I love to bake! Wait, let me rephrase that. I love to eat baked goods and I know that baking them is a necessary evil in order to get to the “eating them” part. I made these yummy orange chocolate chip cookies the other day and thought I’d take beautiful, close-up pictures of every step and share not only my brilliant photography, but an easy recipe that will result in your own delicious confections. That was the plan. Reality was a little different, however. The truth is that THIS is how I actually make cookies …
Here’s the recipe if you want to follow along.
ORANGE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 T. grated orange zest
1 T. orange liquor
1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. baking soda
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
jelly beans (optional)
wine (optional, but recommended)
STEP 1 – LOOK IN THE FRIDGE. AGAIN. 1 of 14
Before I bake anything, I first look in the fridge for something yummy to eat. I know I just looked in both the refrigerator and the pantry 5 minutes ago to no avail, but you know never know. Maybe the magical food fairies have come to restock it in the last couple minutes. It could happen.
STEP 2 – WHINE & COMPLAIN 2 of 14
Next, I whine that I want something sweet. I hint to my older kids that if they really loved me, they'd run up to the store and buy some brownies. I look all sad and disappointed (for good measure.) When that doesn't work, I repeat STEP 1 again.
STEP 3 – GO TO PLAN B 3 of 14
When my kids insist they have to do non-essential things like homework and can't run to the store for brownies, and the magical food fairies don't come bearing cupcakes, I resort to PLAN B. Aha! I'll make cookies! That's the ticket!
STEP 4 – PICK A RECIPE AND GATHER INGREDIENTS 4 of 14
Orange chocolate chip cookies! Yes, they contain fruit! Healthy! I start gathering ingredients.
STEP 5 – PONDER THE INGREDIENTS 5 of 14
At any given time I have 3, 4, even 5 open bags of brown sugar. Why is this? Does this happen to anyone else? I bet Rachel Ray doesn't have this problem.
STEP 6 – THE CRUSHING BLOW 6 of 14
This is the point when I realize I'm missing an essential ingredient. In this case, I discovered I was out of chocolate chips. I was crushed. Then I remembered the Easter candy! "Hey kids! Give me one of your Easter eggs! I need to borrow some M&Ms!" Great plan, right? Except that the only things left in the plastic eggs were jelly beans. Orange-jelly bean cookies? Hmmmm, I'm not sure how that'll work out. I should probably just eat the jelly beans and make the cookies without any candy.
STEP 7 – SUBSTITUTIONS 7 of 14
I don't have any orange liquor either. Hmmmm, what can I use in its place? I know! I have some brandy I got for a cake I made a while ago. Maybe that'll work. Does brandy taste anything like orange? Maybe I should sample it . . .
STEP 8 – FORGET ABOUT SUBSTITUTIONS 8 of 14
Oh dear God, what IS this vile stuff?! People DRINK this? On purpose??? Ugh, I need something to put out the fire in my throat and get rid of this taste, and I possibly need tastebud surgery too.
STEP 9 – FIND NEW SUBSTITUTIONS 9 of 14
I know! How about wine? I could substitute wine for the orange liquor, right? Wait what? What am I saying? You don't put WINE in cookies! What am I thinking? That's crazy talk! I'll just drink the wine.
STEP 10 – SEARCH PANTRY AGAIN 10 of 14
I searched my pantry once more (just in case I missed some goodies) in the hopes of trashing my whole 'let's make cookies' idea. Oh look! There ARE some chocolate chips after all! Excellent! I'd better make sure they're still good.
STEP 11- GRATE AN ORANGE 11 of 14
This is really a two-part step. First, you grate the orange peal. Then, you get a bandaid for the finger you sliced off and you search through the zest for bits of fingernail.
STEP 12 – GET HELP 12 of 14
"Hey Mom, can I stir in the flour?"
"Sure, just make sure you go slowly so the flour doesn't . . . nevermind. Good job, kid."
STEP 13 – TIME TO BAKE 13 of 14
When your kids get bored and walk off, finish mixing the dough and preheat the oven. Time to bake this stuff into soft, warm, delicious cookies!
STEP 14 – GIVE UP 14 of 14
Decide, after all that work (and wine) you're too tired to actually bake the cookies. Grab a spoon instead. Hide in the closet so your kids don't see you. And that, my friends, is how real people make cookies.
Want to read more from Dawn? Get her books here: Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) and You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth).
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