Posted by: Erin | April 22, 2009

Spontaneous Baking

The first Harry Potter movie was on TV the other night, and for some reason, I felt compelled to watch it, despite the fact that I have seen it about 19 times, and I own the DVD. So instead of watching the DVDs I purposely picked up at the BPL for the long weekend, I watched a slightly cut down version of Harry Potter WITH COMMERCIALS.

And for reasons I don’t understand, this compelled me to bake cookies. A few years ago, my parents gave me a copy of Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything: The Basics. I don’t use it for much, recipe-wise, but I figured there had to be a chocolate chip cookie recipe in there. (Normally, I look on Cooking Light’s website for recipes, but I tried a chocolate chip cookie recipe from there a few months ago, and it did not go well. This was probably my own fault, but I couldn’t remember which recipe it was, and I didn’t want to repeat the baking fail.)

Fortunately, the recipe was simple and didn’t call for 6 pounds of butter. I halved the recipe, since I only wanted to make a few cookies, and I tried my newly discovered method for softening butter. I always forget to take butter out of the fridge before I bake, and I used to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds, but that usually resulted in some of it melting, and I’ve recently realized that softened butter and melted butter probably don’t do the same thing in a recipe. Last time I baked, I left a stick of butter on the stovetop, next to a pot of water I was boiling to make part of my dinner. It was surprsingly effective, but here’s the key: you have to pay attention and flip the stick of butter over every couple of minutes, or it’ll soften unevenly. (Also, put it on something, like a paper towel, because if you forget about it for too long, it will start to melt, and make a mess on your stovetop.)

As I was reading through the recipe, I noticed a note at the end, saying that you could substitute a number of things for chocolate chips, once the batter was completed. Suggestions included raisins, chopped nuts, and coconut. It occurred to me that I have a good amount of shredded organic unsweetened coconut from my pre-Christmas baking spree. I added roughly one cup of the coconut to the batter, along with the chocolate chips. If nothing else, it made the kitchen smell fabulous while baking.

coconut_choc_chip

The dough spread as the cookies baked, and browned around the edges before the center, so I wonder if I should have made the dough drops flatter when I put them on the cookie sheet. On the whole, the cookies came out pretty well – they needed more chocolate (because, duh, everything is better with chocolate!), and maybe a little more coconut. Or perhaps if I’d used sweetened coconut, the flavor would have been more pronounced. The taste is still there, and I was using what I had, so it worked out fine, but if I try these again when I have sweetened coconut around, I’ll switch it up and see what happens.

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Responses

  1. Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.


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