Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cookies from The River Cottage Family Cookbook

Tonight, while my kids were watching Max & Ruby, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies using a recipe from The River Cottage Family Cookbook. Now, I make chocolate chip cookies a lot, and there's one recipe I'm particularly fond of (so is everyone else). I want to say it's from the July 2003 issue of Martha Stewart, and it totally rocks. But it makes a lot of cookies. This recipe, in The River Cottage Family Cookbook, promised just 12. It took about half of everything I'm used to seeing in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, and the small batch meant it could be assembled and baked quickly. I was curious. But here's the thing: Every other chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever made calls for baking soda. This one? Baking powder. I followed the recipe, and the cookies are OK, but a little cakey, and they definitely don't look like the picture. Could baking powder be baking soda in England? Does anyone know? I'm tempted to try them one more time with the soda, because it was super quick and easy.....but would that be gross? I guess since I can't ask Melissa, to whom I direct all my random cooking and baking questions because she's just too busy, there's only one thing to do. I'll report back when I make them again with the soda.

Update: I spoke to Melissa about the recipe. Apparently, baking soda is typically used to offset something "acidic, like brown sugar." OK! So brown sugar is acidic! This recipe calls for more white sugar (1/2 cup) than brown (1/3 cup). In my favorite recipe, there's more brown sugar than white, and there maybe be a 1/2 tsp each of baking powder and soda, but I have to check that. All this to say Melissa says I could "absolutely" try the same recipe with soda and see what happens. My husband thinks I should just stick with my favorite recipe, but where's the fun in that?

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