Sunday, November 4, 2018

Learning By Doing

I'm usually rather picky about which recipes I choose to try. When I decide to try a recipe, it's invariably because it's tried-and-true. In other words, the recipe received overwhelmingly positive reviews online, or the recipe was recommended to me by someone I know, or the recipe was one that I requested because I ate something that tasted really good. Even when a recipe has positive reviews, I like to read the comments to see if there are any tips included. Then I modify the recipe to suit my needs. Yesterday, I decided to try a recipe for these pumpkin spice cookies because I saw a photo on Instagram and I had the ingredients in my pantry. I didn't read the comments below the blog post, which was a big oops on my part. This is what happened.

Yes, that's the "cookie" that came out of the oven. To be fair, I did modify the recipe a little bit. I halved the recipe. I used 1/2 cup of rye flour instead of 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of almond meal. I omitted the cloves and the vanilla extract. However, I make these types of substitutions all the time, even when baking, and I've never had any issues. Fortunately, the "cookie" did taste good, so my main concern was the shape. The recipe instructed, "Place by small spoonful the batter onto cookie sheet." This was my first time working with coconut flour so I wasn't sure if the cookies would spread out on their own. I didn't press them down, so when I pulled the "cookies" out of the oven, they looked terribly unappetizing. Hubby calls them "muffin tops" or just plain "bread." I thought they were kind of scone-like. I decided to try the recipe again today.

For my second batch, I made the same substitutions that I mentioned above; however, I used 1/4 cup of rye flour instead of 1/2 cup, I turned up the oven a bit, and I pressed/shaped the cookies. The result looked much more appetizing and the flavour was a bit better too, but the texture still was not cookie-like. Hubby calls these "flat bread." The whole experience got me thinking about learning. When it comes to cooking, I love to learn by doing. It feels natural to experiment in the kitchen, adjust recipes to suit our tastes, and tweak future iterations to make the recipe my own. I also know when to give up. If my first batch of cookies had been a disaster, I would have written off this recipe. Fortunately, the "cookies" were tasty, so I decided to see if I could improve the next batch. The difference is night and day.

Note: no cookies will be wasted in the making of this blog post. Hubby and I will happily gobble up all the treats.

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