I don't know where the time has gone as I find myself behind on 3 cookie baking adventures blogs. So, I will try to catch up on what has been happening with my cookie baking adventures. I've baked cookies on 3 seperate occassions since I last blogged and things have started to get very interesting regarding "guest bakers", special requests for cookies, and the taste-testing volunteers. I will first fill you in on the types of cookies that I have baked and what has happened to them. On Saturday morning, October 1st, I baked Island Cookies (p48), Honey Chocolate Chippers (p. 48), and Chocolate-Coconut Toffee Delights (p. 300). My husband Chuck decided that he was going to be my guest chef for the baking. He told me that with his help we could bake 3 different recipes and have them ready to give to our 4 children when we met them for lunch later that day. I was reluctant to take on the challenge of baking 3 different types of cookies in such a short time span but I also knew that if I could keep Chuck on-task with his skill of beating batter quickly to a pulp with his favorite toy, the KitchenAid mixmaster, the job could be accomplished in a short amount of time. We, I mean Chuck, did have a bit of a problem when I moved him from the mixer job to the job of roasting the pecans...as usual he turned the burner on high flames and of course made the smoke detector start ringing...for several minutes. Luckily though, none of the pecans were burned and they were roasted perfectly. The cookies were all baked, packed up and ready to go by the time we left at noon. My children suggested that I put the cookies in bags and label them so they can tell me the names of the ones they like of dislike. I thought that was a good suggestion for a way to identify the cookies instead of saying..."you know, the one with the nuts...etc". Of the three types of cookies that we made, the Honey Chocolate Chippers were not the best. They seemed too heavy and cake-like. I told Chuck they turned out that way because he beat the dough too much and the pecans were over toasted. I don't think he believed me though. I'll have to come up with something better as an excuse for the next time the he is my guest chef.
The next date that I was able to bake was October 6th. I feel like I have gotten behind in my cookie baking because I am getting quite a few calls to be a substitute teacher. As you may recall from my first blog, I retire from a 35 year teaching career this past June and I told my children that my project to keep myself busy was to bake every single cookie recipe in my 575 page cookie recipe book. So, I try to bake on days when I don't have to sub. Don't get me wrong, I really do like the subbing. However, now when my children call they ask me what type of cookies I baked that day and when I tell them that I subbed they respond with..."Don't they know that you need to be baking cookies?" I took off one day to go to the Little Farmer with my friend and my daughter Margaret told me that I could not be doing those fun things because I needed to be baking cookies. Because I give almost all the cookies away I am now getting request for particular types of cookies. My response is..."I don't do request...I only bake what is in the book". Anyway, I baked Almond Double Chip (p. 49) and Marbled Mocha Drops (p. 54). I loved the smell of the almond extract as I put it in the batter and those cookies were fantastic. They also had chopped up almonds and chololate chips in them. The Marbled Mocha Drops were also very good. They had just a slight hint of coffee taste as I bit into one. It was a just the right mixture of chocolate and coffee.
The next time I baked cookies was on Sunday, October 9th. I again had my husband Chuck as my guest chef. He did tell me that he does not think that he should be a "guest" chef any more and that he wants a 50/50 split and ownership of my Great American Cookie Journey. I do know that he does have an alterior motive for wanting a part of my journey...It is because he wants more cookies. Just the day before as I was talking about the groceries that I needed to continue baking he commented..."Ya, I don't think this cookie baking idea was a good idea." When I asked him why he responed..."I thought I would be getting to eat a lot more cookies". I though he was going to say that it was costing too much money so I just had to laugh when he said that and told him that I was going to put it in my blog. As you know, I pack up almost all of the cookies that I bake and give them to our children who are grow or are in college, some to the neighbor man, some to our daughter's and son's track coach at Marquette University, and some to Nick, my daughter Kathryn's friend who attends UW-Whitewater. Anyway, back to baking...I baked 2 differnt recipes on Sunday night while watching the Packer game and Chuck again was a guest chef for only one. He helped with the Spice Raisin Drops (p 18). Interestingly our daughter Kathryn was home from Marquette and she said that she too wanted to be a guest chef. However, she thought that dumping just one cup of flour into the bowl constitutes helping...WRONG!!! I even received a call from one of my other children today pleading with me to not put Kathyrn down on the blog as a guest cheff. They said that just would not be right for all the other guest chefs waiting in the wings, I mean not home. I agree. The Spice Raisin Drops were very good. Any time you have cookies with the smell of cinnamon, oatmeal, raisins, and nutmeg it brings about wonderful childhood memories of the smell of my mom's home when we would walk in after school. Such a wonderful comfort food. The other cookies that I baked without a guest chef was Pudding Drops (p 56). They were interesting because they were made with a package of instand butterscotch pudding...hence the name. They had chocolate chips and nuts in them but the dough was just too thick and cakelike in flavor.
I stopped at the store today to purchase the grocery items that I will need for my next cookie baking adventure day. I will be subbing the next 3 days so I don't know if I will have enough energy at the end of the day to do any baking. Also, the weather is extremely warm for this time of year so turning on the oven may not be the wisest thing to do. My sister Cathy will be visiting from California starting on Wednesday through next week Tuesday. She is coming home for the baptism of our great niece, Natalie. It is always nice to have Cathy back home. I wish her children and husband John would have been able to come also but they are all in college or high school and have work obligations. I would love it if Cathy would be my guest chef for a day. I'll have to ask her.