Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Curse of the Chocolate Chip Cookies

What a bloody disaster. Literally.
As I type this, I am smeared with chocolate and covered in bandaids.
And let me tell you, blood and melted chocolate is not a good look, despite what the modern vampire franchise may lead you to believe.

And there is currently a mess unlike any other I have ever created in the kitchen that makes me seriously consider calling the Disaster Kleenup people.

I don't even want to take responsibility for this one. I am going to blame it on my Chocolate Chip Cookie Curse.

This is the story...

I never made chocolate chip cookies as a kid.  We made other delicious desserts that were more unique, and mainly based on our Scandinavian heritage-- krumkake and spritz cookies and banana bread, that sort of thing. We left the chocolate chip cookie making to others, since they are common and easy to come by.

But I do enjoy a chocolate chip cookie. And my husband absolutely loves them.
We got a nice mixer as a wedding gift and I enjoy baking, so months ago I tried my first batch of chocolate chip cookies.
It didn't go well.
I ended up dropping 3/4 of the batch on the floor. No idea how, it just happened.  I had a rack of cooled cookies on the counter and a fresh batch on a cookie sheet in my hand and the oven mitt slipped and it knocked into the others and BOOM. Dozens of fresh cookies all over the floor. I was like "Whaaaaaat?! How did this happen?!" and was frustrated.

A couple weeks after that I made some spritz cookies.  They are a buttery white delicious Scandinavian cookie, and my aunt gave me a special press for them that you load the dough into and it makes gorgeous, elaborate cookies.  They are incredibly fussy to make, much more complex than chocolate chip cookies, and I made a double batch. It took all day and went off without a hitch.

So I went back to the chocolate chip cookies.
The second time, there was a fire.
I don't even know how it happened. I don't want to talk about it.
It was traumatic and I waited a couple of months to work up the nerve to attempt it again.

And let me mention I made plenty of things in the interim, all without a problem.
Only the chocolate chip cookies...those damn chocolate chip cookies that have become my baked good nemesis.
And I am using the most basic recipes too.  I literally found one online called "no-fail chocolate chip cookies."  The name clearly did not apply in my case.

This third time, I made some kind of rock cookie.
I don't know if one of the ingredients was expired or what, but they were the strangest texture I have ever seen and as they cooled they became dessert cement. Inedible. Eli and I tried one and it was disgusting.  I tried to fix the batter, but that was a failure.  And as I tried to scrape them off the cookie sheet to throw them away, they would not come off the cookie sheet.
I soaked them in steaming water and soap overnight.  They wouldn't budge.
I had to toss the whole affair--concrete cookies, cookie sheet, and all.

But still I thought I could conquer those cookies.
Today was my day! I prepared the whole kitchen, Mare-proofed it, if you will, in anticipation of any possible disasters.  I was painfully meticulous, tediously and slowly getting it all ready.
The dough turned out perfect, I camped next to the oven door while they baked to be prepared for any possible burning or fires, and they tasted sooooo good.
I had done it! But, being wary of tempting fate, I didn't exclaim or pump my fist in the air, because I knew it wasn't over yet.
So I did a couple batches and went to the living room to sit down because I have a headache (probably from being so incredibly focused on making these stupid cookies).
And suddenly I heard a metal crash, a clang, and a very loud shatter.
I jumped up and ran to the kitchen, and there were cookies and cooling racks all over the floor, mingled with brandy and chunks of glass.


is what I would have said if I could speak.  But I was literally speechless.
When words finally came to me, I croaked "what the hell?!"
My nice new bottle of brandy had somehow come off of its upper shelf and...I don't know, knocked into the cooling rack full of cookies on its way down, and then the whole mess exploded on the floor?
All I can think of is that there was a minor earthquake.
And then a baby aftershock,
because as I crouched on the floor, wearing dish gloves (the only thing I have around here to protect my hands as I pick up glass), still whispering "what the hell?" to myself,
another glass bottle toppled and landed right in front of me, shattering even more thoroughly than the first one.

I can't even tell what the bottle was from, it cracked so thoroughly.
There is glass EVERY.WHERE.
Under the fridge, under the stove, stuck into the side of the trash can.. Jagged, nasty, minuscule shards. The kind of glass I know we will be not-so-happy to discover 4 months from now early in the morning as we stumble into the kitchen barefoot.

I still cannot fathom how it happened.
I have enough dough in the fridge for another batch, but I am terrified of what may happen if I attempt to bake it! The apocalypse? A tornado outside my window?
I have been cleaning in there for an hour (apparently rubber gloves are crappy protection against very sharp glass, hence the blood I mentioned at the beginning), and it is still a warzone.

My headache has become a migraine and I am taking a brief rest from the endeavor.
Let me share the damage.

 This is a fun concoction of brandy, cookie crumbs, and glass. I like to call it "Sweet Death."

The question is, do I dare attempt to finish the batter in the fridge? Do I risk ever making chocolate chip cookies again?

No comments:

Post a Comment