I love to hate and hate to love baking.
I find these groovy little cookie recipes and whenever I make they, they never look like the picture. It's annoying and completely frustrating.
I follow the instructions completely (alright, in this case, I cut back a little bit on the chocolate chips in the cookies due to the fact they wanted two cups and all I had was a cup and a half) and I always end up with something that looks like a five year old made.
On the taste front, the things I cook and bake are usually delicious, but mostly, they look like crap.
Today's example, a chocolate crackle cookie, smells and taste fantastic (so far, I only had one that has been sitting out of the over for about fifteen minutes), but look nothing like the picture. Annoying!
Take a look at the recipe in the cook book - cute little round cookies, with a nice, broken and crackled looking top.
Now, look at my attempt. Flat, messy and not at ALL like the picture. What gives?
My second batch were a bit closer to the picture, but still not as beautiful. Yes, I know they hire people and pay them stupid amounts of money to make the pictures in the cook books look amazing. But it's an unrealistic expectation of the common suburban mom who just wants to make some home made cookies for her little brat.
I think someone should make a cook book with pictures of the dishes as made by NORMAL people. Maybe I wouldn't be so hard on myself then..
P.S. the cookies are killer good.. if you want to give them a shot, here is the recipe:
Milk Chocolate Fudge Crackles
1/4 Cup Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
1 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 - 150ml can of Eagle Brand Regular or Low Fat Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips
2/3 cup Icing Sugar
Heat oven to 325F
In a glass bowl in the microwave, melt shortening and semi-sweet chocolate chips on medium. Add in sugar and eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Let cool for five minutes.
Mix in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Add next four ingredients. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours up to 8 hours.
Sift icing sugar into a shallow bowl. Between palms of hand, roll pieces of chilled dough to form 1 1/3" balls. Drop balls into icing sugar and toss lightly until well coated. Place on prepared baking sheets and flatten very slightly. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake each sheet in preheated over for about 11 - 13 minutes. Cookies are done when they just begin to feel firm when pressed in the centre. Let cool on baking sheet on wire rakes for five minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely
NOTE: I used blocks of semi-sweet chocolate, worked just a swell. I also found, don't smoosh the cookies with a fork, doesn't make them look 'pretty.' I experimented a bit after writing this and found that if you cover the balls REALLY well with the icing sugar and then smoosh just a little bit with your hands, you get a nicer, more like the picture, looking cookie.
UPDATE: my last batch looked more like the picture! Success! Guess my complaining was all in vain...