17-61: Vanilla Chip Cookies

I had high hopes for these. They sounded great. And to be honest, it still might have been my fault these went badly. 17-61: Vanilla Chip Cookies were part of my big batch of assorted baked goods that I made as gifts for people this year–you can find the others linked at the end of this entry.

Maybe I overworked them. Maybe my dough was too warm. Maybe it was my oven or my pans. Something just didn’t work out here. After the jump, I’ll show you what happened.

Here’s my one nagging thought on this though: I think a major problem is that these don’t have enough flour in them. I don’t know how 1 cup of flour is supposed to balance out all of that butter and sugar.

And, SPOILER: they spread out way too much, which is a classic sign that there’s too much butter. I’ve made chocolate chip cookies a million times, and it’s a 2 ¼ cup flour to 1 cup butter ratio in that recipe. I would assume that’s the type of cookie they were going for here.

Ingredients. I found these fancy vanilla chips on sale at my local market, but they’re relatively local, so I’m not sure if that’s why. They were awesome though, so highly recommended if you’ve seen them around. The macadamia nuts are untoasted and whole, but that can all be remedied.

Creaming the butter and sugars.

Toasting the macadamia nuts. 5-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven spread out on a pan will do a pretty good job of it. Give them a shake in the middle if you think of it.

Chopping the now-toasted macadamia nuts–a few pulses in the food processor does the job. Don’t do it in the grinder (like I attempted at first), it’ll just be a mess.

Mixed up my egg in a bowl (glass measuring cups were in the dishwasher) to add to the mixer.

Butter/sugar/egg mixture. Remember to switch from whisk to paddle before adding flour!

Sifting my dry ingredients.

All the good bits before they get mixed up.

This is what happens when you double the recipe–it starts to overflow the mixer.

At this point, I’m already skeptical. This batter is way too wet and sticky–they’re going to spread out on the pan like crazy. In light of this knowledge, I did the exact opposite of the right thing to do, and put them way too close together on the cookie sheets. This is a recipe…for disaster.

Hey, at least I didn’t grease the sheets too. Sigh…here they go, into the oven. I console myself with the fact that this was going to go poorly despite my bad cookie spacing.

To add insult to injury, I have an oven that cooks very unevenly.

The top ones are pushing the ones on the edges off like lemmings.

I suppose I can admire the neat hexagonal pattern they created?

For science, I took a bite once one cooled. It was edible, but not particularly attractive or awe-inspiring. Not a great start to my baked gift assortment.

This was one of several piles of cookie mess I ended up with. I froze one Ziploc bag full of pieces (for a future use), but very few were whole enough to be salvageable for gift boxes.

I hadn’t used all my dough at this point–I could at least test my theory of the spacing problem. I spaced them much more liberally this time, and baked them on the same pans (to see how far they would go unhindered).

Same problem–now they’ve gone even further and become even more brittle. I saved and wrapped whatever I could, but there were definitely a few boxes that didn’t get any of these ones. At least I know that spacing them further the first time wouldn’t have made a difference. The batter definitely needed more flour, and I never got to test the theory of using a different type of pan.

Here’s a couple of decent-looking ones that made the cut. The cookies themselves weren’t terrible, but more flour would have made them a much better cookie.

Here’s this recipe, 17-61: Vanilla Chip Cookies along with the other recipes I made for my holiday gifts this year:

If you attempt these, try upping the flour to 2-2.5 cups and see what kind of results you get. If I try these again (and who knows, I may someday), I would make that modification and see how it goes.

As they stand now–not so great.

Grade: C-