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The Blogger, The Baker, The Glossy & The Gourmand

2012 July 5

As a reminder, the original challenge can be found here. I am comparing four very popular recipes for “the best chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever have” from a blogger, a baker, a glossy and a gourmand.

Disclaimer: this is baking 101 here, my friends. I am a novice. I don’t know how to properly sift sugar. I don’t know the difference between cake flour, bread flour or all-purpose flour. I have to think for a second when a recipe calls for an egg yolk…to make sure I am not dropping in the egg white.

But I know a good cookie when I find one.

Part one – The Blogger.

I was a little hesitant to choose Joy’s recipe for chewy molasses chocolate chip cookies at first because a) I know nothing about molasses and b) I like my cookies to be a crispy/chewy combo and molasses doesn’t scream that. But her picture (seen above) put me at ease — this LOOKS like the perfect chocolate chip cookie to me.

So off we went, on a recent sunny Sunday afternoon:

Another disclaimer: Joy’s recipe specifically calls for dark molasses, not blackstrap. Well, turns out my local grocery store didn’t have dark or blackstrap, they just had these “original” molasses. So that’s what I went with. Also, she calls for dark chocolate chips or chunks. I couldn’t find those, either. Note to self: your local grocery store is kind of lacking. So we went with standard semi-sweet.

I powered up the iPad and started following along. I am not going to lie, a few things stressed me out — this whole “sifting” business, for starters. I sifted a big old hot mess a while back and I wasn’t in the mood to do it again. So I dumped all the dry ingredients into a bowl and gently mixed them together. Good enough?? Maybe not.

Making my own brown sugar was fun…for a bit. Another disclaimer: novice chef equals novice kitchen so I don’t have a big, fancy stand-up mixer (yet…you hear me, Santa?) so I use a hand mixer when I need to. And at one point, no joke, I thought it was going to fly out of my hands, the batter was so thick and overpowering. But we made it…and homemade brown sugar magically appeared.

The rest of the recipe was very easy to follow and I did so, to a tee. You chill the dough for 20 minutes and then scoop dough balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

I had some issues with the baking time. She calls for 8-10 minutes, but recommends checking after five. Well even after 12 or so, my cookies still looked very under-cooked. In fact, I never really got them to look anything like hers.

They weren’t that nice, deep brown and there was no sign of the “slender” silhouettes I had so lovingly admired in her photo. The flavors were great, especially the hint of sea salt at the end (skater hubs said they were the “tastiest things I have baked so far”) but overall, it didn’t quite deliver on the cookie I was hoping for.

Was it the sifting? Were my dough balls too big? The lack of a stand-up mixer?

I honestly have no idea. If you do, I would LOVE to hear your insight.

In the meantime, I will see if the baker comes out any better…

*Top photo via Joy the Baker

2 Responses
  1. July 5, 2012

    I’m not an expert baker or a doctor, but my diagnosis is that the molasses was off or the oven temp was too low. I doubt it’s the result of the lack of stand mixer, the hand mixer should have been plenty. Maybe you could get an oven thermometer and/or seek out a darker molasses?

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