Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

I decided that I am going to try to reign in some of that new-baker enthusiasm and be a little less long-winded with the blogging this week. I'll try to just let my cookies do the talking.

These chipsters were chosen by Stefany of Proceed with Caution. I thought these cookies sounded great. Peanut butter? Chocolate chips? What's not to like? My husband does not eat chocolate, however, and I really AM serious about trying to lose the last of the baby weight, notwithstanding the fact that I chose online baking for my hobby. So I decided to make half of the recipe with some other kind of chip besides chocolate so that I would not eat too many cookies. I thought about butterscotch or peanut butter chips, but ended up going with white chocolate chips because I found some in my pantry. Yes, he will eat white chocolate. He is a complex man.

There is really not a whole lot to making these -- it was a pretty typical cookie recipe. I used creamy peanut butter because I had several Costco-sized jars of it in the pantry, and I knew that crunchy peanut butter would get about as much use in this house as wheat germ and chambord. The dough mixed up REALLY wet and sticky:

so I decided to chill it as Dorie recommends. Chilling for the minimum recommended time (2 hours) would have brought me smack dab in the middle of my nighty-night time, so I waited until the next night to bake.

My cookies spread out and seemed kind of thin to me:

Does that mean my baking soda has lost its mojo? I admit to being completely ignorant about the science of baking. I still feel a sense of awe and wonder over the fact that the same white substance that does . . . something . . . in my cookie recipes can also clean my bathtub and eliminate odors in my refrigerator.

So my cookies were thin, and rather crispy. I have to be honest, I didn't love them. I mean, don't get me wrong -- they contain two sticks of butter, eggs, mounds of sugar, chocolate chips and peanut butter -- I sure didn't hate 'em. But to me, there was something vaguely weird about the flavor combination. I really think it was the cinnamon and nutmeg. They just didn't seem to work with the peanut butter, in my opinion, even though the peanut butter flavor was pretty subtle. It was like the cookies were having an identity crisis. Is it a peanut butter cookie? Maybe, but I had to close my eyes to be sure that I was tasting peanut butter. Is it a spice cookie? Perhaps, but then what's up with that peanut butter that I think I taste? Peanut butter and nutmeg is not the new peanut butter and chocolate. Just my opinion.

We look better than we taste:

My hubby really liked his white chocolate chip version, though, and some of my other tasters gave me positive feedback as well. I brought the chocolate chip ones to the mom with whom I share carpool duties. Now, I promise you that I am not the kind of person who says: "Thank you for all you do for me. Here are some crappy cookies." I think other people will like these cookies just fine -- I just personally did not love the spices with the peanut butter, and would omit them if I ever make these again. I am really interested to hear what the other TWDers thought of these. Maybe it was just me.

Also, I should mention that I tried to make the "Perfect Party Cake" on page 250 for my parents' birthdays this past weekend, and it totally flopped. It didn't rise and was really dense. I tasted it to see if maybe it would just be an aesthetic issue, but nope -- blech! Into the trash it went. I ended up picking up a carrot cake at Publix, where they actually know how to bake a cake. I sure wish I knew why I can't get my baked goods to rise.

So, this was a thin cookie and flat cake week around here. I had a few moments, when the clock was nearing midnight and I was faced with a sink full of dirty pans and an inedible cake, that I was tempted to hang up my apron for good. But, no -- must forge ahead. On to the Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops!

[And for me, that's "a little less long-winded."]

28 comments:

n.o.e said...

Oh,no - a flop and a "meh" in the same week! Do you think your baking soda has expired? It actually stops working at some point. You might want to pick up a new box. It's no fun to ditch something you've worked hard to make.

I'm glad your tasters enjoyed the cookies. and if you didn't, well, then it helps you be restrained, right?

Every week I try to be less winded myself, and I think next week's post (which I've already written) IS shorter...
Nancy
The Dogs Eat the Crumbx

SiHaN said...

oh cheer up yar? i'm sure you'll have better luck next time.

sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your cookies as well. Its rather sad considering that i love the whole identity crisis issue going on with them.

Laura said...

Well, back to the ole drawing board...er, make that cutting board?! Looking forward to see how you adapt next week's recipe for your hubby.

PANTRY REVISITED by Peggy said...

You crack me up. Your cookies are beautiful. They do not look thin. I'm sorry you did not like them because I actually did like all the flavors going on, but I did use chocolate chips.

Andrea said...

Sorry you were having a bad baking week! :( That's funny about your husband and the chocolate chips, my husband won't eat white chocolate but doesn't mind regular chocolate chips. I don't understand! Oh-well. They do look nice, and I can understand where you said the cookies are having an identity crisis, too funny, but true. I'm a 'everything but the kitchen sink' cookie person so I liked all the mixed up flavors.

nancysrecipes said...

