Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bake a cooky, eat a cooky

Sometimes I'll get a deep, almost obsessive need to bake something. I'll get an idea in my head and I won't be able to stop thinking about it until I make it. This might happen with a particular cake recipe, or a batch of cookies. Sometimes I'll have a recipe swirling around in my little hungry dog brain for weeks or months until I all of a sudden just HAVE to make it.

I've got a couple in my mind right now that are on my short list, whipping themelves closer to the frenzied day I must drop everything to make them: Melissa Clark's blood orange olive oil cake and a raspberry buttermilk cake from a recent Gourmet. Also, alfajores, which I've been mulling over since last fall when I had one for the first time. Someone in my office went to Argentina and brought back a boxful. Since the, I've been dreaming of dulce de leche.

These are all on the to-do list. But sometimes I get an immediate craving that cannot be ignored or postponed. Like this past Sunday, I was overcome with an urge to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

This is a bit unusual for me. In general, I like chocolate chip cookies unmarred by oats, nuts, or other bits and pieces. And I'm not really an oatmeal cooky kind of person; they often seem either too soft and bland or too hard and brittle; plus, they often are full of raisins--yuck. But for some reason I got the urge for these and once I mused aloud to the husband, "Do you think I should make some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?" I realized I'd get nothing more than a stony stare until they emerged golden, crispy, and chewy from the oven.

So, I whipped up a batch from Baking Illustrated in no time, swapping cinnamon for nutmeg, reducing the sugar, and adding a splash of Penzey's divine double vanilla. Hand-delivered one to the husband as he watched the French Open. I ate one, pleased with how speedy it had all come together.
The cookies were good, but I baked them too long. It called for a baking time of 22-25 minutes and I went for 22 right off the bat. They looked perfect but the longer they cooled, the crisper and harder they got. Too crisp.

Also, as often happens with me when I bake, once I ate one, I was done. Savory things tend to hold my interest longer. But once I bake a cooky and eat it, I'm ready to move on. So, the rest of the cookies were pawned off to friends that evening.

Incidentally, in our house we spell cooky with a y and not an ie. Makes it seem like both a noun and an adjective: That cooky is so...cooky. I realize this is a mistake and not an alternate spelling. But, one thing nice about not having kids is you don't have to explain why you're purposely doing something the wrong way. You just do it because you feel like it. Plus, you can curse freely.


  1. Dude, I HATE raisins. Especially when they interrupt otherwise lovely things, like curried chicken salad and trail mix.

    Cookies look great!

  2. What's funny is that I hate raisins, but I LOVE oatmeal raisin cookies...only when they are chewy and soft. Your post is giving me cravings...

  3. Cookies soften up nicely when dipped in tea or soy milk. MMM!