My First Test Recipe
I typically bake cookies on Sunday. I like my kids to be able to take homemade cookies (or brownies, or bars, or something sweet) in their school lunchbox. I'm an avid baker, and even owned a small cafe at one time, so my kids have been eating my baked goods (good or bad) since they were mere babes. And, although I have an entire cupboard in my kitchen dedicated to cookbooks, I usually reach out to the posts on my favorite blogger's site for fresh, new ideas. I often find that these recipes are tested by real people, using real equipment. And, they also have real lives. They have kids or pets (or both, as in my case), husbands/wives, and many have full-time jobs outside of the home. In my simple mind, if they've taken the time to post a recipe, that's good enough for me. I'm in.
But lately, I seem to have hit a snag with recipes. The cookies that come out of my oven resemble theirs about as much as my hair does, the day after my stylist has given me a perfect coiffe. Yeah, not so much the same. And it isn't just with baking. It's with many recipes that seem fairly straightforward on the screen, and are less than appetizing after the fact.
So I took to the internet to see if there were any recipe testing blogs. I googled, but could not find. Well, let's be truthful. I googled, and when the first two results didn't show me what I wanted, I decided to create this blog. I'm going to do my best to test recipes, follow the instructions to the letter, and pass along my results. I do not intend for this to be about bashing any blogger. I follow the blogs of some really amazing people, and to insult them publically is the furthest notion possible from my mind. I only intend to pass along my results so my readers are able to learn from my experience. So, on to the first recipe.
I've followed the Heavenly Homemaker blog for, well, as long as I've been following blogs. She writes about food, mainly, but also about her lifestyle and her family. So when I saw her recipe for Flourless Fudge Cookies, I knew I had to give them a try. There are 5 ingredients, all items I typically keep in my pantry. The directions, super simple (I like simple). And, they're chocolate...something my entire family can't seem to get enough of.
To caveat this review, I will mention that the recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups sucanat powdered sugar. Although I'd love to use sucanat powdered sugar, it isn't something I typically keep on hand. It's merely an expense and convenience issue for me. Perhaps one day I'll have the forethought to order sucanat from one of the many online suppliers and can make my own powdered version for these cookies. Instead, I used good old grocery store powdered sugar, assuming that they are close enough in texture and weight so that there isn't a significant difference. I'd love someone with knowledge of both to provide feedback on this.
Okay, so I follow the recipe to the letter. I measured the dry ingredients in a big bowl, mixed the web ingredients together and combined. Then I stirred. And stirred. And stirred. Finally, after a while, the "batter" was combined into one large lump in the bowl. But, at least the dry ingredients were incorporated with the wet.
Again, following the directions, I scooped teaspoon sized balls of batter onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Note: Don't have parchment paper? Get it..what are you waiting for? I then baked for 9 of the required 8 - 10 minutes.
The Results Are In:
Yeah..not so pretty, are they? I won't even mention the comparison my kids made. I found the cookies to have a strong cocoa powder flavor. And, I'm not surprised, since the recipe calls for one cup of cocoa powder. I don't know that I've ever added that much cocoa powder to any single recipe. I think that strong cocoa flavor made them taste dry, even though they are quite moist.
How Would I Change Things Up?
I think the recipe is basically sound. The next time I try these, I'm going to cut back on the cocoa powder, and add a tablespoon or two of melted butter, just for some moisture.