Your cookies look great! I'm sorry about your cake and not loving the cookies ~ I've had weeks like that, too.

Teanna said...

Hahah I like the long posts, too! And this was a great one! Sorry you've had some baking mishaps with baking soda! Hopefully next week will be a bit more successful (no baking soda in the recipe!)

Natashya said...

Well they look great. I thought chilling them would make them not flatten. I didn't have time to chill as I finished mine at just before midnight last night!
Chuck the soda, or put it in the fridge as a deoderizer.
Try a new box & check on the date of your baking powder too. Martha says it is good for 6 months.
Have fun with the whopper cookies, see you next week!

Lady Baker said...

Hey Cath!
Well it's official, I just posted my first TWD! And may I add I had the same reaction towards the cinnamon--to me it's not a welcome taste and is hiding the peanut butter...

As for the cake--have no fear you WILL make that Party Cake and it will be wonderful! In the meantime, probably not a bad idea to replace any baking soda/powder if you think it's been around a long time. Every baker knows that feeling of defeat when you have to throw something away. It's difficult with uncharted territory--and these days each week brings an unknown/first-time recipe. I am SURE these mishaps will be few & far between! Keep the chin up!

Em said...

Your cookies look great! If you're having problems with that AND the Perfect Party Cake (one of my all time favorites!!) then perhaps your baking powder is stale. You can proof it to see if it still has any potency in it. That may be all the 'adjusting' you need :)

Have a delicious day :)

Flourchild said...

You were so sweet to make your husband his own special cookies. I thought your cookies looked fine. Im not sure why they spread out like they did...hmmmm I guess as long as you got some use out of them! I don't think I would make them again...their really sweet..must be the spice/ pb combo. There are to many wonderful cookies I like better.

Lori said...

mine were thin too, but i like them that way, if they're also chewy...which they were! i hope yours were too.

yesterday i made rugelach and ended up throwing away half the dough because it didn't work. that hurts. i guess with baking and life, you win some and you lose some!

Jules Someone said...

They look good, though. Just a thought, in your post you mention two sticks of butter. When you cut the recipe in half, did you use one stick? That would certainly cause them to spread.

Cathy said...

Jules -- I didn't cut the recipe in half until I got to the point at which I was going to mix in the chips. My baking soda wasn't technically expired (nor was the baking powder I used in the cake) -- but the powder is set to expire next month, and the new baking powder I bought doesn't expire until 2010. So it could be that the powder/soda had reached the end of the line. Or it could be a colossal lack of baking talent. Only time will tell, I suppose!

Jamie said...

White chocoalte sounds like a great addition to this recipe!

Debbie said...

I haven't made mine yet, so I'm on my way to the market for new baking soda. :~)
sorry you didn't like them tho. I hate when that happens.

Spike said...

I hope bad luck with baking doesn't come in threes! Your cookies look pretty

Bridgett said...

Sorry you weren't a fan of the cookies. While I think they tasted fine, I don't think I could call them my favorites by a long shot. You have a fantastic blog by the way!

Prudy said...

I didn't write this on my blogpost, but I made the bar batch without cinnamon and nutmeg and the cookies with, and I definitely preferred without. There were a lot of flavors going on, but we still enjoyed them to the tune of two for breakfast this morning. Onto next week!

Di said...

Your cookies look great. Nothing wrong with long-winded posts. =) I like reading about what went well and what didn't.

Anne said...

Sorry about the flat cake! Someone told me to label my powder and soda and throw it away after 6 months (and I only buy the "real" brand)... maybe that will help! :) Can't wait to see your chocolate cookies!

The DeL Sisters said...

They look good to me!

Mike Spoodles said...

I didn't even taste the spices, but all of my coworkers asked, "is that cinnamon?" Weird! Guess I'm just blinded by the sugar and delicious chocolate!

Pamela said...

First of all, I don't think you are long winded! I tend to think I can "talk" too much when I blog, but know that I will always read every word. So will many others, I'm sure. The cookies looked pretty darned good.

27Susans said...

Great blog name. I thought about calling mine "trial and error." I guess that is what you've been going through. Hopefully, your next item will be perfect.

Marthe said...

Too bad you didn't like the cookies.... Better luck next week?? Next time I bake these I will also try them without the nutmeg and with less cinnamon!

I love you long stories!! I haven't written a long post yet. I want to try writting longer stories, but I fear I will bore my readers to death!

Laura said...

Hey, it's me again. Someone gave me a blog award and I thought I'd send it along to you! (you can find it on my blog)

~Priscilla~ said...

looks yummy. white chocolate chips are some of my favorite in cookies.

 
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