Sunday, 11 November 2007

Cookie Concoction

I told my homeroom I would make them cookies because I was so proud of the amount of toys they donated for the toy drive and the fact that everyone wore red or a poppy on the day our school acknowledged Remembrance Day. In truth each homeroom gets spirit points for activities like these, and at the end of the year the homeroom with the highest amount of spirit points in each grade level gets a pizza party. I love pizza. We have won the pizza party for the last two years. Being quite competitive, I will do almost anything to motivate my students to win. I pulled out the ingredients I thought I would need. Fortunately I had purchased chocolate chips earlier in the day, but I discovered that I was out of vanilla, and at this point the shops had all shut. I called my friend Patricia for other reasons and in the course of our conversation I asked her what would be a good vanilla substitute. She suggested orange juice. All I had was apple. She said that would probably work, and I pulled down my recipe books in search of a good chocolate chip cookie bar recipe.

Shit! I needed brown sugar as well and had none. I looked up substitutions for brown sugar and discovered that adding molasses to white sugar was acceptable. That would be great if I had molasses. I didn't. I got on-line and began to search for other recipes and found one which did not require brown sugar. Woo Hoo! I started to combine the ingredients and discovered another roadblock. The recipe called for honey, and I had none.

I called my downstairs neighbour, Catherine. She had honey. Hooray! I borrowed her honey and continued with my creation. The cookies called for 1 and 1/4 cup of butter. The only measuring cup I have is large Pyrex one. It is my faithful measuring cup. I've had it for years and would be devastated by its loss. However, when it comes to measuring 1 and 1/4 cups out of a large tub of margarine (yes another substitution), it doesn't do so well. Remembering that 8 ounces equals a cup, I decided to weigh it. It seemed like a bit too much margarine, but I used it anyway. After assembling all the ingredients I realised that my initial thought about the butter was probably correct. I added a bit more flour and pinch more baking powder and the consistency seemed ok. Then, I grabbed the packets of chocolate chips.

I realised then that I had made yet another error. Instead of purchasing 2 packets of plain chocolate chips (2 packets of plain chocolate chips here=1 16 oz bag of semi-sweet packet of chocolate chips in the US), I had 1 packet of plain and 1 packet of milk chocolate chips. Oh well, with the way this was going would it really matter? I added the chips, spread the dough across a pan, and then placed it in the oven. Right then my phone rang. It was my mother.

I told her the story of this concoction and of course she laughed and said something like, 'Most people look at the recipe and then go to the store, Heather. They don't make it up as they go along.' I agreed with her, but I was excited to see the result of this. As we chatted the cookie bars baked away. At one point I glanced at the recipe and realised that I hadn't added salt. I laughed and my mother suggested that I tell my students that they are 'salt-free' cookies for their health. 'Sure,' I said, 'because you know eleven year-old children need to worry about hypertension.'

Finally, the cookie bars were done. I pulled them from the oven and they were a but fluffy, but looked fine. Actually, they tasted pretty good, but they could probably use a little salt.

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