First Flop Of The Season

As I began some baking today, I was successful in making the wife’s Snowballs for starters.

Unfortunately, the ginger snaps were pretty much a complete failure. My first guess is that there was not enough flour, as

a. they flattened on the baking sheet even before going into the oven

b. they flattened out even more upon baking, and did not get done

c. they stuck to the baking sheet so badly that I destroyed many of them during removal

They were so sticky that I had to rinse off my hands after rolling 4 cookies…unheard of.

So, what could it be? I asked myself…thinking about what I had done differently; then, the light came on…

not enough flour..

Whilst baking the wife’s snowballs, they are difficult in that the ingredients consist of only softened butter, flour, vanilla, salt, chopped nuts…if there is too much flour in this recipe, it is extremely difficult to mix and blend…so, I sifted the flour before measuring it, knowing that 1 Cup of sifted flour contains less flour than 1 C of flour just scooped from the flour container…

Enter X’s R&D department…

A digital postal scale is needed, and I just happened to have one.

I used the “tare” setting as I used a paper plate to hold said flour, still leaving the scale at zero before weighing.

OK, first, 1 C of flour scooped from the container, and leveled with a butter knife…this weighs 5.6 ounces…

OK now pour that into the sifter, and sift it into the same 1 C measure, and level with butter knife…4.2 ounces..

Yes, it’s true…1.4 ounces less flour when sifted…times 4 Cups in this recipe is 5.6 ounces less than it should have been…which is 1 C?

No wonder the cookies flattened and were so danged sticky..

Sticking to the baking sheets was my own arrogance, as I normally use non stick cookie sheets…they too can be problematic by burning the bottoms of the cookies…sometimes.

The main point is the amount of flour difference between sifted and non sifted.

Henceforth, I will not sift the flour before measuring; instead, sift it after measuring if I must.

Lesson learned: don’t change your technique, if what you already do works…

‘Nuff said.

 

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13 thoughts on “First Flop Of The Season

  1. I’ve switched to parchment paper for cookies and baking. They prevent sticking, and make it much easier to clean. I’d never heard of such a thing, until my wife (cake decorator in the past) showed me.

  2. Double down on the parchment paper. It’s worth it. I like the Reynold’s parchment paper because it has grid lines on it so it makes for easy spacing.

    One sheet will last 3-4 cookie baking cycles.

    • Baking is easy, even making kneaded breads. It’s all about quality ingredients and following the instructions.

      Cookies are the gate-way drug of baking. Teaches you portioning and timing, and to check what temp the oven is actually cooking at (you do have an oven thermometer, right?)

      Once you master cookies, quick breads (self rising, like banana and orange-cranberry and pumpkin) are next.

      Then yeast breads.

      Pastries are the hardest. And don’t even attempt strudel in a low-altitude/high-humidity environment.

      • That’s pretty much the order in which I got my start..I have not tackled pastries…I did make a strudel once for the kid’s 8th grade class. I ended up using a bedsheet to roll it up…I think she got an A for the project.
        And I have two oven thermometers; analog.

  3. You might also try butter flavored Crisco beaten to within an inch of its life in a stand mixer along with the vanilla and salt (this incorporates some air into the shortening) then add the flour, mixing on slow speed until just incorporated. When cooking them, pull the pan from the oven when the cookies are just slumped from the heat if you want a nice chewy cookie. YMMV.

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