Practically perfect chocolate chip cookies, my foot!

Our oven is slowly dying. When we bought the house, the inside glass panel on the oven door had one crack that extended from the top to the bottom of the pane. After I started baking bread, I wanted to get some steam action from the oven. One day, I accidentally dripped a single drop of water onto the open door. Sizzle, sizzle, POP! another crack was added to the pane which now has a triangular shard ready to pop right out if you pressed on it.

This is all in addition to the bad prognosis that the doctor oven gave us last time he visited. The igniter died and we had it replaced. We asked him how much a new window for the door would cost and he said it would not be worth it—just replace the oven. Oh, I almost forgot, when the house was still under the ‘homeowner warranty’, the oven went on the fritz and we had to have the front control panel replaced. The oven light still bugs out on us now and then, but hey, it’s getting old.

Now we are faced with a real dilemma. Do we buy a new oven now or should we wait until we can afford a remodel. I normally wouldn’t bother replacing the oven since it isn’t completely dead yet. But we haven’t been able to bake a decent chocolate chip cookie since we moved here. We really want to say it is the oven’s fault. Then we would have an excuse to get a new oven. But the current remodel plan calls for a double wall oven and a separate gas range, so a new oven just before remodeling the kitchen would be a waste of money.

In the mean time, we have been trying very hard to isolate the problem. We have done everything we can think of to get the cookies to turn out. The problem is that they end up flat and pockmarked on the top. We have tried using butter instead of margarine. We have tried soft butter, butter straight from the fridge, different recipes, varying the cooking temperature and time, a little bit more flour, and even refrigerating the dough. Our great lengths have gone as far as asking our neighbors to use their oven. Of course, theirs was a gas oven too, so gas ovens are somewhat suspect in my head. But the cookies never seem to turn out.

One day I recall reading about some chocolate chip cookie recipe that was supposedly created and tested by Consumer Reports. I figured if it is good enough to pass their quality testing, it should work for me. I searched for this fabled recipe and found The Practically Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. I printed it out and figured we could give it a shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. As we are following the recipe, we notice that it looks somewhat familiar. Wait a minute… This is the EXACT SAME RECIPE as the Original NestlĂ© Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. The only difference was that the recipe I found was tailored for use with a stand mixer. Harrrumph! The cookies still turned out flat and pockmarked.

We are inches from making up a batch of cookie dough and taking it over to our local Standard TV and Appliance showroom and telling them that the oven that cooks the best cookie will come home with us.

In the mean time, I will just have to settle for another kind of cookie. Oddly enough, only chocolate chip cookies and lemon sugar cookies seem to be affected by our oven this way. I swear it is the oven….

Comments are closed.