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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dollhouse cooking

This was never intended to be a food blog, though I read and admire quite a number of them (Wednesday Chef, Toast, Amateur Gourmet, Chocolate and Zucchini, Chubby Hubby, 101 Cookbooks, Le Tartine Gourmand, David Lebovitz, to name a few - too lazy to provide links but they aren't hard to find). But since the bread thing I've been getting an unusual number of baking-related hits, plus it's one of the foodiest weeks of the year, so I thought it would be timely to mention these.

After years and years of cooking for a family - or not cooking, as the long-suffering family may choose to interject - it's an adjustment to shift to cooking-for-one mode. Especially when there is a sweet tooth and a fondness for baking. If you're a cook, you may have noticed how a really simple thing that you make all the time suddenly becomes cumbersome and time-consuming when you have to make it for a crowd. Well, reverse the process: when you scale down a recipe and make it in tiny amounts, things become very simple. Measurements are by the spoonful, bowls are cereal-size, washing up is no fuss at all. If you just do the math it's a simple matter to scale down most any recipe, but I snagged this fun book, Small Batch Baking, at the library last year. One of my favorite recipes in the book is this supberb oatmeal cookie, which comes together in seconds, makes 2 huge cookies (as pictured) or 4 regular ones. The ingredients are nearly always on hand, it satisfies the craving for a little something and, best of all, you're not left with 5 dozen cookies calling your name.

2 Perfect Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Small Batch Baking by Debby Maugans

Mix in bowl with fork:

3 T flour
3 T oatmeal
3 T sugar (I used turbinado)


1/8 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
pinch of cinnamon

Then mix in:

1 1/2 T soft butter
1/4 t vanilla


4 tsp (1 T plus 1 t) beaten egg (this is about half of one medium egg)
3 T raisins (I sometimes use yellow ones, or try dried cranberries)

Blend with fingers if needed to make a dough that holds together. Divide in two and make 2 big cookies on parchment or silpat sheets. Flatten with wettish hand. Bake at 350 about 15 min, or til lightly browned but still soft. Cool a few minutes before transferriing to rack. Makes 2 giant cookies; could also make 4 more "regular" sized ones. Or double recipe to make 8. Perfect and delicious!


Blogger SuperMom said...

Gosh, I don't know why it never occured to me to do this even just for us. I really DON'T have too much of a sweet tooth so eight perfect cookies would be perfect for us.

7:04 PM  
Blogger ibby said...

These do look yummy. But for me, the mental barrier is pulling out all the ingredients, digging up the measuring tools, etc. After that, its all the same whether I'm measuring out 1/8 t. or 3 T. and at that point I'm going for a bang for the buck! LOTS of cookies! I'll give this a try though, maybe it'll change my thinking.

7:31 PM  
Blogger AlexanderTheGreat said...

I agree with Ibby. If (hypothetically) I were to go to the trouble of baking some cookies, I would probably quadruple the recipe to make sure they lasted through a nuclear winter.

11:57 PM  

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