I do not like to follow recipes. It’s not my style. Most of the time when cooking something new and using a recipe, I’ll purposefully make a substitution or an addition just to make the dish my own. In fact, it’s become a bit of a running joke in my circle of friends…sometime it’s a fail (hence the jokes) but other times it makes the food uniquely delicious and uniquely my creation, which I love.
That is why I struggle with baking. Baking a science, where precise measuring (what’s that?) and limited substitutions determine the success of your product. Whereas with cooking, you can usually throw a little cheese, garlic or hot sauce at an iffy situation and PRESTO, it’s yummy. So when I found this recipe for Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies on a blog called Amy’s Healthy Baking which emphasized the importance of precision, I took on the challenge and made each measurement accurately. I did not make a single substitution (and it killed me!). But somehow my cookies look nothing like those posted on Amy’s Healthy Baking blog. Luckily aesthetics aren’t everything in this case because they still taste pretty darn good!
Amy’s recipe calls for:
- 1 c (98g) instant oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- ¾ c (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured correctly)
- 1 ½ tsp (5g) baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp (3g) ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp (1g) salt
- 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp (5mL) vanilla extract
- ½ c (120mL) maple syrup
- ¾ c (68g) grated carrots (about 1 smallish medium)
Her how to:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup until thoroughly incorporated. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the carrots. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. (If chilling longer, cover with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the entire surface of the cookie dough.)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops on the baking sheet. (If chilled longer than 1.5 hours, flatten slightly.) Bake at 325°F for 12-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Her Notes: “It’s incredibly important to measure both the oats and flour correctly, using the spoon-and-level method described in the links above. If scooped from the container using the measuring cup, you’ll end up with 1.5 times as much, which will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly.”
So I followed her instructions and made the dough.
Then I put it in the fridge for over 30 minutes. Then I scooped them and put them on parchment paper.
And then I baked them per the instructions and took them out of the oven and they looked like this.
That’s right, they look just as they did before baking. If the look a little flatter its because I pressed on them to make them more cookie-looking.
Luckily they pass the taste-test.
Any ideas for what I did wrong? Let me know in a comment blow!