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baking cookies for the first time because i have time part 2

Hi, I’m Tone. I draw. I read. I write. I have no idea what I’m doing. Welcome.

This post is about me having no idea how to make homemade Not -Golden – Oreo cookies. It’s part 2 of a two-parter. Here’s part 1.

Onward!

The cookies I made didn’t taste like Golden Oreos at all. But they were buttery and kind of…biscuit like. Delicious, especially with a cup of coffee, not cloyingly sweet, as long as you keep the fondant thin, which I didn’t do, more on that later. But, as it turns out, how they tasted was the least amazing thing about them.

Just look at these lopsided cookies, overloaded with fondant.

You should make them.

but/and*

You should make them better.

Here’s how to do it, in 7 – ish easy steps:

  1. Wait for the weekend. Don’t bake cookies after the work day when you’re hungry and your four year old is hungry, that is, unless you want to eat too much cookie dough and fondant and not eat your dinner like you should.
  2. Roll your dough out thinner than I did. Turns out that rolling chilled cookie dough out is much harder work than I imagined. I guess this is why bakers have large forearms? At least in my mind?)
  3. Roll out your dough evenly. And Clearly I did not, as illustrated in the photo above. Some of my cookies were thins, some were thick, and some of my cookies unlike any you could buy in a store, were both thick and thin.
  4. Use a smaller cookie cutter than I did. My cookies came out big. They’re not huge, but they’re too big for a sandwich cookie. Too much cookie in every bite. However, the flip side of a bigger cookie is: one sandwich cookie is all you need. You eat this cookie, and you’re like, ‘Ok, I’m good on cookies.’

What Did I Get Right?

The part that I did get right in this cookie making process: was getting a 4 year old to help roll the dough and cut the cookies.

He was so thrilled to cut circles and to eat raw cookie dough, and to make dough balls, it was amazing. If you can find one, adding toddlers to your baking process is a must.

Note to everyone stuck at home who are excellent bakers: Right now would probably be the perfect time to start a daily instagram story show focused on baking with toddlers. It would kill. I am not the man for the job. Someone else please run with this.

Working With the Fondant

I had no idea what to expect when opening the box of fondant. I’d never even heard of it before tackling this recipe. It’s a block of stiff, but maleable icing. The recipe called for 6 oz. The entire block of fondant was 24 oz, so I hacked off about a quarter of it.

  1. You should hack off less fondant, because you probably won’t need 6 oz. Here’s why: the fondant is sweet, and if it’s thick, it can be overpoweringly sweet to your cookie sandwich. Which leads to the next step for making Not-Golden-Oreos more successfully than me:
  2. You’re going to roll your fondant thin.
  3. You’re also going to select a cookie cutter smaller than the cookie cutter you used to cut the cookies. This is mostly aesthetics, just to give the fondant a little breathing space on the cookie. There’s something a little sloppy about all that visible fondant in the sandwich.

From there, I just dabbed a little water and powdered sugar to ‘glue’ the fondant circle to the bottom of the cookies. They adhered beautifully.

The Best Part

The unexpected part, really. For about an hour all that mattered was making cookies. All that mattered was getting powdered sugar on our hands, and cutting cookie dough, and sneaking tastes of cookie dough, and working with the fondant. And laughing our heads off. A lot of laughing our heads off. (Especially about my powdered sugar hanprint pants.) It felt great.

If you can, take a baking break. Especially if you’ve never baked before. You don’t know how much you need it until you do it.

I can’t wait to try making these again. But do a better job of it.

TL;DR

  1. Roll your cookie dough thin, and evenly.
  2. Roll your fondant even thinner.
  3. Use a smaller diameter cookie cutter for your fondant.
  4. Add a toddler to your baking process.
  5. Make something. Just a little whatever. Whatever you make won’t be as ugly as the cookies we made, but if whatever you make does turn out ugly, that’s ok. Making unintentionally ugly whatevers is the first step towards making beautiful whatevers.

baking cookies for the first time because i have time, part 1

From the Screentone Covid-19 Distraction File I bring you File #03172020 My First Cookie Dough

I’ve got a cookie problem.

I love Golden Oreos.

Love em.

But 2 cookies is 150 calories, and that’s too many calories, when I’m trying to drop a few pounds. (I’ll write about my weight-loss process in a future feature called MuscleTone, get it? Get it? See, it’s MuscleTone instead of Screentone…yeah, you get it…It’s just never very good…Now, I get it.)

The other drawback with Golden Oreos, besides them being addictively delicious with a very high calorie count, (I mean c’mon, who can eat just two of these?) is the list of chemicals in them.

So, I’ve decided to try and make my own version, even though the only thing I’ve ever baked in my life is a couple of loaves of bread, and they’re unlikely to be less caloric, they’ll at least be less…chemically.

Fortunately, I’m not the first person to have this idea. A quick google search later and I found this recipe. So last Sunday I dove in, and made my dough.

Making the Cookie Dough: In Which Our Hero, Who Has Never Done Anything Heroic, Learns A Lot

While beating the butter with my mom’s old mixer, I had no idea, I repeat, no idea, what I was doing. I made mistakes at every turn. First, I didn’t quite let the butter get to room temperature, so it clogged up the beaters and I had to scrape them off with a butter off. (I’m sure there were better ways than a butter knife) Not only that, but I also had no idea how creamy the butter should be. It wasn’t until after I’d stored my dough in the fridge to firm it up and tidied up the kitchen that I would discover exactly how creamy my butter should have been.

It was only when I gave Little Guy a beater to lick clean, just as my mom had done for me when I was a boy, and when I licked my own beater, that I realized my mistake. The cookie batter on this beater was thick and hard, too difficult to lick off with my tongue. I had to scrape the batter off with my finger. But my mom’s cookies, when I would lick off the leftover cooky batter, the batter was silky smooth, sliding easily off the metal tines of the beater on to my tongue, the tiny grains of sugar so crunchy and sweet. (My god, I miss my mom.)

My butter wasn’t creamy enough. It was too thick.

We’ll see how that informed the cookies themselves, when I post part 2.

Epilogue

Epilogue: This may come as no surprise, to you, but I was in no way prepared for the revelation, (even after studying the recipe first), that hit me while Little Guy and I made our cookie dough. It was only after I creamed the butter, added two types of sugars to the bowl, an egg and some flour, that I realized that cookies…wait, for it, because here’s the crazy part: cookies are really just butter, sugar, and flour. I know! Crazy, right?

update: read part 2