butternut squash cookies

butternut squash cookies

Used an online recipe for peanut butter cookies substituting roasted butternut squash for the peanut butter, uncertain how that would work considering peanut butter has oil lacking in butternut squash, and conversely, butternut squash has water lacking in peanut butter. That ought to throw off the chemistry significantly, don'tcha think?

My mixture seemed way too fluffy, but it tasted great. I filled the coffee grinder with oat meal and processed to dust. Added the oatmeal dust to the mixture. Still too fluffy. Filled the coffee grinder again with oatmeal and processed to dust. Added. Still fluffy. That amounted to a little over a cup of oatmeal powder on top of the dry ingredients the recipe called for, so I'm wandering way off the reservation. Still, the mixture tasted wonderful.

Chilled the mixture.

I imagined the cookies would flatten as they baked liked those other cookies did, so for the first batch I dropped a teaspoon full without smashing them. They hardly flattened at all. The second batch I flattened with a fork in crosshatch pattern as done with peanut butter cookies. The fork kept sticking no matter how much I dipped it in flour or sugar or both. So the third batch I rolled into balls and dropped in the sugar, coated entirely with raw sugar then flattened with my fingers. That worked best with this heavily oatmealenated but still fluffy cookie mixture.

I'm beginning to believe there's something to this whole measuring thing. Seems to me a small amount of change can result in a giant difference in outcome. Take eggs for example. The original recipe calls for one egg but makes no mention of size. I use jumbo eggs because I think they're cool. But doubling the recipe doubles the jumbo eggs. That's a lot of eggs. Better to know the weight of egg the recipe is looking for then go by that. The whole thing would be so much more certain. Maybe that'll be my next thing: measuring stuff, keeping records, sticking with the program. I don't know. It sounds so not like me.

Whatev. The cookies are delicious.

2.5 Cups flour (I used low-protein cake flour because I was out of A/P flour
1 tsp. salt (I used 1/5 teaspoons kosher salt flakes)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Cup shortening (I used Crisco)
1 Cup roasted butternut squash (mine was frozen then thawed)
1 Cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 Cup brown sugar (See? this is a lot of sugar. I backed off a little from both kinds
1 tsp vanilla (Pffffft. This is ridiculous, I never use less than one tablespoon. It's against my religion. It's right there in the Bible where God tells Lot to tell Edith to spareth not the vanilla. *looks up * Wut? )

Bake @ 375℉ for 10 minutes (mine were on second to top rack and baked 8 minutes)


jaed said...

You could really go geek with the baking-measuring thing and use weight measurements instead of volume. That can be fun, in an anal sort of way. (And you're already a bread baker.)

Chip Ahoy said...

That's a good idea.

I have a scale but I need to get a better one. I don't trust the one I have. Plus a portion of one of the numbers doesn't shine so sometimes I have to guess what it's reading. And also it wasn't switching back and forth between grams and ounces like it's supposed to.

I do use it sometimes, but honestly, when it comes to bread I get totally confused when they talk about percentages. If you can believe it, bakers calculate it differently, and you'd think mathematics would be straightforward. Ed Wood (Classic Sourdough) describes a different % calculation than Daniel Wing and Alan Scott (The Bread Builders) And that's not fair! In the end they all say, adjust as necessary to achieve blah blah blah, even so much as a few cups of flour! So you're right back to square one on guessing. But then, Heston Blumenthal measures every little thing right down to the .5 gram and times everything to the minute. But even his descriptions of percentages make no sense whatsoever. And I got an A in math, dadgumit.

jaed said...

I've never done baker's percentages myself so I didn't know the different authors aren't consistent. I am a lazy bread-baker, barely a bread-baker at all (I use... looking around anxiously... a bread machine. Ack. Scandal.). And I just look at the dough, really. Looks a little dry [throw in some liquid]... hmmm, looks too loose [toss in some flour].

I expect they're useful mostly for getting a consistent result without having to muck around too much with the adjustments. Assuming the weather is constant, which it isn't. But it does seem satisfyingly geeky. The sort of thing that you figure you should be wearing a white lab coat instead of an apron.

Chip Ahoy said...

Jaed, it makes sense to weigh flour especially when you're using 6 or 7 cups, the weight can make a big difference. The thing is though, it depends so much on various odd things like the moisture in the flour itself. I think working in Denver makes a big difference because it's so incredibly dry. Flour stored here is virtually devoid of moisture and so weighs less so going by somebody else's weights I could end up using a lot more -- A LOT more. I find myself using a lot more water than what directions call for. Then on a rainy day, all bets are off and previous measurements are irrelevant. In the end I must depend on what it feels like.

I could see if I ran a restaurant how perfectly reliably consistent results would be paramount, but as it is, it's just me. I couldn't duplicate a recipe if I wanted to.

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