The first time I ever attempted to bake cookies was with my dad. Thinking back on it now, that was probably the first step to disaster. While I don't remember exactly how old I was, I know that I hadn't entered middle school yet so I'd like to think I was relatively young.
We'd decided to try baking oatmeal raisin cookies, his favorite, on a whim. My dad, thinking he's an expert in all things cooking due to many hours spent watching the Food Network channel, felt that there was no need to look up a recipe for our cookies. Why bother when we already knew all the main ingredients needed? All we had to do was wing it.
So we did. A bit of flour, some butter, sugar, milk, an egg or two, and of course the oatmeal and raisins. Mix it all up in a bowl, and hey! That batter looks legit. After popping it in the oven, I waited excitedly for them to finish baking. Images of perfectly golden, delicious, soft and chewy cookies floated in my head. I couldn't wait to chow down on them as a midnight snack.
Oh, the disappointment.
The result was a disastrous platter (we hadn't bothered shaping individual cookies, just spread it on a baking pan and planned on cutting them out into bars afterwards) of caramelized oatmeal raisin. The stuff was so hard that it took several tries to knock it out of the pan, forget cutting it into bars...or munching on them. It was literally like trying to chew on rock candy.
I still have no idea what exactly went wrong for the cookies to turn out that way. We hadn't put in that much sugar, so that couldn't be the reason why. We also hadn't left it in the oven long enough to burn. It'll forever be a mystery to me.
From that day on, I've continually questioned my dad's claims of being an unofficial Iron Chef. We still banter about his claim to fame even today when he's messing around in the kitchen. Admittedly, he makes some pretty tasty stuff now. Of course, he's also learned to follow recipes now...especially when it comes to baking!
~ AJ ~
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