Monday, October 26, 2009

Baking Day

Half a dozen hours and dozens of cookies later – I can honestly say the baking experiment was a success.

I did have the help of a more experienced baker – which was great. Not only did I learn a few things, but it also helps keep the whole experience enjoyable when you have some company in the kitchen. Definitely recommend baking with friends.

We made four different recipes: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, chocolate krinkles, chocolate toffee crunchies and peanut butter cup cookies. You can find all of these recipes in the comments section after “Calling All Cookie Recipes.”

The pumpkin chocolate chip cookies make a delicious seasonal treat and were the clear favorite among our volunteer taste testing crew. But out of 10 taste-testers, each cookie earned at least one first place ranking. And so far everybody has agreed that all four recipes are worth the calories!

For all of you novice bakers considering giving one (or all) of these recipes a shot, the good news is that none of them were difficult to make. If I can do it, anybody can… especially when armed with the right equipment.

Tools of the Trade:

First, I’m definitely registering for a KitchenAid stand mixer. My more experienced counterpart brought one with her and once we got the right attachment on there, it was perfect for mixing the dough. Definitely easier than using a hand mixer or worse – a whisk. (Side note: Can you even mix cookie dough with a whisk?)

Second, have you heard of the push up measuring cup? I was introduced to the Metric Wonder Cup this weekend and discovered it’s awesome for measuring sticky ingredients (the pumpkin and peanut butter in our case). I also heard it’s great for Crisco. And it’s easy to use.

Third, we tried a baking stone, Silpat and greased cookie sheet to see which worked the best.

As it turned out, the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies didn’t stick to any of our baking trays and the chocolate krinkles stuck to all of them. Still, I think a baking stone is a great investment if you’re also going to use it to bake pizzas and other things. The Silpat really works and definitely protects the cookie sheet. You can also probably salvage cookie sheets that have lost their non-stick coating by using a Silpat. But don't count out the good old fashion cookie sheet. A good quality tray with a little Pam also produced quite a tasty cookie.

Hands down the best part of the day? Enjoying the end products of our labor!


  1. i think i ate too many cookies. they are delicious. thank you for baking and sharing. i love the work-in-progress pics you've posted too. believe you've mastered baking! :)

  2. Excellent work! I am so impressed that she brought up the Kitchen-Aid! My mom got one for us and I can't wait to use it! I have not tried the pumpkin ones yet but I will certainly make room for one later!

  3. I use too many exclamation points. (!)

  4. I *loved* the pumpkin/chocolate cookies. They were very yummy and seasonal!

    Thanks for sharing them.

  5. I choked on a krinkle. But no lawsuit will be filed since you're a novice.

  6. I tried three of them and loved the peanut butter and pumpkin ones. Delicious. Thanks for posting and baking.

  7. Mmm! They all look tasty! I miss you, Ka. I still would like to get together. And my mom is going to mail the key. . . I keep forgetting to tell you this. She wanted to send pictures for your mom too, however, her online skills are limited. :)

  8. I'm enjoying your site. I wanted to give you a basic cookie recipe, but as I'm computer deficient, it took me this long to figure out how to join! Anyway, I have a no bake recipe for you, but you've already graduated to baking. Congratulations!