It’s Complicated

I seem to like picking  recipes that are complicated but don’t require any actual skill. If the recipe has a few extra steps it makes me feel like I’m slightly better at baking than I actually am.  If I can use some food stuff  up in the process, all the better.

I had some scraggly oranges hanging around and knew they weren’t long for this world so I made Orange Spice Molasses Cookies. I found the recipe from Eating Well. I never post the recipes because they aren’t mine, even though I sometimes make so many substitutions they really don’t resemble the original recipe much at all.

The first of the complications was to grind some sugar and freshly grated orange peel together. Then further down I notice that a cup and a half of rolled oats must also be ground. While we have a food processor I don’t know how to use it. I do know how to use this small chopper thing I have.

Using my powers of baking deduction I realize if I grind  the oats first I don’t have to wash everything out, a slight dusting with a paper towel will do. So I switch the steps. I will do almost anything to cut down on clean-up.

I mentioned that I don’t like the putting all the dry ingredients together step so I always do it first. I like to add to the complications by sifting ( even if not called for ) and a lot of mixing. I hate when you bite into a baked good and get a big taste of baking soda or baking powder-blech.

My second least favorite thing to do with baking and which is  also strangely complicated is lining the cookie sheet with parchment paper. If specifically sized paper exists, I can never find it. I always seem to cut it a little too small so that the edges of the pan aren’t covered. I was so irritated by this today, that I went right online and used a gift card I had received for my birthday to buy a non-stick cookie sheet liner. I can hardly wait for its arrival and how much less complicated it will make my life.

The recipe called for just a yoke. This seemed strange to me since it’s a “light” kind of recipe and they usually use only the whites. Okay again it’s not my recipe, I’m sure The Eating Well people know what they’re doing.

Another reason I chose to make this recipe  was that it used applesauce and I still have lots left in that family-of-54-sized jar.

I didn’t have quite enough molasses but I decided to just use what I had and live dangerously.

It took the zest of three oranges and since I don’t like to waste I made my favorite drinks when in France an Orange Pressee   (which is just orange juice, ice, water and a little sugar.)  Although it does taste more delicious in France, it tasted pretty good drinking it over the sink.

Total count of items used before they went bad

3 oranges

1 jar of molasses

And still the applesauce taunts me with it’s “could go back at any moment” attitude.


Please notice the dusting of orange sugar on the top of the cookies. The recipe suggested brushing off the excess sugar. Ha-that’s not going to happen.

The cookies are pretty tasty and very dense. I don’t think anybody could eat too many of these, so in that way they are really good. 

About cschoenwald

I'm a writer and performer living in Southern California. I love personal essays and personal storytelling of all kinds. I also have a background in sketch-comedy and improv, so humor is very important to me too.
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