Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life of a Cookie in Pictures

I've never had a nice looking cookie jar or one that didn't let the cookies dry out. So for Mother's Day my son got me one of these:

Isn't it lovely? But it was missing something. As in being filled with cookies. So to surprise my boy after he left for school yesterday I got busy baking, which some of you may know is not particularly my strong suit. I had a whole bag of Craisins. $3 off at Costco! And pecans. So craisin pecan cookies it was. After looking at several recipes on the web, I chose one that claimed they were the world's best. Okay good enough for me! I'll even make a double batch, I thought, and fill that baby right up.

So I followed the recipe exactly. Down to every little detail. Here is my first batch:

Did I ever mention oatmeal cookies never turn out for me? Sigh. Look at those sad, sorry, crispy little things. GiBee and I should form some kind of club. This is what they look like when one accidentally falls on the floor:
Sad, sad, sad. It shattered like glass. So what to do, what to do? I had a double batch of this stuff to bake. And if you know me at all, the thought of wasting all those expensive craisins and pecans in the batter, was making me crazy. Then I thought of Barb again. My friend, the Martha Stewart of the blog world. And I remembered she had put out the call for advice on how to get your cookies fatter rather than thin. And the answer was add more flour than the recipe calls for. So add I did. A half cups worth per batch. Which made for interesting stirring as the batter was really thick. Then I reduced the oven temp a bit, put parchment paper on the cookie sheets, reduced the baking time and voila:
Look at the difference! The sad sorry crispy one is on the left. Just in case you couldn't tell. The new one was just the right golden color, texture and yummy! Now they really are the World's Best. So now my boy came home to this:

It's not stacked as nice as Barb's, but my boy was happy! As was hubby and the girls. A miracle. Homemade baking. In their house. Imagine that.

TRULY WORLD'S BEST CRAISIN PECAN COOKIES

-3/4 cup sugar

-1/4 cup packed brown sugar

-1/2 cup softened butter or margarine

-1 large egg

-1/2 tsp. each vanilla extract, cinnamon, baking soda

-1/4 tsp. salt

-1 1/4 cup flour

-1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (do not use instant)

-1/2 cup chopped pecans

-3/4 cup Craisins

1. Preheat oven to 365*F. (The original recipe called for 375*, which might work for you depending on your altitude). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl with electric mixer, combine sugars and butter or marg and beat well for a few minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and mix well.

3. In seperate bowl mix flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda well. Add slowly to mixer, mixing well after each addition or stir in by hand.

4. Using a wooden spoon stir in craisins and pecans until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

5. Drop by teaspoon fulls (about 1" balls) onto cookie sheets and bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Start watching at 8 minutes. Should be just golden brown around the edges.

6. Remove from oven and let sit for a minute to cool on sheet. Remove to baking racks to complete cooling before putting in cookie jars.

19 comments:

Barb said...

Well, look at you, Susanne. Those cookies are gorgeous. Isn't that the neatest trick, adding a little extra flour? What a difference it makes in my chocolate chip cookies. One hint, though. I discovered that the cookies tend to dry out quicker if you've added extra flour. My solution to that is to just stick a slice of apple in the cookie jar. That keeps them moist.

I love your new cookie jar. What a thoughtful gift that was. Not that he had an ulterior motive, or anything. LOL

Barbara H. said...

I am sure they all enjoyed that!!

I discovered something else that contributes to flat, dried out cookies. Where we used to live, my cookies always turned out fine, but here they were a disaster. After reading around and trying to figure out the problem, I discovered this oven is smaller than my last one. I don't remember where I read it, but there is supposed to be several inches of space between the cookie sheet and the oven walls so the heat can circulate evenly. The only cookie sheet that works for me is one that only holds a dozen at a time....so it makes it all a much longer process, but they turn out better. Oh, and the darker and non-stick cookie sheets don't work for me, either (I should have mentioned that on Shannon's "what doesn't work for me Wednesday"!) Only the shiny pans without the nonstick coating work for me.

I am getting an urge to bake cookies....

Michelle said...

Hi Susanne .Thanks for the blog visit.I hope that you're gang enjoyed the cookies.I'm amazed that you've never been to Stanley Park!!! One Day soon we'll get pictures of you at the rose garden.McKenna and Daddy will be making your cookies this afternoon.

Becoming Me said...

What a great mom you are. Very pretty cookies too!

Jen said...

I love your recipe..I will try these this summer with Madison. Thanks for sharing it.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Wow, look at those beautiful cookies in your new jar! That sounds like a great cookie, I bet they taste wonderful. How sweet of you to bake cookies, such a loving "mom" thing to do :)

Have a great day!

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I learned that trick from Barb too! Look at the difference it made for you!! WOW! Fantastic!!

And what a fun cookie jar. I need to find one. Right now my cookies find their home in gallon ziploc baggies... but they somehow seem to get eaten just the same. :-)

Kathleen Marie said...

They look wonderful. Up here in high altitude country is it so hard to make decent cookies... Thanks and Hugs!

Faith said...

Yummy...and guess what..my very first batch of choc. chip oatmeal cookies came out the same way (like your first batch) and so my mom and aunt both told me to either add extra flour or use butter rather than margarine...what a difference!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

They look yummy Susanne!

Allena said...

yummo! thanks for the recipe! i'm so going to have to try it! i love crasins and pecans. But i don't have such a great cookie jar at all.. need to look into one of those.

Shalee said...

I tried the cookie recipe out to and it worked for me as well!

I love that your boy gave you something that would eventually make him happy too!

ellen b. said...

Oh I'm so glad they turned out right in the end! Great cookie jar cuz you can see when you need to make more :)

Beck said...

Those are VERY tasty looking! You could probably throw in a cup of chocolate chips, too. Yum.

Kelsey Smith said...

Yummy they look much better!

Org Junkie said...

I've got it bookmarked!!

Tammy said...

OK, it's 10 at night...and I want a chocolate chip cooking. Bad! :)

Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

bless him and well done to you
Jen

Chappyswife said...

Those look so delicious! I bet your boy was thanking himself and you for such a great gift.