Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Details. (Fails Explained)

Yesterday I spent the morning at Whole Foods and spent $52 on baking products. I don't even really remember what I got, but I was majorly sold on marketing. "Raw" and "Ethiopian" and "Organically Homestyle" are words that stand out upon reflection. I think I just ended up getting the most expensive of all should-be-cheap products like sugar, flour, and molasses.
I made protein bars, ginger molasses cookies, and my special, which has yet to be special in a good way "everything but the crap" cookies.
The protein bars turned out pretty good. They aren't supposed to taste as sugary and sweet as cookies, so that helps. Here's what I used:
- 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
- 4 egg whites
- big spoonful of natural peanut butter
- a cup of quick oats
- handfuls of hand-crushed fiber flakes cereal (Heritage brand)
- a handful of hand-crushed walnuts
- poured some vanilla extract
oven: 350 for about 13 minutes.
they taste good!, and they have no real sugar and are packed with protein and a soft and taste kind of like a store bought protein bar, but without the crunchy or chocolate outside, and without any real flavor. Which makes me think ..... that that's how those bars get such high levels of sugar and fat, because they add sneaky things so that they taste better.

Second, I made Ginger Molasses cookies:
- 2 tbsp molasses - this was some special ethiopian single-process (i just made that up, but you get the idea molasses that is soooo dark and sticky and resembling what Fernet Branca must be after 200 years.)
- 1.5 cups of turbinado sugar (which is raw cane sugar, with lots of other enticing marketing to make you think you're not really eating sugar!)
- 1.5 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup canola oil
- some salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon

Here's what went wrong with these: 1) i forgot about them and burnt them.
2) I realized after I put the 1.5 cups of sugar in that you are supposed to use 1 cup of sugar, cool the dough, and then roll the cookie dough balls into the remaining sugar. Whatever. I didn't cry over it ... you'd end up having that much sugar on the cookie anyways, and it's turbinado sugar!! It's like you're not even eating sugar!!
3) I don't really like molasses.

Lastly, I made my S.P.E.C.I.A.L.T.Y cookie (which stands for: super pampered eats combined in a light tasty ... ahhh ... Yumminess. I'm going to copyright that as soon as i finish here).
So I took a recipe for a banana oatmeal cookie (reason being: I was going to substitute Something with pudding mix - what is it you are substituting? the butter? the flour? See? This is where I'm coming from. Just want to put you on the page of blankness from which I start). Oh, but see, I wasn't using bananas because I already spent $52 and I didn't get any bananas, and I was NOT going out again. So, basically, take your average oatmeal cookie recipe, and these are the substitutions I made:
- only 1 cup oats, the other cup I handcrushed that fiber cereal.
-just 1 cup of flour (no reason)
- instead of 3/4 cup butter (yuck!) i used a half of a stick, and then that banana pudding mix, and some greek yogurt, and a banana yogurt cup. All that equals butter right?
- no bananas cause don't have em.
- but I added! goji berries, golden raisins, regular raisins, crushed pecans and walnuts, some peanut butter, and chocolate chips.

So what went wrong? Well, perhaps a few things. But the main thing is that I don't measure ... and the one ingredient I really took for granted was baking soda and that it isn't just a magic potion in the mix -- you can add to much. So me just opening and dumping equals that all the good stuff in there is not tasted (lemon! peanut butter! banana! vanilla! goji! turbinado!) because it just tastes .... salty and baking soda-y.
Also, they didn't rise and are really crumbly. I don't know why, but assume it has something to do with the lack of proper flour and butter.
However: the bites with chocolate chips taste good. ... if you take off the cookie dough from around it.
Fail Bake.
But I learned. So it's not a failure right?! I learned that you have to measure. And baking is science. I still hope to be a healthy chemist and find proper substitutions, I just can't ignore all the laws that are already in place.

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