Having just read a crazy article in the Times about how important the treatment of butter is to baking,* I was careful to only use my butter when it reached room temperature, whip it for almost three minutes before adding the sugar, and keep the dough chilled until it was ready to go into the oven. I made a double batch, excited to spread the gospel of the Chocolate Chipper this holiday season.
But the cookies failed. What a terrible feeling, watching them spread farther and farther out, refusing to rise, instead bubbling in an unsavory way. I would swear that I measured everything, especially the baking soda, correctly. It is a reminder of why so many people hate baking. There is no salvaging a failed baked good, you just have to throw it out, take a deep breath, and move on.
My only consolation is that this has happened to my mother and brother (the real champion of this recipe) several times: it's not us, it's the cookies. In fact, it happened to my brother when he first tried to make them for his future in-laws, at their house (no hiding the failure). This after talking them up for an hour. He didn't blink, and threw the dough right out and started over. That's the spirit!
I didn't have it in me to do that last night. I felt too angry and powerless. I didn't even have the husband to complain to, he had already gone to bed. I am hoping to get another batch in the oven tonight. I gotta get back on the horse.
By far the worst part about this whole incident is that there are two pounds of delicious chocolate chip cookie dough in our fridge, and but I can't have any of it because of my sad, lactose rejecting body. It's too bad we don't have any kids: "Please eat all mom's useless cookie dough. She can't bear the sight of it, or the idea of throwing it out!"
Merry Christmas, and good luck to all you bakers!
*That butter article was the most emailed article over the last 24 hours. I guess it really is cookie season!