How Not To Cook: Getting Advice

I am actually banned from making cookies in my house, especially chocolate chip cookies. Quick back story. My mom always, ALWAYS makes the same monster cookies, even though I always ask for chocolate chip because they’re my favorite. Of course, she never makes them, so I take matters into my own hands. Now this has happened several times, because I crave chocolate chip cookies 24/7 and the results usually end up like one of the following: burnt, expanded to the point of filling the entire pan, powdery, or on the floor. I really don’t understand what I do wrong. Every. Single. Time. So, I decided to follow up on a cooking blog, pinch of yum, to see what I was maybe doing wrong.

As I first viewed Lindsay’s recipe, I realized my first mistake. When I make cookies, or really any type of food, I never really pay attention to what kind of butter I’m using. No, not comparing real butter to fake butter, but if the butter is salted or non-salted. If a recipe requires salt and unsalted butter, it could affect how the cookies bake, and I never paid attention to it. I had actually had a conversation with my mom about baking and being exact. One day, she had walked into the kitchen as I was dumped peanut butter into my batter and she asked if I was making peanut butter cookies. Shaking my head no, I proudly announced that I was just adding peanut butter to a chocolate chip cookies recipe to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. She was not as impressed as I thought she would be, and yelled at me for not following the recipe. She exclaimed how with cooking, you can be a lot more flexible with the recipes, but with baking you need to be a lot more exact. When you bake, the ingredients have to be able to come together just right so that everything bakes even. With baked goods like bread, the ingredients need to be just right, or the bread won’t rise like it’s supposed to.

Not only does Lindsey  point out why it’s so important to pay attention to detail in ingredients, but also keep order of how ingredients are added. I used to always just dump everything in at once, thinking that, “Well in the end it’s all getting mixed together, why should it matter that much?” Yet, to get the right consistency and to ensure that you get the right texture, certain ingredients are mixed for longer and separate for a certain period of time. Just like how certain ingredients in cooking are cooked before others and before everything is made together, certain ingredients are mixed before others and before everything else is added. Not only have I ignored this simple step before, but I ALWAYS ignore the, “Refrigerate for 2 hours or more,” step (Lindsey). I didn’t consider the step to be that important, I mean I’m about to heat the dough either way, why would I cool it only to heat it up? Also, when I make cookies, I want to eat them as soon as possible, I can’t wait two hours! Or even worse, wait till the next day! By reading through Lindsey’s, “Perfect chocolate chip cookies,” I realized my main issue to why I am so terrible at cooking/baking is because I’m impatient, so hopefully I can aim to just relax while I’m cooking, but not too relaxed, because that’s how my house gets burned down.

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