Friday, August 31, 2012

Baking Under The Sleepiness

The other morning on my way home from work I had to make a pit stop at the grocery store but once I got there I couldn't for the likes of me remember what it was I intended to purchase.  I strolled up and down the aisles until it came to me (it was fruit juice by the way) but while I was trying to kick start my brain I stopped in the baking goods section and picked up a package of Quaker Oatmeal Cookie mix. 

Now let me make one thing clear... I love baking cookies and I never ever use cookie mix or ready made cookie dough.  All the cookies I ever bake are from scratch... get out the sugar, the flour, the real butter no substitutes and lets get cracking.  The closest I've ever come to using prepackaged mix was when I made the chocolate cookies that called for the powdered cake mix to be used but other ingredients were also added, not just water... that should have clued me in.

The directions on the package were pretty simple, reminded me of Aunt Jemima Complete pancake mix: just add water!  I measured out the cookie mix in a bowl and added the water - did I mention that I had just completed a ten hour night shift at work so I was extremely tired and had no business whatsoever to be in the kitchen baking when I should have been in bed sleeping!  I was mixing the cookie dough thinking to myself "wow, this looks like oatmeal cereal".  I continued to spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet and popped it into the oven and waited. 

*sniff sniff*  mmmm they smelled so good!

After the designated time passed I took them out of the oven and had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  What the heck?!  They were flat, the dozen cookies I had placed on the cookie sheet spread out and merged into one big flat awful looking cookie (that smelled great and tasted just as good believe it or not!).  I scraped them off the cookie sheet and tossed them in a bowl to munch on later - waste not want not and did I mention they tasted good.

I stared at the bowl that contained the remaining dough and then glanced over to the package of cookie mix then over to the measuring cups. 

oops!  My bad!  

I didn't put enough cookie mix! 

The directions, had I been fully awake to read them properly, called for 2 3/4 cups of mix and 1/4 cup of water.  When I looked at the measuring cups I didn't recall dipping the smaller measuring cup into the bag three times... once, but not three times so I only used 2 1/4 cup of mix.  No wonder it was runny like cereal!  Having said that you think I would have just added just a bit more mix to the remaining dough before placing it onto the cookie sheet and baking it.  No, not me, sigh, I just baked it as is and got another giant mashed up cookie. 

I went to bed after that.

I woke up later in the day and decided to give the oatmeal cookies another go.  I carefully measured out the correct amount of cookie mix and added the correct amount of water and combined it in a bowl.  Then I added a bit of dried cranberries to the still watery looking mix.  That can't be right so I also added a bit more mix until the dough became more firm.   I scooped them out onto the cookie tray and in the oven they went where I kept close watch on them. 

This time around the cookies didn't merge into one but they didn't actually fluff up either.  They just flattened out a bit but not quite like a Frisbee.  They also fell apart when I tried to remove them from the sheet that was non stick and also sprayed.   I had crumbs everywhere. Sure my cookie sheets look awful but that's only because they're my favorite sheets and they don't stick when I spray them with cooking spray. 

Though this last batch came out looking better than the first batch, see them there fresh from the oven and looking they they're reaching for one another.  I remained very disappointed in them.  I highly doubt I will ever buy a cookie mix again. I was frustrated and should have known better. 

When it comes to home baked oatmeal cookies, I'll continue to use the recipe I always use and get rave reviews from.

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