The attempt of the snickerdoodle

I have this love/hate relationship with the kitchen. I love the idea of cooking and baking, but I hate the actual process of getting started. Once I’m under way, I’m usually OK — unless something stressful happens and then I need someone to take over while I go and cry, usually eating the cookie dough of what I was baking. 

Since I’m apparently an adult and should learn how to fend for myself — I do this alright in most other situations, promise — I thought I’d record my attempts, successful or not, in the kitchen world. So, unless I become super talented over night, I won’t be stealing people’s recipes and sharing them with you … I’ll just use them myself and let you know how much I loved or loathed the experience … you may pick up some super handy things to avoid doing as I do them first and royally stuff up a meal.

Today in the kitchen, I’m making star anise snickerdoodles. Now I’d like to quickly point out that I only had to stop at the supermarket to buy cream of tartar (because who on earth has that lying around in the pantry without it having expired six years ago).  I thought this one ingredient shop was great, as for the first time in forever I didn’t need to spend $80 on one meal that was going to be cooked and then consumed within the few hours that the evening holds.

Once I got home, I lined up all the ingredients in a row on the bench and psyched myself up for mixing! It didn’t take much, as they looked so pretty standing side by side that I couldn’t wait to get cracking. Lara’s tip number one: get all of your ingredients out of the cupboard before you start preparing!

The dry ingredients were the first on the list, so I threw everything together (even giving the flour a quick sieve with my fork — a high school friend taught me that once and I never forgot because it’s the best tip for lazy bakers who hate washing dishes that only a bit of flour went through … stop wasting my time!). I opened the star anise and had to stop for awhile just to take in the glorious smell that was filling the room. I’ve been looking for a recipe that uses star anise for awhile now and all I have come across are chicken recipes … and I am not ready to jump to that advanced stage just yet … cookies will do just fine for now! I carried on and put the rest of the dry ingredients together and gave them a quick mix:

And then it was wet ingredients time! I had a brief battle with the cake mixer where I learnt that you need to clip in two utensils, not just one, as if you just use one it just flings the butter to the sides of the bowl and no mixing and softening of the butter will occur … yeah, OK, I hear you saying duh … Oh, and don’t try and use a fork to scrape the butter off the side of the bowl and fling it towards the beater, because I have now learnt that just results in a bent fork.

Anyway, after I had learnt my lesson, I finished creating the wet ingredient mixture and mixed in the dry ingredients and successfully made a great textured cookie dough which got popped in the fridge for an hour to chill. So far so good …

I rolled up the little cookie balls and covered them in cinnamon sugar, and was so proud of how they were shaping up! I did my Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion and I was ready to pop them in our tiny little oven! 

Quick word of advice that I have learnt today … Don’t put the cookie tray on the bottom rack of the oven – and definitely don’t use a tray with heaps of holes (as seen above). My first batch were a disaster. I had a stomp around the kitchen, threw some trays on the ground and spent ages scraping black off the bottom. I then readjusted the rack, selected a new tray and proceeded with the second batch. Which turned out great! You’ll see in the photo below the average cookies to the right and the great cookies on the stand and to the left!! 

So again, the cooking attempt is a bit of a fiasco, but I learnt a few more tricks to add to the culinary arsenal …

Lara WyattComment