Friday, March 29, 2013

Cookie-Making Troubles

Imagine, if you will, a large, very large, window in a kitchenette area with fraction work written on it in blue. (Dry-erase markers.)

4/3 to 3/2 = ? to 2/3

Things like that. Resulting in fractions of 8/9 and 16/27.

"What are all those for?" I asked my 15yo.

"I don't know, they've been there for a while."

I didn't remember working with either one of them on fractions like that. What in the world...?

Oh, yes, my gluten-free cookie-making adventure. (Did you read my previous post about compound adjectives? Yes, you need them here, too. lol.)

The cookie-making adventure I'd forgotten to tell you all about when it happened. So, let me get started.

I found a chocolate chip raisin oatmeal cookie recipe I wanted to try from Cybele Pascal's The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook. (See, she uses they hyphen, too! Otherwise it would be a FREE baker's handbook! :D) One that is vegan and gluten-free. It called for a gluten-free flour blend; I used recipe the recipe from the book for making my own blend. That's when things started to get interesting.

It shouldn't have been hard. The recipe calls for 3 ingredients. That's it. Brown rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch. I measured the first two,  and went to see how much of the third I needed and saw it was the tapioca starch I had just put in. "Huh?" Shoot. I'd measured the wrong amount. Potato starch was the second ingredient, not tapioca. I only needed 2/3 of a cup of tapioca starch and I had the potato starch amount with the rice flour. Then the conversion factor came in to make up for the fact that I didn't measure the right thing. The flour was easy to adjust, but this one ingredient... It was complicated. I had all kinds of calculations written on the window. And after about 5 minutes of doing that, I looked again and saw it was actually 1 1/3 cups of potato starch that were needed (I had processed it as 1 1/2 cups), which then turned into I could just double the recipe and everything would be fine. And easy. Except I had already measured the extra flour I needed, so I needed to adjust and add even more. I therefore ended up with twice as much gluten-free flour blend as I had intended and I haven't really taken the time to do other gluten-free baking, so there's a large amount still sitting in the fridge.

In the process of measuring, I was trying to be quick about it since I was teaching a class that afternoon and needed everything to be cleaned up before students arrived. So I didn't pay attention to instructions such as scoop with a spoon into the measuring cups; I just poured, or rather, tried to pour, directly into measuring cups. And I was rushing. Bad combination, because here was the result:

The cookies themselves, I forgot to take a picture of. They were okay, but seemed to be lacking something in taste. Funny thing is I decided to freeze them and WOW, are they ever delicious right out of the freezer! I made a second batch last week to give away to my gluten-sensitive, dairy-allergic "niece."

Of course, after they were all done, I realized that I had actually measured 1 1/2 cups of tapioca starch, not 1 1/3, which means doubling wasn't quite the right thing to do. The blend is incorrect, but the cookies are fantastic from frozen. :D


  1. I love messes into successes stories, and your is no exception. Thanks for sharing it. Oh, and cookies from the freezer are the best. They remind me of how my grandmother likes to store her extra cookies there. She always has some to pull out when guests come to visit. I've definitely had my fair share of cookies from the freezer.

    Hope the "pond" has dried up from the road and that your weather is more Spring-like.

  2. Well, I have never enjoyed frozen cookies as much as these! I brought what was left of the most recent batch to my mom's for Easter weekend and she ate half of them. lol

    The pond has dried up and so much of the snow. My son and nephew were on scooters and skateboard today, some other kids were on their bikes (even though there is snow still at the edge of the roads). A good deal of the accumulated snow, however, went so quickly--and now we hear we're supposed to get another storm and up to half a foot of snow over the next couple of days. *shakehead*