Monday, March 09, 2009

A little of THIS and a little of THAT.

A couple of posts ago I mentioned an Inn in San Francisco and someone emailed me asking for the name. It's called, Petite Auberge Inn. That's the one I was telling you about that leaves the wonderful bear on your bed. They also bake fresh cookies every day and leave a basket of them in the hallway, for you to help yourself when you are going back to your room. Yummmm
Well, I was doing my 15 minutes of study on shadows when the sun disappeared. My artistic thoughts disappeared with the sun and suddenly JA was standing next to me pointing out the three dead Asian Lady Bugs on the floor, the scuff mark on the wall, the ugly, ugly mess of light cords and phone get the picture. I called it a day.
But, while I was thinking about the email and Petite Auberge and how I am planning on a trip back to SF in October sometime and staying in the Inn, that got me thinking about the cookies and well...............I tell you, I am a lot like that book, If You Give ________ A Cookie.
You can fill in the blank with my name.
So, I decided to forget about the three dead Asian Lady Bugs and make some cookies.
Now, one of the wonderful things that happened when I was recovering from my knee surgeries was that I got to watch the CREATE channel a LOT. And, I watched America's Test Kitchen all the time and boy did I learn things. One of the things I learned from their Science section was to reverse how I had made cookies, in the past and do it a different way. Well, from their Science Desk here's the scoop:
Reverse the order of mixing and add cold butter slices to the dry ingredients and the dough will be more uniform. Ok, my mind muddles here but if I remember correctly butter is about 18% water and this turns to steam and expands so if it's mixed with the dry ingredients first the dough isn't as sticky and you get a nice uniform cookie. I know it works for sugar cookies because I tried it at Christmas time. Today, I tried it for good old Chocolate Chip Cookies using the recipe right off the bag.
Well, they are delicious. The other TIP I always use is one from the kitchen of Mrs. Fields. Yes, there really is a Mrs. Fields. Bake your cookies at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes. I bake all my cookies at that temperature and I even bought an inexpensive oven thermometer to check the temperature of my oven. I have to say, when I follow these two tips I'm pretty proud of the cookies that end up in the cookie jar.

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