Sometimes I wonder about yours truly. i.e. myself. Do I have seriously early onset Alzheimers? Is my brain finally starting to rot from all the sugar I eat like David Gillespi would like to have me believe? Or is it just that I am a really bad baker? Let me explain.
Today I decided to make a batch of choc chip cookies. Thought I'd get a bit of baking under my belt before 'Show Time' when the food blogger gang and some other darling friends arrive to spend a couple of days. I looked for a recipe and couldn't find one so @monkylicious sent me a recipe from Claire's blog, who got it from Barbara's blog. It works like that with bloggers- sort of like the modern day recipe swap. I got all the ingredients ready, mixed them up, divided the mixture into almost too big dollops and popped them in the oven. I set the timer on my phone and then wandered outside to 'The Patch'. Sounds pretty standard.. right?
About 12 minutes later, which is DOUBLE the amount of time they are supposed to be in the oven for, I threw down the pitch fork ran into the kitchen only to see the beautiful biscuits on the brink of burning. I basically looked like inspector gadget, pulled them out oven, off the tray and scalded myself and scolded myself for being so absent minded. Honestly G.G. - what WERE you thinking, leaving the biscuits to incinerate?! I mean everyone knows it is very easy to get caught up in The Patch, but really?! (Just a little photo so you can look and admire ha ha ha)
First dilemma over and I place the next tray into the oven and finally shut the timer up, which is still beeping- loudly reminding me that the last batch were well overdue. THANKS so much for rubbing salt into the wound timer, it's great that you want to keep beeping at me now but you didn't beep loud enough to remind me to come in from The Patch.. Pfft. Don't get all passive aggressive on me.. I then reset it and think that five minutes (leaving one minute spare because I'm so responsible) is the perfect amount of time to grab a couple of the 'just saved' biccies and give them to Gfather for testing.
I walk outside, place them in front of him (he was on the phone) and turn to go back inside and sit at the oven door, watching the cookie dough rise, with plenty of time to spare. However, things rarely go to plan and Gfather pipes up- "Do you want to speak to your cousin?!" With clearly not another care in the world and clearly no thought to the biscuits I reply "Of course." I then sat down and had a good ten minute chinwag - until he asks "So what are you doing" - I then scream drop the phone, let out a few four lettered profanities and realise that what I WAS doing was baking biscuits, what I am doing is talking on the phone, so what I'm effectively doing is burning the bloody biscuits only 15 minutes after I burnt the first batch. As I run back inside I can hear Gfather laughing at me and my cousin's laugh roaring down the phone too. WILL I EVER LEARN?
If this was a one time incident then I could put it down to me just being a little bit muddle headed wombat, but the evidence against me is mounting. There was a time (should I even admit this?!) when I was being a super baker, and popped some chunky apple, pear and cinnamon muffins into the oven. Simple enough. I then got proceeded to get ready for a concert which was being held at Boondall Entertainment Centre- about a 40 minute drive away from my old house. You can see where this is going.
It was (only)25 minutes into the trip, when we were more than half way to Boondall when someone asked about the muffins that I realised what I had done. Cue sick feeling sinking into my stomach, panic and then the admission of guilt which resulted in a speedy u-turn. I ran into the house at light speed expecting to arrive to a fire crew out the front. Luckily the muffins and their muffin paper had not combusted, so I turned the bloody oven off and got back into the car. Needless to say, the person travelling with me was less than impressed and I was very lucky that we made it back to the concert in time.
You see the thing that baffles me is that I'm not generally forgetful. In fact, I'm quite good at remembering most things. I'm actually the reference point for friends asking about the names of people we went to school with and I rarely forget my lunch. I can multitask and cook the most intricate of dishes- never having forgotten about a simmering pan or a thickening sauce- BUT... when it comes to baking, it seems I just turn off. Maybe I'm just so happy in anticipation of the results of the baking that I forget that you actually have to turn the bloody oven off.
In spite of all this drama, the biscuits were actually okay and the third batch, which I did not almost burn, were absolutely fab. I'd almost say they could rival Mrs Fields in chewiness and Claire's addition of cinnamon was a total winner. I also added an additional 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract which spiced the cookies up a little bit more. Rest assured, if you are looking for a chewy choc chip cookie- these babies are worth a shot. Just don't burn them.
P.s that is not charcoal on the cookie but my shadow when I took the photo! Honest!!
Chewy chocolate chip cookies
recipe adapted by Claire K Creates from Barbara Bakes
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (could just use flour as the original recipe suggests)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (I added another teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (Claire's addition- I added another 1/2)
1 bag dark chocolate chips (I used about 150g)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional – I left these out)
Preheat the oven to 185C fan-forced.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
Remove the bowl from the stand and stir in the eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir until just combined.
Tip in the chocolate chips and stir them through.
Spoon heaped-teaspoon-sized blobs onto a lined baking tray leaving about 4cm between blobs.
Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes and swap the trays half way through if you are using more than one tray at a time.
Let them cool on the trays until they are firm enough to move then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
SO tell me readers, am I forgetful or an incompetent baker? Have you ever had baking forgetfulness?