Updated: Jun 26, 2020
In an effort to find my Christmas Spirit, I started the weekend psyched for a holiday shopping trip in which to purchase enough snack foods to fill two or three meat and cheese trays to give as gifts next week.
Ebel’s Family Center in Falmouth offers a huge assortment of all types of meat sticks made fresh right there, plus they stock all sorts of grocery items so I was able to pick up all the cheese and crackers, too. These snack trays would be overflowing with yummy tidbits that the receivers would surely appreciate!
This feeling of accomplishment helped me to find a little bit of holiday spirit and by the time I got home, I was feeling very much in the mood to bake make some holiday favorites to complete the day… "Chocolate Chip Dips."
Being I was planning to bake a chicken for dinner that same evening, I had a good 3 hours in which to make the cookies.
No problem! Or so I thought…
Maybe I should have played some holiday music to keep me in the mood.
Maybe I should have waited to do it another day.
Maybe I shouldn’t have made a double batch right off the bat since it had been so long since baking sweet treats.
Instead, I soldiered on… striving to do all of the work on my to-do list like I had years ago.
First I grabbed the recipe… a cookie recipe handed down to me by my Mother that I had tweaked with dipping chocolate.
Next, I got the Kitchen Aid mixer out… a prized Christmas gift I had received from my mother-in-law when the kids were still young after blowing up at least a half-dozen handheld mixers with this particular cookie recipe.
After getting a double batch of dough all mixed up and taste-tested, I pulled out the cookie sheets and noticed that I only had one regular sized, non-stick cookie sheet. The other was a humongous, stainless steel sheet that required grease or paper on its surface or the cookies would stuck.
Pulling open the drawer that holds all the foil paper, baggies, etc., I grabbed a box of waxed paper and began lining the giant cookie sheet with two overlapping pieces that hung over the sides of the pan.
I loaded the big sheet up first, deciding to make the cookies small so I would have a bunch of them to share.
My husband happened to be in the kitchen at the time and said, “I didn’t know you could put waxed paper in the oven.”
“Oh yeah,” I told him. “No problem!”
After popping the first batch of cookies into the oven, I started filling up the smaller cookie sheet when I smelled something HOT.
Taking a peek in the oven, I discovered the waxed paper fluttering and curling around the sides of the cookie sheet emitting a burning plastic smell that seemed moments from igniting into flames. I decided not to chance burning the house down so took the cookies out of the oven after less than 2 minutes of cook time.
Note to self... DO NOT put waxed paper in the oven!
Looking at the mess left on the pan, I wondered what to do.
The cookies had spread out like pancakes and had already started cooking, but I had to get them off the waxed paper somehow.
First, I considered doing a quick flip of the paper, but decided it would probably make a bigger mess than I already had.
Instead, I opted to scrape them off the paper, and re-scoop the dough onto the pan again.
Glob by glob, I scraped the partially cooked dough back into the bowl of cookie mix. By the time I had gotten the pan all greased and ready for the cookies again, the partly cooked dough had melted into a puddle of lava-like goo. The chocolate chips had all melted into the dough so it looked more like chocolate swirl cookies rather than my famous chocolate chip dips.
Shrugging, I soldiered on, pulling the first cooked batch of cookies out of the oven, and putting the swirly blobs back in for a second go.
After a closer inspection of the first batch, I thought they looked a little weird. Why were they so flat? My cookies never looked like this in the past. Not able to do anything to fix them at this point, I decided to continue on knowing that sometimes it’s a matter of getting the oven heated up good between batches for them to puff up nice.
The timer beeped for the swirly batch, but when I took a peek, they still looked raw. After a few more minutes, and then another few minutes, I finally took the giant, pancake swirl cookies out to cool before attempting to scoop them off the cookie sheet.
Another wrong decision...
By the time the cookies had cooled enough to take off the pan, the spatula was breaking off chunks of cookie rather than the whole cookie.
This holiday baking experience wasn’t going well at all. As a matter of fact, it was fast becoming a Holiday Cookie Catastrophe!
Pulling out the third batch of cookies, I noted they were still looking a bit like a 6-year-old had made them, and I was mystified as to what I had done in the past that I wasn’t doing now.
“Maybe it’s the dough,” I thought. “Even though it tastes right, maybe the consistency is off?”
Checking the time when batch three came out of the oven, I realized that I had less than an hour left before I needed to start cooking chicken dinner.
“Fantastic!” I grumbled, feeling perturbed with myself that I had decided to make these stupid cookies in the first place.
Throwing another cup of flour into the remaining mix, I beat it into the dough like I was scrambling eggs, and waited for the consistency to appear like it always had years ago.
No such luck.
It looked a bit DRY.
“Oh, well,” I thought. “There’s no going back now!”
I plopped the remaining cookies onto the baking sheet and threw them in the oven.
By this time, my feet and back were killing me, and I was boiling hot as if in Hell’s Kitchen. Cranking open a window, I relished the cool air blowing in before the oven emitted its final warning that the last batch was done!
Opening the oven, I glimpsed cookies hardened as if QuikCrete Cement was part of the recipe. They were the same exact shape as when they went in to bake!
After tasting them, I decided that one would need a few glasses of milk to choke these dry-as-dust globs down.
At this point, I considered throwing everything away – including the chicken - and just ordering a pizza for dinner.
Then my husband came in and tasted one of the broken-blobby swirl cookies.
“Whatever you do,” he said, “don’t throw these away!”
A balm to my confidence, I laughed at all the messed up cookies wondering if I had lost my touch. At least the end product still tasted good!
Then my mother saw them and said, “Bad cookie day, huh?”
It seemed clear that my knack for baking delectable baked goods had disappeared as quickly as the time had ticked away through the years of my life.
But as I cleaned up the mess, I noticed that I had mistakenly used baking powder instead of baking soda.
A word of caution to all of you would-be holiday bakers… baking powder can be used instead of baking soda if you use three times the amount. Otherwise, your baked goods will turn out a bit “WONKY.” I guess that explains my lack of baking skills.
With the holiday baking ending in disaster, I’ve decided I’m just going to relax from now until Christmas!
THANK YOU, MOM, FOR MAKING ME SOME CHOCOLATE CHIP DIP COOKIES!
You're the BEST!!! Love you!
Thanks so much for reading!
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