I’ve had a hankering to try out this Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar recipe from Martha Stewart for a while now. I even linked to it in a quick linky love post on Saturday. I figured I would convert the recipe to metric measurements and more Australian ingredients and share my version of the recipe with you today, complete with some gorgeous photos. As an added bonus I’d also have something for lunch boxes this week.
It all sounded perfectly reasonable, but sometimes this whole cooking caper is not as easy as it seems!
Late yesterday afternoon I googled how much a stick of butter weighed, and decided I could just use self raising flour in place of the flour, baking soda etc, and that is possibly where it all started to go wrong…
Here is my version of the recipe.
Cherry Choc-Chip Failure Cookie Bar Recipe
340 grams of softened butter
4 cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small packet of choclate chips (around 300grams)
1 packet of glace cherries, chopped.
First things first… I fired up the conversion app on my phone and figure out to preheat the oven to 180… this was going to be a cinch.
The butter conversion calculator told me that 3 sticks of butter was 340 grams… that’s a lot of butter and that alone should have been a sign that this was going to make a LOT of cookie bars, but I kind of missed that. By the time I was adding the sugar and whipping it up with my beaters I realised that the bowl I was working in was woefully too small for this large recipe, but I pushed on regardless.
When Morgan asked to crack the eggs into the mix I handed them over. We’d made a LOT of quiches over the summer and his egg cracking skills had greatly improved. The first one went in, no problem. The second one kind of exploded between his fingers with half the egg going in and half all over the floor. Oh well… never mind… I’ll just chuck in an extra egg.
Eggs in and mixed well, add the vanilla and then the flour. By this stage the inadequate bowl was making things rather tricky as we tried to mix in the four cups of flour, the choc chips and the cherries. After working up a huge bicep on mixing arm and losing a large amount of dough to the bench and the flour we were finally ready to put it into a tray.
I got out the builders measure tape with both centimeters and inches and measured up some of our baking trays. I was rocking this conversion thing!
Now I’m not exactly sure what a ’12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet’ is… but none of our trays were quite big enough, no problem, near enough is good enough right? The ‘bars’ would just be a little chunkier.
Into the oven… timer on for 20 minutes and off I went.
When I came back and cracked open the oven I realised things were not quite going to plan… The mix had risen, A LOT! It was all but spilling out over the edge of my tray. Damn.
Still I turned it round and left it to cook for the last 20 minutes… it’d be ok. But as the oven timer beeped and I lifted the tray out of the oven and left it to cool, I realised things were probably not ok.
The edge of the cake/slice/giant cookie had risen and browned way too much, yet the middle sunk as soon as I took it out of the oven.
As I tried to lift it gently from the tray onto the board to cut it, the damn thing split down the middle and I could see that while the edges were dry and over cooked, the middle looked decidedly like raw cookie dough. Crap.
So what went wrong?
For starters this makes a LOT of mixture, I should have used a bigger bowl, or better yet, made half the quantity, that would have solved my not big enough tray problem too. The extra egg was probably not the best idea, neither was using all self raising flour… possibly changing on of the cups to plain flour might have helped?
Perhaps a lower oven temp (as well as the right sized tray or less mixture) would have helped the crispy outer, uncooked, sunken inner problem…. maybe?
And I really shouldn’t have attempted to cook anything while also making dinner and dealing with a sick and miserable toddler.
But all’s well that ends well. I managed to salvage a little of the slice to go in lunch boxes, the kids ate the gooey broken bits with a spoon for dessert and I still had something to blog about!
Want to make me feel better about my cooking failure and share one of yours?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Nina Downes says
“And I still had something to blog about” – that made me laugh!!! Hate it when baking doesn’t go to plan – and I have learnt the hard way to never attempt baking while cooking, serving and monitoring the food intake of a baby and toddler. Either the baking does’t end well or your floor ends up looking like the children’s plates while your back is turned!
Jo @Countrylifeexperiment says
I once tried to double a recipe and some how put 12 times the sugar in! It hurt my teeth to eat and even the chickens didn’t touch it!!!
Mandy Newton says
I hate converting things from US imperial to metric. It has been hard for me moving from the US and having all my imperial recipes, then trying to figure out how many grams are in a ‘stick’ of butter (125g for those of you who are curious). Of course, the list goes on and on, so now I keep a table of measurement conversions on my fridge! I think your main problem with the rising on the outside and being uncooked in the middle had to do with using self rising flour. Self rising flour has baking powder mixed in it to make it rise. The original recipe called for plain (all purpose) flour plus baking soda. Baking soda doesn’t rise as much as baking powder. The extra egg would have also added to the rising problem. The other thing that I have found between US and Australian recipes is baking temps. Most US recipes list the baking temp for a regular oven, not fan forced. If you are using a fan forced oven you should lower the temp by about 25C. It might also help to bake it in two smaller pans instead of one big one next time. That is, if there will be a next time! :D I hope this helps!
Just as a side note, I love cooking recipes from the Martha Stewart website! Especially the recipes from her Everyday Food Magazine. They are so easy, quick and delicious!
Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky says
It’s so sad when you put effort into something and it doesn’t turn out. Luckily this attempt looks very much still edible, just not as pretty as it might have been :)
I spent a morning on a savoury slice last week and it went so pear shaped. It was beyond saving!
haha love reading about other peoples cooking failures!! because i have them regularly and it makes me feel better hehe..the other day me and the kids made biscuits..it wasnt until they tasted the mixture and started spitting it out that i realised i had put a cup of salt in instead of sugar!!
Nat - Muddy Farmwife says
Thank good ness I’m not the only one. It once took me four goes to make a chocolate cake to use for the base of the birthday cake, one sank, one cracked clear in half and I burnt the third one, attempt four was a packet cake!
I love a successful failure!
Perhaps you could make up the whole mixture and freeze halve ready for a future week. That’s what I do with biscuit recipes.
Glad the kids still enjoyed it and it didn’t go to waste.
Granma Jill says
Gran Nan’s definition of a “flop” was if it didn’t get eaten – and she included the dog!
She NEVER had a “flop” (cooking failure).