It’s quarter to midnight and I’ve just finished mopping tomato ketchup off the floor. Cookies are a nightmare. No really. I’ve had it up to here.
I was a fool. I read Adam’s enthusiastic, nay, evangelical posts about Martha Stewart’s cookie recipe and I had to give it a go. More fool me. Firstly, the recipe needed to be translated from the dreaded American cups. American cups as a baking measurement are just infuriating – for some reason the good old US of A refuses to use scales while baking, just as they cling to pounds and inches. Cups are never the same weight twice, especially when you’re talking about something like flour. Then there’s the ingredients. American All-Purpose Flour is actually somewhere between Plain Flour and Strong White Flour, and American granulated sugar is not as coarse as British granulated but not as fine as caster sugar.
So I took Adam’s recipe, and measured it carefully, substituting approximate British equivalents and … just look what happened:
Isn’t that the ugliest batch of cookies you’ve ever seen? The first set were gigantic and undercooked in the middle, the second and third batches better, but still ugly, the third set I burnt (those ones in the lower right-hand corner aren’t actually double chocolate – they just got baked for half an hour!).
Maybe it wasn’t the cookies after all – maybe they were just a karmic sign, because just after I pulled out the last baking tray, this happened:
You see, all week I’ve been avoiding a couple of kitchen chores: to scrub the kitchen floor and to wash down the skirting boards and door frames in preparation for painting them this weekend. The Ketchup Disaster ensured that I had to wipe down the skirting boards, and walls, and mop the floor. So maybe the cookies were just a sign after all: don’t waste your time on frivolous baking projects, get on the floor and clean, damn you!
So it’s Jeffrey Steingarten’s cookie recipe next – let’s hope I find a better time to try it, karmically-speaking.