Friday, August 31, 2012

Kitchen Fails: Cocoa is a Dry Ingredient

You know how there are a billion gazillion food blogs on the internet? And how most of them seem to say things like "ohmygosh, it is so easy to make your own prosciutto/tea biscuits/glazed fizzywigs/whatever" and then there is a really simple looking list of instructions and some very lovely photographs of some very attractive food and then the comments all say things like "Wow! This was so easy! I can't believe I've been buying this all these years, and also my children/husband/greataunt'sghost all really love it!"?

Yes, of course you know, because the internet is FILLED with these things. And they drive me a little nuts, because I tend to screwup in the kitchen pretty regularly. This is because I am impatient. And often trying to cook while hungry. Which makes me EVEN MORE IMPATIENT. That, and I only vaguely know what I am doing, so there aren't many super useful cooking instincts for me to fall back on. So, because I am an oversharer and because I think we all feel better when the internet isn't insistently telling us that everyone else is super perfect and interesting and confident while we are trying to not burst into tears about losing our toothbrushes AGAIN (please note, this is just a random example. I actually know where my toothbrush is at the moment), I give you

KITCHEN FAILS: Cocoa is a dry ingredient

I wanted cookies. My old roommate used to make the most awesome cookie explosions, so I tried a recipe at her suggestion: Dark Chocolate Chip Comfort Cookies

The problem here is that I didn't have a half-cup of cocoa. I didn't even really want the double chocolate, so I said, hey, no worries, I have all the other ingredients, including awesome peanut butter, and carried merrily along.

Somewhere, in the back of my mind, a tiny red flag went up about the fact that just deleting a random ingredient probably wasn't going to end well, but I. Wanted. Cookies., and just kept going.

Well, the batter tasted great, and I plunked them in the oven. Where they started to spread. And spread. And SPREAD. Please note that my cookie tray also doesn't fit in our apartment oven, a fact I discovered while trying to bake these, so I had them on an improvised tin foil sheet over the oven rack (I say this like I have since then replaced the cookie sheet, but I have not.). And these cookies were still spreading.

Now, the moment they had started spreading, my brain finally acknowledged the little red flag which finally got a chance to say "you know, a half cup of cocoa is actually a lot of dry ingredient" and "maybe you should substitute that with something, and not just delete it?" and "Don't do this. It never works when you muck with backing recipes" but by then it was too late. It was also too late to put them in a baking dish and make cookie bars. It was basically Just Too Late.

So they came out in sort of a strange film of mostly cooked cookie dough, and were delicious, but also a total fucking disaster. Which I then compounded by just sort of throwing the whole, not quite cooled, cookiesque mass into a bowl where they promptly adhered to each other into a big blob.  Which I sort of carved pieces off occasionally and ate in a rebelliously desultory way. Stupid cocoa.


  1. Did they trash your oven? - No
    (clever move with the foil btw)
    Did you get yummy awesomeness - Yes

    Therefore Success! with added bonus about what to do next time.

    Well Done.

    1. It is true! Many fails are successes in disguise. I'm still using the foil trick too. :)

  2. At least it wasn't a total fail. Total failure involves the smoke alarm going off and angry roomates.:P

    1. I have have actually had good luck with not burning things. This is due to habitually undercooking, but you know. Not burnt.

  3. Oh no! Sorry for the kitchen overenthusiasm - I probly should stop making things for my greataunt's ghost. On the bright side it sounds like they were still delicious in half baked blob form. Next time we are in the same hemisphere/country/city we should plan time to bake and eat a thing.

    1. Don't worry, your cooking enthusiasm was not the focus of that rant. There are some cooking blogs out there that I think have COMPLETELY forgotten what it is like to cook something the first two times as opposed to the fortieth.