Posted by: brian | October 24, 2008


We’ve gotten in the habit of mixing up cookie dough and tossing it in the freezer, then baking some of it, but eating most of it without bothering with that troublesome “apply heat” step. We generally follow the Nestle Toll House recipe, and stick to butter as the fat of choice.

The cookies that did end up being baked were delicious, but a bit fickle in terms of the amount of time they spend in the oven. They were thin and a bit more crispy, but if they spent too much time under the heat, they’d get hard and crumbly. Conversely, if they didn’t bake long enough, they would be gooey in the middle. We were talking to Ben’s folks about this state of affairs, and his mother mentioned the difference in texture that vegetable shortening made. I hadn’t thought about it, and had taken for granted that fat is fat, and I’m not a fan of the chemically-altered fats. But then I realized that baking is just an edible form of chemistry, so that could make a difference.

So, tonight I mixed up a batch of cookies using a recipe from Alton Brown. It calls for “butter-flavored shortening,” but I wasn’t paying attention at the store and got regular shortening. The dough was radically different, and the cookies came out “almost like scones,” according to Ben. They’re okay, but they lack something in flavor. I hadn’t realized how crucial the butter was, so I think next time I’ll try a 50-50 mix & see what happens.



  1. This may possibly be the strangest post you’ve ever written.

  2. ARGH! Thanks in part to this post, I couldn’t stop thinking about cookies all day, and I made cookies this afternoon, and I ate cookies for dinner!

    Not that I’m suggestible.

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