This session’s recipe for Baked Sunday Mornings was not without controversy. Yes, it’s just a simple little cookie – mixed up by hand, no stand mixer required. But there were some issues from the start. Knowing that the recipe had been tested without issue by two stellar bakers, I was curious to get to the bottom of the problems.
When I’m not recipe testing, it’s nice to be able to just whip up things in the kitchen without paying close attention, but in this case, I made careful notes as I made the cookies. I weighed every ingredient, and just to be thorough, I also measured by volume and then weighed that to be sure it was close to what was in the recipe. I made notes on timing and on what ingredients I used. By the time my dough was done, I was convinced that there wasn’t an obvious flaw in the recipe.
A couple of bakers reported dry dough and hard-as-a-rock cookies. That wasn’t my experience – the dough was perfect (although it can be oily if the oil isn’t whisked in really well – the recipe probably should have noted that). My cookies turned out very pretty, and the lemon sugar is lovely. I used some of my glut of Meyer lemons so it was extra fragrant and delicate. And in general, I really liked the cookies. Maybe not my most favorite ginger cookie ever, but close.
So what was the cause of the dry cookies? Typography. The 3/4 cup oil in the book looks very much like 1/4 cup oil. I had the same issue with the Baked Elements, so I’m constantly putting on reading glasses and going through the recipes in good light to be sure I don’t mis-read anything. Two lessons here – bad typography or mistakes in a print run can impact even the most bulletproof recipe. And baking in a group is awesome, because the combined experience and advice almost always leads to better results. Go Team Baked Sunday Mornings!
For the recipe and to see how the other Baked Sunday Mornings bakers fared, head over to Baked Sunday Mornings.
- Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar (Baked Occasions, p. 229)