Holiday Baking, Part 1

Yeah, so what if I’m a few weeks late? No one needs more cookies around the holidays anyways, right? gave me a cookie cookbook for Christmas, and then I went out and got two books on decorating last week, so all I’ve been thinking about has been cookies. Sunday night, I got to work on two batches, from two different sources. The first was a “special” version of chocolate chip cookies from Big Fat Cookies. The basic idea was to make regular chocolate chip cookie dough, make 16 balls of dough slightly larger than usual (2 tablespoons), flatten them, place a tablespoon of additional chocolate chips in the middle, and then place another ball of dough on top (so there were actually 32 balls of dough, each 2 tablespoons. Sounds good, right?

The picture looked good too.
I measured out the chips (3 cups!)…

And then got excited because I got to use my new flour sifter. I realize there’s great controversy regarding flour sifting (as in, many people think its the stupidest idea ever because flour today comes pre-sifted, and so it’s just a waste of time, etc, but Christmas seemed like a good time to ask for someone to spend a whole $8 for a sifter that I wanted, and since was so nice as to buy it for me, that was good enough for me), but I’ve decided to try the idea out.

Here’s my sifter in use (no, I’m not left-handed, but I couldn’t figure out how to hold the camera and the sifter),
And the results for the flour-baking soda-salt mixture. So pretty!

I was also making gingerbread dough (which will be rolled, cut, and baked tonight, and decorated tomorrow), which called for sifting too. The recipe is from Williams-Sonoma, inside the packaging for the 3D cutters I bought last year that I have yet to use (but will now!).

This mixture was for 5 cups of flour and more seasonings than I could imagine, so the sifted-together version seemed like a good idea.
More on those later, when I’ve done something with the dough (it had to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours).

Well, the chocolate chip cookies didn’t turn out how I’d like them to. They’re totally edible and all, just… well, they flattened out a lot. I’m not sure why. I followed the recipe exactly (even though I was tempted to add pecans). The only mistake I made was to put the dough onto the cookie sheet before reading all the instructions thoroughly, where I learned that I was supposed to put the dough 4 inches apart! So, the cookies came out square because they all seeped into each other. Oh well. I had enough dough left for one more cookie (that didn’t fit on the first pan), so I made it all by itself.

It flattened out a lot too.
Here’s the square cookies, christening (finally!) the cookie jar I got from one of my aunts at my bridal shower.
10 cookies (we had to eat some!) filled it up completely!
So cute, Winnie the Pooh!

Anyways, I think the idea for the chocolate chip cookies was good, but the recipe was flawed somehow. We’ll have to play around with it and see if we can’t get it to do what it was supposed to do. I’ve read all sorts of things about which ingredients do what (brown sugar makes cookies chewier, and there are tons of differences between butter, margarine, and Crisco), but I’m not sure what to blame for the flattening-out of the cookies. The recipe called for only brown sugar, and unsalted butter, both of which I used. I measured everything out exactly as asked, and the oven was a perfect 350* (I checked the internal thermometer and everything).

So, not perfect, but still a yummy, chocolate-filled treat. Unfortunately, we had barely enough milk in the house to consume cookies. We remedied that last night at the grocery store, however.