January 30, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Culinary Inept

Chocolate Chip Cookies, not apple pie, are the most American cause of diabetes ever.  If you don’t like them then the terrorists win.  Every good, red blooded American should be able to whip up a batch.  If you’re not exactly the Julia Childs of your apartment block, don’t worry.  It’s easy to learn by starting with the basics.  Cookies, being the caloric music to soothe a savage PMSing girlfriend, are a noble specimen on which to cut your teeth in the kitchen.  Baking is simple, really.  In this case, all you need is a mix (Betty Crocker has one that’s no mess, no fuss.), any additional ingredients such as an egg or butter, a mixing bowl, a cookie sheet, spatula, spoon, cooking spray, fire extinguisher, and the local emergency services on speed dial.  See?  It’s not that daunting.

First, preheat the oven, taking care not to let the pilot stay unlit for too long.  It takes approximately 5 months for eyebrows to fill in after a kitchen stove mishap.  It’s closing in on prom season, and nobody wants to canoodle with someone with spotty eyebrows.  (Even if you do give amazing head.  The POV is just creepy and kills a boner faster than thinking about grandma on the toilet.)

While the oven is preheating, you’ll need to prepare your cookie sheets.  Take care to not make too much of a ruckus when digging them out of the back of your cupboard.  Keep in mind that your local authorities may charge for false alarm calls of reported burglaries should a concerned neighbor think you’re being robbed or assaulted by the muffin man.  Make sure each sheet has an adequate coating of cooking spray, while avoiding getting any overspray on the floor.  Take special care if you’re a renter.  Most renter’s insurance policies don’t cover liability for an attack of the dumbass.  Slipping on spray lard might put you in the poorhouse due to unpaid medical bills if you’re not careful.  Set the cookie sheets aside in easy reach.  You’ll need them once your dough is ready.

In the mixing bowl, combine the mix with any additional ingredients the packaging calls for.  If you are a novice, ask a more experienced cook before making any substitutions.  If the instructions call for a stick of butter, substituting a cup of dep hair gel may not have the same results.  Try to stick to the recipe as closely as possible until you’re more experienced.  Combine the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix until the contents reach a doughy texture.  Set the bowl aside and check to see if your oven is preheated.  This is best done with an oven thermometer.  Generally, human skin isn’t able to determine the subtleties between 300 and 325 degrees, and the blisters that result from trying can become infected and can lead to amputation in extreme cases.

Take your first cookie sheet and set it by your mixing bowl.  With two spoons, measure out a small dollop of dough and set it on the tray. Resist the temptation to lick the spoons before scooping up the next ball of dough.  Chances are you neglected to get your cootie shot booster, and nobody likes cooties.  Not even if they’re served with chocolate chip cookies.  Continue spooning out cookie blobs until your sheet is covered, leaving roughly three inches of space between each.

Now is a good time to alert your neighbors or occupants in your residence that you will be using your oven to cook real food and not just the dollar store frozen pizzas.  This is so they’ll be aware in case they should smell something burning, like flesh. If the mood strikes you, give them a spare key to your front door and your emergency contact number should the situation get out of hand.

Once you return to the kitchen after warning your neighbors, take your prepared cookie sheet and place it in the Goldilocks zone of your oven.  This is generally the middle rack where the temperature is juuuuuuust right.  Close the door and set your timer for the amount of time prescribed on the recipe.  Resist the urge to peek at them after 3 minutes, wondering if they’re done yet.  This will only delay your satisfaction.  While this is the purpose of a “pleasure extender” condom, cookies should be allowed to bake naturally.  Don’t forget to set your timer so you can save your cookies from a fate worse than WWII.

While you are waiting for the first batch to finish, you can spoon out balls of dough onto a second sheet.  If you don’t have a second cookie sheet, feel free to use the time constructively.  Write a pen pal letter to an incarcerated felon, or create the next big internet meme with the contents of your junk drawer.  However, be aware.  The health department frowns upon cleaning your dildo collection while preparing food as this could lead to cross contamination.  

When your timer goes off, you will need to remove the cookie sheet from the oven.  Make sure you have an oven mitt to protect your hands from the searing heat of the metal pan and rack, as well as a place on your counters where you can set the still hot sheet without melting it to the surface.  The smell of burnt linoleum is both unappetizing and toxic.  

Remove the cookies from the pan and place them on a separate plate to cool.  This way, you can reuse  your cookie sheet for a second or third batch if needed..  Continue these steps until all desired cookies are baked and cooling.  If there is any dough left in the bowl, you may proceed to devour it like Cthulhu treating the dim sum delivery boy like the Chinese take out he is.

Once you regain consciousness from your diabetic coma and have assured the paramedics that your know the correct year, president, and middle name, your cookies will be properly cooled.  For best results, you will need an airtight container in which to store them.  Should there potentially be a delay in eating them where you might want to keep them moist, include a slice or two of sandwich bread in the container to keep them soft, like Honey Boo Boo’s acting skills.  

There you go.  That’s all there is to it.  Congratulations.  You’ve just baked chocolate chip cookies.

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