Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 7, 2010

When I was growing up, Mom was always trying to make MeMaw's Patience candy. But after several years of attempts she finally gave up. The candy always seemed to "crystalize" and even though it was delicious, she claimed it was not the right texture. She was convinced that Marie was intentionally leaving out an ingredient so that no one would ever be able to make the magical Patience candy.

Fast forward 30 years. Have you ever worked with a Jane recipe? There is the classic Egg Nog pie recipe which lists all the ingredients and full recipe explanation only to have the last sentence say, fold in the whipped cream. Oh you mean the whipped cream I psychically knew to purchase, but wasn't listed in the ingredient list....that whipped cream?

Last night when I arrived into town late, I emailed asking for the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was going to make some birthday cookies for a friend who likes chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate...I know and it's not even me!

Here's what she sent:
If you use butter, they are very much richer. I like the lighter, crisp Crisco version instead. You can double the chocolate chips, but I like having cookie in between for a lighter cookie. Light is all relative, you know. Writing this for outsiders by listing all the ingredients at once.
2 c. crisco
2 c. brown sugar (packed)
1 c. white sugar
4 eggs
2 t. baking soda dissolved in 2 t. water
2 t. salt
4 1/2 c flour
2 t. vanilla
1 c. finely chopped Walnuts
12 ounces Nestle's chocolate chip morsels
can cut this in half. Baking time 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes - depending on soft to crisp preference
Cream the crisco, sugars and eggs. Add the dissolved soda and salt and stir in. Add flour. Vanilla, nuts and chips go in last.

Well that sounds simple enough! It was even written for outsiders, surely I should be able to follow that! Thinking this would make a lot of cookies, I decided to cut it in half and go 50/50 on the butter/Crisco. I knew that would make it spread a bit and I wasn't sure if I should add extra nuts to compensate for the chocolate chips but I forged ahead. Here was my first result:
I'm just going to go ahead and call that a fail. Good thing I was on the phone with the Madre at the time because she imparted this little tidbit: "Oh, I always add like a half a cup more flour". Hmm, don't you think this would have been good to share up front?

So I tried to add a bit more, but they still weren't right:
I finally just mixed up a second batch with all Crisco and a half a cup of extra flour and look what I got!
Cookie perfection.
Now I ask, was MeMaw holding back, or did Jane just inherit the "I can cook and bake wonderful treats, but I can't do a good job of explaining them to others" gene?

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