90 degrees outwards with the jagged, crater like surfaces facing upward
3 Join the halves together at their base
I place the balls on the tray and into the oven. Hmm, I apparently didn’t separate them enough because they form one large cookie! They weren’t supposed to be tear and share cookies! They rise for a few minutes and then flatten.
I try another batch, this time separating them out more. They are now individual cookies – hurrah! But they are still flat and so… buttery. Grossly buttery, not lick your lips this is so good buttery, but your fingers are covered in so much butter and you feel sick to your stomach after eating the cookie buttery!
I baked all the cookies and decided I would bring them in to work anyway. I was apprehensive that I would get everyone at work sick… but decided that going to work empty handed was not an option. I did deliberate getting up early to buy a batch of Ben’s Cookies and pretend I baked them… but that could potentially become embarrassing if someone found out. Surprisingly, people at work ate and liked them?! I do still wonder if this was more because of British peoples tendency in not wanting to offend?
- Don’t tip packed dark brown sugar into a bowl of melted butter. Instead, put the sugar in first and then add butter.
- Don’t melt butter in the microwave if the recipe doesn’t ask for it.
- Don’t bake snacks while you’re cooking and forget about them…
- Buy yourself the raspberry ice pink kitchen stand mixer!
I will try this recipe again and hopefully it will feature in my recipes section and not mishaps. Wish me luck!