Spread the Word, Not the Cookie! June 14, 2010

My food presentation and photography skills leave much to be desired.  You’ll probably agree with me after you see this picture:

chocolate chip cookies

Let’s forget about my photography skills in the meantime and focus instead on the cookies.


I was never a cookie lover in my younger days and not once did I feel the urge to make them.  I didn’t grow up like most 5 or 6 year olds who say, "mummy, mummy, can I help you make cookies", and then they turn the kitchen into a war zone when they’re done.  No, the kitchen was not a place to hang out.  When my mother would start puttering about with her pots and pans, I’d run away and hide, fearful that she’d ask me to help her. 


But people change.  Here I am – 4 decades later – discovering the joys of the kitchen.  And these cookies – I lust after them.  These are the only cookies that stir my five senses and sensuality.  A carnal affection – if we can say that about cookies. 


I have made them four times now.  They’re called – rather simply – chocolate oat cookies.  The first three times I made them, they exhibited "cookie spread" disease.  I would start with small mounds of cookie batter on the sheet, and exactly 9 minutes later end up with huge flat pancakes.  No matter though, they were still delicious, soft and chewy, and…un-sugary.  The best cookies I’ve ever had – that’s why I don’t buy the commercial variety anymore.  These are top of the line, folks.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I’d give taste and texture a 12!


Back to cookie spread – before I made them last week, I was curious about how to prevent them from spreading.  I did a quick search on the Net and learned that there are at least 4 ways you can avoid cookie spread:

  • use less butter and more shortening
  • use less baking soda
  • add more flour (as much as 2 tbsp more than what the recipe calls for)
  • refrigerate them before baking (some said 15 minutes, some said half an hour and still others suggested an hour)

I like butter in baked foods so the first option was out.  I don’t buy shortening either.  I chose option # 4:  refrigeration.  I scooped individual mounds onto the cookie sheet, covered them with aluminum foil and then put them in the fridge for 45 minutes.  I took them out just as I was starting to pre-heat the oven.  I said to myself, if this will prevent the cookies from spreading, that’s good but…will I lose that delicious taste and texture?


Result:  it worked!  The cookies did not spread out – not even by a millimeter. And the best part – they had the same delicious flavor!


I’m not going to post the recipe – not because it’s a secret.  But I’m sure you all have a dearly beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe in your stash. Either grandma or the village baker gave it to you, or you clipped it from the back of a product label.  Chocolate chip cookie recipes are a-plenty.  I have no doubt that each baker believes his or hers is the BEST.  Posting a chocolate chip recipe here would be like blogging about something inane, talking about something that everyone has read umpteen times.  This is why even if I say these cookies are the "mostest", the best of the best, and the kind that the devil would try to snatch away from the angels, I know that you would say the same thing about your recipe.  But if you’ve been won over by my sales upmanship and you want it, just ask.  Email me at


These chocolate oat cookies practically melt in your mouth and they don’t clog your throat with sugar.  I think I’ll make extras next time and give them away.  Once they wake up your taste buds, you won’t want the supermarket kind…ever again.


First trivia:  Ruth Graves Wakefield was the accidental inventor of chocolate chip cookies.  Ever heard of Toll House cookies? 

Second trivia:  in 2001, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania declared the chocolate chip cookie as its official cookie.


One Response to “Spread the Word, Not the Cookie!”

  1. Darlene Says:

    One thing I learned about food photography that sometimes works: always try to use as much natural sunlight as possible. I love cookies but fail at making them so often. Great hints!

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