Yesterday I got fired up to make chocolate chip cookies for the grandchildren coming tomorrow. My interest in cooking and, especially baking, has waned over the years, so it had been a while since I’d made cookies. The recipe on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip bag sounded simple enough. No sifting flour, no greasing cookie sheets.
I watched in discouragement through the oven door window as the little spoonfuls of dough spread out, looking like miniature pancakes, and waited for the tell-tale brown tone that the cookies were done.
Once out of the oven, the cookies were to cool slightly before I was to remove them to wire racks. I tried to slide the spatula under the first cookie, meeting with puzzling resistance. The oddly-shaped cookies clung to the pan, like barnacles to a rock. I scraped and pushed finally loosening the first batch of misshapen, ragged-edged cookies. I nibbled at broken pieces and then began eating the smaller, more imperfect ones. Switching batch after batch from the wire racks onto plates, I weeded out and devoured the undesirables while also discovering a fine collection of crumbs under the racks. During this process, I noticed that the chocolate chips had sunk to the bottom of each cookie. No bottom layer of dough.
How could I admit to my grandchildren that their grandmother had failed at what had seemed a simple, no-fail recipe? I hope they’ll find the cookies yummy anyway. I know I did.