Next Sunday is Hailey’s “not-farewell”. That just means she’ll be speaking in church and then leaving on June 10th for her 18 month LDS mission. Instead of hosting the friends and family open-house that typically follows the sacrament meeting, Hailey opted for a simple punch and cookies affair, just outside on the church lawn. The Bishop was good enough to schedule a ward mingle and our family is pumping in lots of extra treats to accommodate our guests. We hope it will be a nice little opportunity for people to visit, enjoy a few treats, and say goodbye to Hailey before she’s off to Missouri.
Planning ahead, I thought I was up for a bit o’ baking this afternoon. My idea was to get an early start on homemade cookies that could be frozen and all ready for next Sunday’s event. But I’m not a big cookie baker, and I don’t have any favorite recipes, so I had to glance through a few cookbooks, and select the recipe that didn’t require a special trip to the grocery store. Grandma’s Famous Oatmeal Cookies sounded both loveable and dependable, and that’s exactly where I wanted to start.
I followed the recipe but then added some coconut, to make them a bit fancier. When the timer went off, I gently transferred the first dozen to the cooling racks, and immediately thought something had gone wrong. They were lightly toasted but seemed way WAY too soft. I had blown it again. This is why I hate baking. It’s too exact for me. Too much science involved. I don’t do it enough to ever get very good at it and then I don’t understand all the chemistry that makes certain ingredients react in certain ways in certain recipes. BLAST! Like I need this after 10 days of the death-cough!
I decided I should add flour. I lost count after about the fifth half cupful. But it looked like what I thought cookie dough should look like… They scooped very nicely onto the pan and I really felt like I was on the road to success.
While waiting for batch number two (yeeea, foreshadowing) to finish cooking, I tasted a cookie from batch number one.
Weeeeird, how they had cooled, set up just fine, and even tasted great. Hmmm. Still, I figured the additional flour would probably make this next batch even better.
NOT so. But I’ll tell ya, these little noogies would be awesome to throw at people. I’m not saying I ever did that sort of thing as a kid, but just holding them in my hand made me feel like a 15 year old again. Okay, so my next thought was that maybe they could be like Snicker Doodles if I rolled them in sugar…and it might kill the nasty flour taste.
Well, know how an elephant’s skin looks when it’s caked with dry mud? Not sure if you can tell from this picture, but that’s exactly what batch #3 looked like. And they still tasted really bad. My next idea was to add applesauce! (I’m pretty sure this is when I clearly heard a tiny voice saying, “Liesa, you’re doing it again. You’ve ruined the cookies. It’s time to give up. Throw it out now. Adding more and more ingredients will not fix this. Back away from the kitchen.”) I’ve heard you can use applesauce in cookie recipes. And sour cream. Someone once told me that sour cream makes the best sugar cookies…and more vanilla…and more cinnamon. We can fix this.
When the timer went off, I was in the other room so I yelled for Hailey to take the cookies out of the oven. Next thing I heard was, “Mom, why do the cookies look like little poops?” First thing I thought when I tasted one was, “food storage”. This is exactly the kind of thing that scares people: Bad flavor, bad texture, and bad color!
Honestly, I don’t care how much it costs, tomorrow morning I’m ordering eclairs with little coral rosebuds on top, lemon bars, and chocolate mint brownies from the bakery.