At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Friday, 29 August 2014

More cookie dough.

imageYesterday, I made even more cookies. Probably due to their extreme chocolatiness, the remainder of my totally chocolatey cookies which I made last weekend didn't last very long, at all. I was toying with the idea of making shortbread or flapjacks or oat cookies; but I had a new choc chip cookie recipe that I wanted to just try out first. At the moment I'm going through all of my cookbooks with little pieces of coloured paper (and probably driving everyone else in the house mad...the scissors never seem to be in their accustomed place in the kitchen drawer nowadays. And I am sure that the little cuttings of paper that I keep on accidently leaving around are quite irritating, as well.) Though of course, there is a reason behind all this paper-cutting and scissor-nicking. I'm marking all my recipes, both the ones I've done before and the ones I haven't, and rating them as I go along. And so I came across a choc chip cookie recipe (I honestly have lost count of the amount of these I have), and so i thought that i would try this one out for a change and see how it goes.
It's funny, but with certain items of baked produce I often seen to have a particular recurring "issue" which often happens again and again each time with that certain thing each time I bake it. Like remember with the scones I was relating to you how they often came out not quite as high as I would have liked. Now with cookies...and weirdly enough, this only ever seems to happen with normal chocolate chip cookie dough - not double chocolate, which is kind of funny...I frequently make the mistake of thinking I will get away with just lining two baking trays instead of three, in the certainty that they won't join up. And then of course I lift the trays from the oven and discover, to my exasperation, I have cookies that are not the classic round shape a perfect cookie should be...rather, I end up instead with a load of funny quadrangle shapes which I have to separate with a little knife before transferring to the wire rack to cool. And though I don't ever recall burning any of my baked goodies before, I can't seem to bear the thought of ruining this perfect record. But this sometimes means, in turn, I remove cookies from the oven which, if only left just a little longer in that toasty little space, would have been just perfect...not too hard, not too soft; just with that lovely chewy crispiness which is any cookie fiend's dream...image
Don't be fooled by this pic...true, these are my cookies, and they do look pretty enticing and flawless, with the chocolate chips oozing out in contrast to that lovely golden cookie dough colour. But the star of this pic was the best of the lot. Half of them did join up, and so once again the groans of Ganache-Elf could be heard resonating through the kitchen as she kicks herself for the upteenth time for being frugal with her tray-lining. And also, to add insult to injury...more than half of the cookies were wayyyyyy too floppy. The recipe stated that they should be chewy and not too crisp, but surely, some sort of sturdiness is required in a true cookie. I'm tempted to blame my recipe for being misleading...I did follow it pretty precisely and cooked the cookies for the recommended time...but a bad workman blames his own tools I guess so it could well have been a mistake on my own part. 
Well, anyway. I don't think this counts as an actual baking disaster. I haven't actually eaten one of them yet. I suppose I had the "hump" with my creations yesterday, so disconcerted I was with their shape and general floppiness. But today...well, I feel much better about it all, indeed. I had a peek in the tin I had placed my cookies...or perhaps I should really say, cookie pieces, because the majority of them did, I'm afraid, break into halves and thirds and quarters as I stashed them away in a tin once they were cooled...and well, I know they don't look exactly pretty, but they smell nice. And being all in different shapes and sizes means that one isn't restricted to have one whole in, if you are just a wee bit peckish and fancy a nibbble, you could just dip your hand into the tin and take out a bite-sized piece. Or, likewise, perhaps you sometimes feel in the need (well maybe need isn't quite the right word, but anyway...) for more cookie dough than what is usually provided in an average sized cookie...well, you could then take two big halves, maybe. Or three. Or four. Or five. 

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