Because Baking Isn’t Complicated Enough

Well, internet, I baked another batch of birthday cookies last night. They didn’t burn on the edges (see what happens when you remember to cream the sugar into the butter?!), but they still spread horribly, turning a sheet full of cookies into one big cookie, and the bottoms were still nonexistent. Talk about frustrated. I triple checked the recipe, cussed a blue streak, and started wondering if my coworker likes peanut butter cookies.

Totally as an aside, WH asked me last night if when I make a bean dish, if I could make sure to make cornbread. Yeah, sure, no problem. Could you hand me a clean bowl to mix the batter in? Oh? What? There are no clean bowls? Hmm. Might be why there’s no cornbread. I have no problem committing to cornbread. The last time I made it, though, it was really, really super tall in the middle. Like freakish tall……

Oh, what? Google, I missed that, could you say it one more time? Too much spread in cookies can be caused by over greasing the cookie sheet (not guilty), dropping the dough while it’s too warm (maybe, but I doubt it), or too much leavening agent?

Hey internet? Guess what. High altitude baking requires less leavening agent! Of course I knew that- everyone knows that. Guess what? I live at elevation. Our house is very nearly 3000 feet above sea level. It simply never occurred to me that high altitude rules applied to me. I am surrounded by mountains twice that high. Aren’t those cooking directions for, I don’t know, people in Idaho and Denver? Places where you would think of using high altitude directions? No? They apply to me? To little ol’ me?

The good news is that I’m not a total baking retard. The bad news? Now I have to fool with the receipe to adjust it for my elevation.

Great! I’ll just do that tomorrow night, as I make my third batch of cookies for a Thursday birthday. While I finish up my Accounting project and cook WH’s dinner (with cornbread). Yep. I’m just going to reconstruct a recipe at the last minute, when I have a ton of other stuff going on. Sounds like success to me!

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8 Responses

  1. I find that using real butter always results in spread. I know it’s bad for you but I make chocolate chip cookies with butter flavor crisco instead! šŸ˜‰

  2. LOTS of things make that happen, not just altitude. As one who has screwed up many many batches of cookies, it’s usually due to weather (if it’s damp, they need a lil bit more flour) or the condition of the room.
    For example, at Christmas, when I have the insane Christmas Cookie weekend, we have to adjust the flour for the damp weather BUT when the Redneck has a roaring fire, it screws everything up.
    That’s why I have a “practice bake” and ADD flour to the mix if they do that. I love real butter in my cookies so I have to mess with the flour.

  3. Thanks, ladies.

    I used margarine and not real butter, and the flour called for in the recipe was enough that I could barely stir the last of it in! It has been warm and humid, but I’ve baked successful cookies in Atlanta, and I can’t imagine that I would notice it here but not there? Of course, I did have air conditioning in Atlanta, but still- Sunday’s batch was made in the cool evening hours, and so was last night’s……..

  4. Yeah, but now you have an excuse for any time something goes wrong in the kitchen–it’s the ALTITUDE! Here in swampy, lowland DC, on the other hand…

  5. this is why I buy the cookies in the tube and just put them on the pan.

  6. just a thought – you didn’t use “light” margarine did you?

    Also when was the last time you bought new baking soda and/or powder? I buy new baking powder at least once a year and soda every 6 months (old box goes in fridge for odor purposes). I had a cake disaster due to baking powder that was probably a decade old once! šŸ™‚

  7. Nope, no light margarine, and my baking powder is good through next year. I talked to some peeps last night that said they have to use high altitude adjustments when they bake, and they live in Asheville (proper), which is 500+ feet lower than me. We’ll see tonight, though- it’s do or die.

  8. So how did the cookies turn out? And how far did you have to drive to get the eggs? LOL

    Is this really the first time you’ve baked anything since you moved there? Hasn’t it been 3ish years now?

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