Last night I decided I would whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. And, by “whip up,” what I mean is I cut open a package of Toll House refrigerated cookie dough, broke apart 12 squares where they were pre-scored for cutting and plopped the dough onto a cookie sheet. Easy enough.
These mo’ fos took forever to bake. I thought I had them perfectly timed to coincide with the end of dinner, but every single time I jumped up from my chili to check the oven, they were still too raw.
At first I blamed the oven for not knowing how to properly adjust its temperature from 400 degrees (for the cornbread I had made to accompany dinner) to 350 degrees I needed for the cookies. But, the temperature kept dropping.
Then I blamed the oven’s temperature knob for being a piece of shit. Because it is. I suppose I should explain…..
The oven we inherited with our new house is not by any means new. In fact, it is so old (or so used) that the labels on all of the knobs have worn off. Its a gamble every time I cook or bake something. Is it on high? Low? Bake? Broil? 400? 375? (Ha! 375! Get real!) Cooking on the stove top is one thing. But baking? That is an entirely different story. Anyone who really bakes (like, someone who makes cakes and pastries) would freak out if they had to use this oven. Baking requires precision. Precise, this oven is not.
While its not predictable, the damn oven does work. So, I refuse to give up. I will not buy a new appliance until this one goes completely bonkers. So, until then, I have improvised. I stuck a thermometer inside and moved the oven dial around. When the thermometer reached a certain temperature, I marked the dial with a silver pen so that I had a reference point for next time. Its close enough for casseroles and entrees. Desserts, not so much.
Speaking of desserts, back to those chocolate chip cookies:
Those bastards* were in the oven for 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, then as we were approaching 40 minutes and I realized I was losing temperature fast and steady, I started to rejoice … the possibility of a new (fully functional & properly labeled!!) oven was certainly on its way. And that is when reality smacked me in the face. I had turned the oven OFF after I removed the cornbread. Doh. (Or should I say DOUGH ???) So, basically those cookies were left to fend for themselves and suck up as much heat as possible in order to plump up into warm, yummy goodness.
Once I realized my mistake, I turned it back on and -BOOM- they were done. Oh well. 45 minutes for cookies that should have taken no more than 13 minutes were worth the wait. Probably the best slow baked cookies anyone has ever made.
* I really wanted to throw some colorful alliteration into that sentence to play off the words chocolate chip cookies, so I searched for “bad words that start with c.” Wow. For those of you at work and anyone under the age of … any age … I recommend you avoid plugging that phrase into your search engine. My innocent eyes are burning.