How to Ruin Chocolate Chip Cookies

THCookiesAnyone who cooks or bakes regularly should be able to whip up a batch of Toll House Cookies without incident, right?

Today I proved that assumption wrong.  UG!

First you preheat your oven to 375° and gather your ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup (2 Cubes) Butter – Softened to Room Temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup (Packed) Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Large Eggs (at Room Temperature)
  • 1 –  12 oz Package (Appx 2 Cups) Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (Optional)

OK, so far I’m good to go!  Oven is on & I have everything I need on hand.

I pulled out my baking sheets, lined them with my trusty Artisan Metal Works Silicone Liners, got the measuring spoons, measuring cups and bowls out of the cupboard.  Time to make some cookie dough!

Minolta DSC

I measured out the flour, baking soda and salt and put them into a medium sized bowl.  Gave that a quick stir to combine and set the bowl aside.  No problems with this step!

The butter had been sitting on the counter for a couple of hours and was nice & soft.  Into the stand mixer bowl it went along with the brown sugar, the granulated sugar and vanilla.  A minute or two of beating and a quick bowl scrape and I was ready to add the two eggs. Everything is going great!

At this point I notice  batter isn’t as light and fluffy as it usually is.  No problem, the butter just must have been softer than I thought. No problem, time to add the flour mixture – full steam ahead.

This is when the wheels fell off….

I dropped the bowl on my stand mixer and began adding the flour mixture.  Just as I lifted the bowl into place to start the mixer I noticed that a blop of the vanilla, sugars, butter & egg mixture had flown off the beater onto one of the cookie sheets.

I defied the rules regarding not eating raw cookie dough (GASP!) and swiped the blop up and into my mouth.  UG!  WTF? ICK!

Expecting a buttery sweet taste, I was horrified to instead have a mouth full of salty yuck!  What in the world had I done wrong?

I glanced around the counters checking off ingredients and came upon an empty Ziplock bag.  I immediately realized what I had done wrong.

For the last month I’d been moving the Ziploc bag full of a white granulated substance around in my spice cabinet everytime Iassuming that it was The superfine C&H Baking Sugar that I routinely have on hand.  I never thought to check for it to be anything but that, as I often pour the last bits out of the larger carton and into a Ziplock Bag for storage.  This time I was oh so wrong!  I got a flashback of a day, only a few weeks ago when I had accidentally pushed the metal pouring spout all the way in to the container of Morton’s Iodized Salt.  I then poured what was left into a Ziplock bag and went back to what I was doing.

To be fair, I haven’t bought a container of Morton’s Salt for some time, as we’ve changed to salt and pepper grinders when we use salt at the table, so I wasn’t so far off assuming the bag was baking sugar.  But UG!  I should have tasted it first.

I’d already poured 1/2 of the flour mixture into the ruined butter and sugar mixture so everything had to be thrown away.  SUPER FAIL!

Lessons learned:

  1. When putting things into Ziplock Bags, MARK THE CONTENTS & Date.
  2. Always taste mystery ingredients if you’ve failed to follow #1
  3. When in doubt, like I was when I noticed a different consistency, taste the wet ingredient mixture before adding (and wasting) your dry ingredients

I guess there won’t be freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in my house tonight. 😦

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies

turkeygfcookiesAs I was reviewing the recipes I’d be making for Thanksgiving weekend gatherings this year, I realized that someone likely to eat at least one meal at my house is gluten intolerant and wouldn’t be able to share the best part of dinner: dessert!  Luckily I had a recipe that was easily converted to gluten free, whew, crisis averted!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Mix together in a bowl and set aside:

  • 3 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour (I use Krusteaz)
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

In stand mixer cream until light and fluffy:

  • 2 Sticks (1 Cup) softened butter
  • 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup  Brown Sugar (Light or Dark)  then add
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

On low speed slowly add the dry ingredients until well incorporated and dough forms a ball.

Divide the dough in half and put into 2 large Ziplock bags.  Flatten to a large disk and put both into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Once dough has chilled place first disk on a lightly floured surface (MAKE SURE YOU USE THE GLUTEN FREE FLOUR), roll out to about 1/4″ and cut into Turkeys, Leaves, Footballs or any other fall shape.  Place on a cookie sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper and then throw the pan in the freezer for a couple of minutes to help cookies keep their shape when you bake them.  Repeat process with what is left of first disk then the second disk until you have used all of the dough.

Bake for 9-12 minutes (until lightly browned on the bottoms and starting to brown on the tops) depending on your oven and the thickness of your cookies.  Remove cookies from the oven.  Allow to cool on pan about 1 minute then remove to wire racks to completely cool.  Do not leave on the pan too long or the cookies might start to lose their shape.

When completely cool ice with Royal Icing or pre-made cookie icing and enjoy.

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