Best Mutant Cookies Ever

What was waiting for me when I got in at 1am:

If you can’t read the note, it says: “Happy birthday!! We made you B-day cookies but mommy messed it up bad. The love is there. Mommy & Athena.”

That’s right! The secret ingredient is love! And, uh, maybe too much milk.

They still tasted excellent.

It’s nice to be home.

40 Comments on “Best Mutant Cookies Ever”

  1. 3 year old son helped make my birthday cake last week by dumping full jar of sprinkles on top. Made it nice and crunchy, but love in every bite.

    Now how about your take on the current Time magazine cover?

  2. Well, obviously, putting too much love into cookies makes them come out funny.
    Or maybe it’s too much butter that does it, I forget. But aren’t butter and love sort of the same thing?

  3. I see nothing wrong with those cookies. Cookie dough is nothing more than a binding agent that holds the chocolate chips together. It appears to be doing it’s job perfectly.

    Those looks like cookies that my wife has made on occasion. They tasted awesome and I’m sure these tasted just as good. Now I want cookies.

  4. My son gave my wife a bread-maker for her birthday. We’ve been eating fresh beer bread (which, with cheese on top, is a yeast-based triple play), cranberry-cinnamon swirl bread, and so forth. As you say: The secret ingredient is love!

  5. Looks like a delicious birthday from here! I love these posts; thanks for the warm fuzzy!

    I find some cookie recipes are finicky about whether you use butter or margarine &/or how solid the fat is when you start. My oatmeal scotchies often display similar mutations.

  6. We made cookies just like those a couple days ago! I think the secret to this particular mutation is to have a kid who thinks “cup” means any random measuring device lying around, so that you end up having half as much flour as the recipe calls for.

  7. I’m with A.J. Bobo on this one – the dough is secondary to the chocolate…and the love, of course :)

  8. It’s my B-day soon, and my 3-year-old loves to cook with his mommy. Looking forward to what awaits me when I come home from work that day!

  9. I’m told this is due to using all purpose flour, which doesn’t have enough gluten in it. The gluten fibers are what hold the dough together so it makes a cookie instead of a pancake. You can apparently add a tablespoon or two of water to the flour before you start so that gluten chains form. Just mix the water in thoroughly and let that sit for a bit before mixing in the rest of the ingredients. A little added salt will also protect the glutens while baking.

  10. @Eeyore- I don’t think I’ve ever made cookies with anything but all purpose flour, yet most (not to say I haven’t had a few fiascoes) of my cookies come out looking and tasting just like they’re supposed to.

    My guess would be a) too little flour, or b) dough was too warm when it went in the oven, it needs to be cold when it goes in or cookies will spread too much (this would be my prime suspect).

    At any rate, technical analysis not so important, I bet they still taste like delicious delicious love!

  11. You have such a lovely family. It makes me smile to see posts like these. On a side note, they do sort of look like a culinary rendition of the Olympic rings, so maybe they are saying you are a world-class guy. Subliminally, at least.

  12. As we’ve learned from all those flavorless tomatoes that look beautiful, appearance in food is vastly overrated.

    I’m sure there’s a deeper life lesson in there somewhere.

  13. Happy Richard P. Feynman’s birthday. As if by synchronicity, this morning I completed (53,750 words) my 13th novel manuscript of the past 2 years, Topology of Terror, which stars an alternate world haumaturge/Professor Richard Feynman, bopping to a 17 against 19 beat on his bongo drums whose drumskins were woolly mammoth. Freeman Dyson gave me permission for him to appear as Feynman’s friend and colleague (as in life), and John R. Gribbin (born 1946) is considering writing an intro or preface, as he, British science writer, and astrophysicist, coauthored with his wife a biography of Feynman. Quantum dots as chocolate chips.

  14. Darn! Now I have to bake cookies to satisfy my visually suggested craving.

    Your daughter is smart to be the note writer; she who writes the history books…

    @ Jennifer Davis Ewing

    “Your stomach doesn’t know the difference!”

    Your stomach doesn’t have to taste it.

  15. I learned from Julia – never admit defeat in the kitchen! That is the way these cookies were supposed to turn out! Stick to your guns.

  16. I’ve made cookies like that before…

    My dad, who is a baker, said it was because I used salted sweet cream butter along with the 1t. of salt that the recipe called for. He said I should have used unsalted butter or if I didn’t have any, omit the 1t. of salt.

  17. !!!

    My mom used to make chocolate chip cookies that came out looking JUST LIKE THAT!

    Man… I loved those cookies. They looked weird, but they were Mom’s.

  18. I like Adrienne’s suggestion of warm dough. I’ve also made batches of cookies like that after over-creaming the butter. If you over-cream the butter, you incorporate too many air bubbles, which causes too much leavening action, which yields cookies that puff up and spread a ton, then collapse under their own weight.

  19. Am I the only one whose first thought was “Hey, that’s an awesome Flying Spaghetti Monster Cookie!” Maybe their mistake was merely touched by his noodly appendage.

  20. To be both visually entertaining and delicious- what more could you ask from a food? Happy (belated) Birthday!

  21. Happy birthday, sir. And anything made (or done) with love is awesome for a birthday ….

  22. First of all, those cookies look really tasty to me. Thin and gooey can be just about the perfect combination as far as I’m concerned.

    Second of all, I think it’s hilarious how Athena threw Mom under the bus as far as how the cookies turned out.

    Third, I could definitely use a cookie right now. Going to the kitchen now….

  23. This cookie story seems to me to be the flip side of the Schadenfreude Pie episode:

    >Athena and Mommy mix the cookie ingredients while awaiting the homecoming of their loved one.

    > Sure, it’s a cookie leavened (somewhat) by the loving goodness of women, but how does it taste?

    >Excellent! And now, let us compose a note conveying our happy birthday wishes, if you please.

    >Joy at the good fortune of others — and a cookie! Truly, the best of all possible worlds.

  24. That sometimes happens if the recipe calls for margarine & you substitute butter. Or put in too much of whatever shortening. Or bake a dough that is supposed to be chilled first from room temperature.

  25. Back in the glorious Summer of 2000, I worked at a cookie shop, where we had to bake 1000 chocolate chip cookies for the local fair. Sometimes, a chunk of butter wouldn’t get mixed in all the way, and would explode all over the other cookies. I was forced to take these tragically flawed, butter-soaked cookies home with me to eat with all the ice cream my roommate brought home from her job at the local handmade ice cream shop.

  26. I live in Denver, and these cookies happen often here at high altitudes. The solution is an increase in the amount of flour you use, so I suspect there was a deficit of flour in the recipe as well.

    And yet, these are the kind of cookies my wife likes best, so I rarely “correct” for our altitude.

  27. We’ve been missing the point.
    flat cookies, too much salt, to little butter yada, yada, yada,

    They left you cookies for you to find when you got home at 1 AM! It doesn’t matter in the least how they came out, they were there.

    You are blessed sir. And I know that you know it.

    Happy birthday John, if you decide that you are now “middle aged” you’ll make it to 86. Not a bad run but you don’t have to call it now.
    I’m 54 at the end of the month. I am middle aged and working toward 108. It’s the only way to look at it.

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