Our Crispy Crunchy Days

I have not been running since March 2020. 

The last training run I did was on February 21. 
This hiatus was triggered by the recurrence of insomnia at the start of the lockdown, an intermittent attacks of vertigo, and an ill-timed “reconnection,” which reopened old wounds due to old habits that die hard. *eye rolls* On this account, I had to devise other means on how to burn calories in lieu of running lest my health deteriorates. 
So aside from doing DIY manly jobs, I busied myself by improving my cooking skills. My goal was a  menu overhaul of our daily meals when the confusing quarantine revisions were  imposed. 

 

I know my sons’ food preferences too well, thus I have to realize this mission (not) impossible. Well, apart from preparing novel cuisine I have finally taken baby steps in baking. For me this is a leap of faith. 

I talked about the start of this baking journey three days ago. Believe it or not, I have not stopped trying a recipe since August 11. Na-addict na ako! Hahahahaha… After the overwhelmingly positive reviews (naks!) about my banana loaf bread on August 15, I eagerly tried baking butterscotch squares on August 16. My niece Christine sent me this recipe. 
Butterscotch Squares
 
1/2 cup Butter (melted)
2 cups Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsps Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup peanuts (optional)
 
Instructions: 
 
1. Sift all the dry ingredients (Flour, Baking powder, salt).
2. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar, mix well. Add the dry ingredients, add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Grease the pan and put a paper liner. Spread to a square pan. Bake at 300°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
 
Early Sunday afternoon our kitchen was buzzing while I followed the instructions to the letter. At 3:02 pm, the batter with peanuts was prepared.
Hearing the oven timer after preheating made me too stoked! And for the second time when the bell sounded after 25 minutes, I felt a glow of achievement.
It’s baked! I let it cool before removing it from the baking dish. But… but… buuuuuuuuut…it’s stuck at the bottom! Waaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Well, I solved it at once by slicing the butterscotch into small squares while still in the dish. 
According to my two nieces my not greasing the baking dish evenly resulted to the stickiness which distorted the shape. However, the taste and crispiness was just right! It’s a reason to make me exultant and munch three pieces in one sitting. Yup, yup, yup! Patronize your own creation. Hahahahaha…
Fresh from my butterscotch little success, I spent my afternoon yesterday by baking my first chocolate chip cookies. I saw the recipe at the back of the flour packaging which I bought on August 16.
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It seemed easy to do, eh? Shhhhhhhh…This means I will not be consulting my nieces-mentors, who have been semi-professional bakers for quite sometime now. 
I bought one ingredient which I lacked, and upon my return I went to work right away. Preparation of the batter didn’t take long. My youngest son assisted in making the one-inch balls. Baking would only be for ten minutes. Ting! 
Could you spot the difference? If you could, you have a 20/20 vision and would wonder how come my cookies weren’t flat? Hahaha… That’s my query too. So, I forgot all about baking cookies from scratch. I quickly messaged Christine and Ruth. The former answered me. It’s all about the butter. I used the butter straight from the chiller. Then, she sent me this video which explained a lot.
Now with the remaining batter, I tried salvaging it by adding 3 tbsps of butter at room temperature. Of course, this advice came from Christine. On one cookie sheet pan, I made the one-inch balls while I self pressed the batter on the other.
When I saw that I still didn’t achieve my desired cookie result, I fully acknowledged the vital role of butter in cookie making. I’ll have to remember this. My consolation for this first attempt though is that the cookies taste fine. Try interviewing my sons. Ha-ha! In addition I got the texture that I prefer. They’re light and crunchy!

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