I decided to try using parchment sheets for baking cookies for the first time. I had used parchment for cooking fish in the oven before, but not for baking. The reason I decided to try it was because I rediscovered that the cookies in this recipe tend to stick to the cookie sheet, even after being greased.
The recipe is Soft Pumpkin Cookies and came from The Fresno Bee food section published on October 28, 1981. What I like about these cookies is their soft, cake-like texture that turns chewy as you eat them. Here’s the recipe:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms. Makes approximately 48 cookies.
2 cups flour On a piece of waxed paper, combine
1 tsp. baking soda flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and
1/2 tsp. salt nutmeg. Stir with a fork.
1 tsp. cinnamon In a large mixing bowl, cream butter
1/2 tsp. nutmeg and sugar; stir in corn syrup, then
1/2 cup butter or margarine pumpkin, egg, and vanilla; mix well.
1/2 cup cane sugar Gradually add flour mixture, stirring
1/2 cup dark corn syrup until smooth. Add raisins and nuts.
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie
1 egg beaten sheets, 2 inches apart, flattening slightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract with back of spoon.
1 cup raisins With a wide metal spatula remove cookies
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts to wire racks to cool.
The dough did not spread out as much while baking on the parchment sheet. The cookies were, of course, much easier to remove to the cooling racks. I also noticed the texture was different. Can you tell which is the parchment cookie?
Now for the taste test. Disappointment. The flavor was very similar, but the texture and chewiness were gone. The parchment sheets failed the test, in my opinion. What good is an easier way if it doesn’t maintain the character of the cookie?
This experiment made me think of life, in general. Sometimes we try to take short cuts that we think might make our life easier or more progressive, but what might we be losing in the process? A friendship? A job? Our reputation? Things that are a lot more important than a batch of cookies. Trying to avoid making messes may lead to a life lived in a fish bowl. The messy things in life are often what build character and motivate us the most. They’re certainly the most memorable. I’d rather have a crumbly, chewy, hard to remove cookie than a plain, perfect, Teflon one any day. How about you?