Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Why I'll Never Be On The Iron Chef Show

I'm a pretty good cook. And by pretty good, I mean I'm able to follow recipes to a tee. It wasn't always this way. It took me four tries to get Kraft Macaroni & Cheese right. This always amazes people. After all, all you have to do is boil the pasta for five minutes, drain it, mix 1/4 cup butter, milk and the cheese powder, toss in the pasta and you're done. Couldn't a legless dog be able to make Kraft Macaroni & Cheese?

To which I say, yes, the legless dog probably could make a mean Mac & Cheese. But I couldn't. Not at first.

But once I mastered the Mac & Cheese, it was like some part of my brain woke up, the part that is supposed to follow recipes and I was pretty much unstoppable.

Ever so often though, my lack of talent will show and I can't deny that I'm in fact just a recipe follower, not a master chef. Sunday was one of those days.

We have new neighbors that moved in across the street from us. At first, I thought they might be gangster, because a police squad car showed up a couple of times. But after a while, it finally dawned on me that the husband was a cop. This excites me for a couple of reasons. First, you're less likely to be robbed when a cop car is sitting in the driveway directly across from yours. Two, when Sweetie Pie is gone hunting or for business, it's nice to know that if I call 911, a cop car will be at my house in 0.003 seconds. Third, when I see male strippers, my favorite is always the police officer, so that's a nice bonus.

Anyway, I decided that I'd be nice and neighborly and make some cookies for the new neighbors and go introduce myself. This way, they're less likely to figure out that we're using Little Man's room to grow top grade marijuana, and that's the real reason he's always got a goofy grin on and says "dude" a lot.

Because I'm such a great cook, I got a bag of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips and made the recipe on the back of the bag. My sister-in-law makes these all the time, and they're always great. And I'd made them once before and they were also really tasty.

I was going to half the recipe, because I really don't need five dozen cookies around. I mean seriously, I'd eat them all in one sitting is what I'd do. Halfway through measuring all the ingredients though, I realized that I forgot to half the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. So then I had to go and soften in the microwave another stick of butter and double the ingredients that I'd missed.

Then I had to add the flour and I measured out the 2 and 1/4 cups using a one cup and 1/4 cup measuring cups. Because I know you're supposed to spoon in the flour and then level it with a knife. I watch the Food Network, thank you very much.

So I heat up the oven, stick in the first batch of cookies and they all spread so far, that my pan by the 9th minute of cooking has one giant really thin cookie with chocolate chunks in it. I try to cut out cookies from the mess, but it's all gooey and caramelized.

So then I start the second batch. I decide to put fewer cookies on the pan, so that they can't join forces and take over my oven as a united front. This time, only two or three cookies manage to somehow unite, but all of them are approximately 1/10th of an inch thick and ressemble more really caramelized crepes than cookies. See?

So then Sweetie Pie says "are you making them too big?" And I say "no, of course not!" but then I read the package and notice that I'm supposed to put teaspoonfuls of dough on the cookie sheet, not tablespoonfuls. So, I make smaller balls of cookie.

Which then proceed to spread just as much as the tablespoonfuls of dough, but since there's not as much dough, they end up spreading to the point of having holes in them, like this:

Some of them are so weak, that I have to ball them up when they come out of the oven, like this:

Which to some of you Mamas might make you think I just emptied the contents of Little Man's pull up onto a cooling rack. Which, for the record, I did not do.

When I was all done, this is what my pile of cookies looked like. In the whole pile, none of them were really presentable:

This is not exactly something that says "welcome to the neighborhood! Glad to have you!"

I think they say more "I can't cook!" or "I hate cops!" None of which are messages I want to send to my new neighbors, because one, I think I can cook and two, I love cops, except for the two times they pulled me over for speeding and I was shaking so hard that they thought I had committed some really bad crime, when really it's because I'm terrified of getting in trouble for anything.

So I decided that Friday, I'm going to hit the mall, go to the Nestle cookie stand and buy a dozen cookies from them. Then, I'm going to take those cookies, put them in my homemade box (which I need to buy, mental note made now to do that) and pass them off as my own. It's a flawless plan.

One mystery remained, however. How in the hell did I mess up the simple recipe on the back of the chocolate chunks bag?

