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The funny thing about cookies is that when you bake them, it’s really quite difficult to get an objective reading as to quality. Why? Well, even people who are very discriminating would still scarf substandard cookies. There’s just something about cookies that would basically tempt people to lower their standards a bit just to enjoy them. So if you baked substandard cookies, don’t expect that people would completely ignore your cookies.
Don’t wait for that. Instead, choose to learn from a situation where people might still walk away thinking that your cookies are substandard or nothing to write home about, while at the same time, leaving you with an empty cookie sheet. Make no mistake about it, if you want to lay the best cookie batter on the right cookie pans, you need to go beyond people’s actions and pay attention to their observations.
This is really important because a friend of yours may gladly help himself to your cookie jar, but still have a low opinion of the cookies as a whole. These two things are not necessarily inconsistent. They don’t conduct each other. There’s just something about cookies that a lot of people find irresistible, so don’t think that just because people have taken all of your cookies off your hands, that this is by any means a ringing endorsement of your cookie baking skills.
In most cases, it’s probably not. You have to go beyond the simple fact that your cookies have disappeared into people’s mouths. Pay attention to what they have to say. Here are just some signs that you’ve baked truly awesome oatmeal cookies. By truly awesome, I’m talking about cookies that people would gladly talk about on Facebook. I’m talking about cookies that people would want to write home about.
When people bake oatmeal cookies, there is an expectation that the oatmeal would make the cookie chewy. There looking for a chewy cookie texture. By the same token, when other people bake other types of cookies, they’re looking for a dry or semi-tough experience.
It all boils down to what the cookie is because the type of cookie pretty much sets a range of expectations people have. If you’re going to put oatmeal cookie batter on your cooking pan, you are setting an expectation in the minds of people who are going to be sampling your baked goods that what you’re going to come up with will be at least chewy. The chewier, the better.
The right texture
Now, this is a little bit ambiguous because the right texture for one person might not necessarily be the right texture for anther. There’s quite a bit of subjectivity here. But in practical terms, the right texture that awesome oatmeal cookie share in common really involves keeping the cookie together long enough so that it can deliver solid taste.
Put simply, when it’s handled, the cookie doesn’t crumble easily. When it’s handled, the cookie doesn’t break apart. This involves not just the right ingredients, but also the right proportions. You really have to have a certain attention to detail to pull this off. Unfortunately, this is not going to be perfected overnight. Not by a long shot.
You would have to experiment on a completely trial and error basis until you get the mix right. The problem with simply following a recipe from the back of a cookie mix box is that it’s anybody’s guess what the set of circumstances that surrounded the writing of that recipe. Chances are they just copied it somewhere. You have to focus on making that particular recipe work with your particular set of circumstances.
This is where experimentation comes in. You have to do quite a bit of experimentation to make sure that the oatmeal cookies remain intact. The fact that they did is an indicator that you may have just baked really great cookies.
Optimal flavor management
Not only do oats provide a tremendous amount of texture, they also go a long way in regulating the flavors of the ingredients in your batter. They can ensure that the mixture is not too sweet. They can ensure that the flavors are evened out without running the risk the different flavors of your cookie batter cancel each other out. Think of oatmeal as some sort of ‘flavor scaffolding’ for your cookie. With the right type of oats in the right amounts, your introduction of oatmeal to the mix can go a long way in ensuring your cookies deliver their fullest flavor potential.
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