Baking.

I think I caused a rumble in the grocery store today. Let me start at the beginning: I’ve been baking Christmas cookies.
Okay, okay. I’ve been attempting to bake Christmas cookies. You’d think that a 28-year-old mother of three would be able to turn out some decent cookies–but you would be wrong. I. Can’t. Do. It. I follow the recipe exactly–viola! Burnt cookies. (Remember my ghetto biscotti? Had some this morning with my coffee.) I change a few things up–lower the oven temperature just a bit, cut back on the time–still, I get extra crispy cookies.
What the what.
I read somewhere that the secret to good cookies is real butter. I took Mia and Merrick to the store in search of just that. But when faced with my options–salted or unsalted butter–I froze. I was stumped. I’m no baking genius; how was I supposed to know what the difference was? So I found the nearest granny, who had a nice face and a cart full of baking necessities, and I politely said to her, “Excuse me, you look like you know what you’re doing. What kind of butter is best for cookies? Unsalted or salted?”
“Oh, definitely unsalted,” she said, and then walked off rudely without an explanation or a second look back. Biddy didn’t even compliment me on what cute snot-nosed kids I had.
Hmmm. Okay, unsalted. Makes sense. Kind of. Grannies know these things, so I grabbed some.
I pushed my cart 2 feet and another lady was in my face. “I’ve always used salted butter and my cookies turn out perfectly. There’s some on sale back over there.”
Okay, salted butter, then. On sale. Sweet. I turned around and hit the first granny in the buggy.
“Did she tell you something different than what I told you?” she asked, and she wasn’t smiling.
“Um…well, she…yeah, she did,” I admitted sheepishly.
“Unsalted butter is what you want,” said Granny #1.
“No, I think it depends on the cookie,” said a third lady.
“I used salted butter all the time and there’s no difference,” said Granny #2.
“Well, you don’t need salted butter if there’s salt somewhere else in the recipe,” huffs Granny #1.
All three of them turn to look at me, waiting to see what kind of butter I’m going to go with. Pressure makes me sweat. I grab them both. And then my phone rings (Thank you, Megan) and I left the old ladies in the dairy section while I got the hell on out of the grocery store with my 2 pounds of butter.
Geez.
Before we left, I allowed Mia to pick out some crap cookies in a fancy little box from the “Sale!” part of the store, since I wasn’t sure how my cookies would turn out. Memo to me: Check cookies before eating next time to make sure they are, indeed, cookies, and not gourmet dog biscuits.
I could give the rest of them to Noah, but that dog has eaten enough crayons to poop candles for a month. Today I came home and he had gotten into our Christmas cards–which were on our (very tall) dining room table. I’m getting out the crate today and he’s going in. No more taking 20 minutes to dog-proof the house before I leave; he’s going in and I don’t care how much he pees all over himself just to spite me. I’m crating that little bastard.
Right after I burn some more cookies.
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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

6 responses to “Baking.

  • miranda

    For the record, I’m THE baking queen and I always use salted butter unless a recipe says to use unsalted.

  • Joell

    Like Miranda, I always use salted butter. Screw the grannies. Just cause they’re old doesn’t mean they know jack. So there! LOLThe crate is your friend. 10 bucks says the dog won’t pee in it.

  • Bev

    Ditto here. I always use salted butter unless it says unsalted. It also sounds like your oven is like mine. Mine runs 10 degrees hotter than it should. So, I always lower the temp 10 degrees from whatever the recipe says. I NEVER EVER leave my house without crating my dogs. I talked with a dog trainer many years ago who said she crated her German Sheperds all day while she was at work. The only thing about that is you have to be ready to exercise them. But since you aren’t gone for long periods, your dogs should be okay.Oh…and I like what you did with the new bedrooms!!Hugs!BBB

  • barnyardmama

    Joining the rumble here to say that unsalted butter is best for baking, but I usually use whatever is on hand. Actually, I find it difficult to find unsalted butter.

  • Tiffany

    I use salted butter as well! I HAVE to tell you a story about salted/unsalted butter! TOO FUNNY to pass up. So, last year at my MIL’s for Christmas she had some butter… noticed it was Unsalted… she DOES.NOT.COOK.ANYTHING.FROM.SCRATCH! Which is totally beyond me because I grew up cooking every thing from a recipe. When she ran out of the Country Crock that she always uses for everything she had some butter in the back of the fridge. She pulled it out and noticed it said Unsalted. I told her there’s not much difference in the taste. After all, she was using it in corn… she wasn’t baking with it! Well, like always, she (I could say something else) didn’t listen to me and added a SHIT LOAD of salt to the corn… you know to overcompensate for what was missing in the butter. Needless to say NO ONE ate the corn off their plate after taking the first bite. It was so damn salty I thought I was going to immediatley swell up!I sat back and glowed like the big pregnant bitch I was! :)Yeah, I would say crate the dog. We are going to have to figure something out for our dog too. She keeps jumping our 6ft privacy fence and just recently chewed through her METAL runner! Hugs – Tiffany

  • Lorelai

    I’m late on the commenting, but I bake a ton and usually use salted. I agree unless the recipe specifically calls for unsalted. Honestly the choice is yours and based upon your taste – I don’t find there is that huge of a difference between the two.The rooms look great BTW

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