Adventures in Baking

I have  been trying to create the perfect baked confection since my tween years.  I have tried to make up recipes for cookies, cakes, brownies, bars, muffins, and breads.  Since baking is a science, and I am about as scientific as a garden gnome, I have mostly made sticky, dense blobs of flour-y dough.  Part of  the problem is that I am trying to come up with the next  low-fat masterpiece and the reality is you just can’t bake a great dessert without some good ol’ fashioned fat.  That’s right, all the stuff that the health experts are warning us to “eat in moderation”  like butter, eggs, and oil are required to make baked goods taste, well, good.  These are the ingredients that make cakes moist, give cookies chewy centers, and make a muffins light and fluffy.  I’ve learned to embrace the value of fat in baking but still want to perfect a lightened up dessert.  A while back, I posted a recipe that contained two simple ingredients: angel food cake mix and fruit preserves.  While that little cookie got my taste buds tingling, it got my brain racing trying to create a similar cookie without having to wrestle the sticky little suckers out of the pan.  I started researching angel food cake recipes and tried to concoct something that would combine the lightess of angel food and the chewiness of a good cookie. What I came up with was this:

The product of a Saturday night chocolate craving

8 egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

3/4 c. powdered sugar, divided

1/2 c. flour

1/4 c. cocoa

Glaze: 1/4 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 tbs. cocoa, 1-2 tsp. milk


Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer. Gradually add 1/4 c.  powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and 1/2 c. powdered sugar.  Gently fold flour mixture into egg white mixture. Pour into tart pan and bake at 325 degrees for 10-13 minutes.  Combine ingredients for the glaze and drizzle over cooled chocolate dessert.

Although this recipe didn’t yield the cookie that I desired, it did end up tasting like the love child of meringue cookies and sponge cake. I thought that it could have used more sugar and maybe some additional flavoring (almond extract? chocolate chips?) but the husband was adamant that this dessert was delicious as is.  I was also convinced that it tasted better the next day, but hubby assured me that the texture and flavor were consistent the first, second, third, and fourth time(!) he ate it.  I’m not saying that this recipe is perfect, but it does give me a basic batter that I can continue to tweak until I stumble across the world’s most delicious baked treat.  This one, however, still needs a name so suggestions are welcome!


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