Finally, on Sunday night, approximately at 4 a.m. it hit me like a ton of bricks. The recipe called for 2 and 1/4 cups of flour. I only measured out my one-cup measuring cup once and then my 1/4 cup measuring cup once. Which adds up to 1 and 1/4 cups of flour. Not 2 and 1/4.

Who knew that being one cup of flour off could make such a difference? Well, the Nestle people, apparently, since they didn't write one cup on the recipe.




Sandy said...

Great post and I commend you for showing us actual pictures. My biggest baking goof? Using granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar when I made frosting. Yeah, turned those cupcakes into rocks, it did.

And you are a nice friend for posting this the same day AFF posted her kitchen gaffe!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

This totally made me think of Desparate Housewives. Be sure that you pull a Susan and warm the cookies up in the oven before you take them over, but be sure to know if they contain nuts or not!

The photographic evidence of your blunder? Awesome. I with I had taken photos of the peanut butter fudge/jello that I made last month. I don't think fudge is supposed to jiggle like that. Or that jello is supposed to be that color. Either way, something wasn't right.

thefoodsnob said...

LOL! So I HAD to come from AFF after reading your comment.
After I'm done at her house I'll be right over!


Ms. Porter said...

and that my friend, is why i hate baking...if you were cooking it would still turn out well enough to eat! ohhh you are so lucky to live across from a cop...yummy! i have four firemen in my neighbourhood as well as a young guy who is in university but hasn't left home who is especially yummmy. as long as the firemen are in their uniforms i am in heaven.

Beccy said...

Even if they were a disaster they still look pretty yummy with all that melting chocolate.

Megnificent said...

HA! Your post made me literally LOL. Love it.

Bren said...

Ha! Funny post! Thanks for including the pictures.

I once forgot the flour in a cake and it was the runnung joke for awhile.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

This post was TOOOOO funny! I loved it...

Btw, the host brother was RICKY!!!

Hallie :-)

AndreAnna said...

This was so funny! I am a big cook, and rarely follow recipes, EXCEPT in baking. And then I've realized that as long as you follow the calls for flour, baking soda, baking powder, and/or yeast, you can kind of fudge the rest.

Even though they didn't come out as you planned, I still would have eaten them. I love chocolate chip cookies more than Target.

Anonymous said...

I'm dying over here!! That is so something I've done. But, I have an excuse....I can't cook worth a crap!!

Don't let this get out, but I also love chocolate chip cookies mroe than Target :)

mumof4 said...

Sod the cookies - please do tell us more about the male strippers - especially the policemen. Do you frequent these establishments on a regular basis?

Rachel said...

Note to self: if Catwoman sends cookies, they are probably store bought.

Holly said...

I'm laughing at mumof4 (as per normal) cause Cat, apparently we both need to sod it off. We are cooking retarded. Maybe we need to fly to your grandparents and study at Le Cordon Bleu.

Thanks for offering my some mall man meat. I'll bring a steak knife & go with you to the cookie place.

Morgan Leigh said...

Wow. Those? Are not pretty. But, it's a mistake anyone could make.

I hardly ever homemake cookies. I think the frozen cookie dough makes better cookies. That's just me, though, LOL.


Joy T. said...

Ok I have to come out of lurk mode and LOL at this post!! Oh for the cookies of course, but the "when I see male strippers, my favorite is always the police officer, so that's a nice bonus" had me almost falling off my chair LOL I can just see you introducing yourself to your new police man...I mean neighbour...."well hellllloooo"! Too funny.

emma said...

hahaha, still giggling. Love the pictures. I think most of us have baked "these" type of cookies before. You get a double A for effort.

p.s. i'm nothing without recipes

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

I would do anything for one of those cookies right now. Damn January diets!

That Chick Over There said...

Ha, I say!

Squishy Tushy said...

How can you manage to be so damn funny EVERY SINGLE DAY?

For that reason alone I should hate you.

CPA Mom said...

BWAHAHAHAH!! I'm laughing so hard my water came out my nose. You are so funny!

Wish I had a cop for a neighbor. But I have a firefighter so that's something, right?

M said...

fuck i love you. gangsta who's really a cop? you rock dumbass. also? your fucking 1 1/4 vs 2 1/4 makes me want to marry you. twice. don't worry. i'll make the cookies from hereonout!