Sunday, July 16, 2006

Save the "substitutes."

Yesterday I learned a very powerful lesson. The lesson will become more apparent to you as you read this entry. Actually, it will be crystal clear as soon as you read the next sentence.

Last night I made chocolate-chip cookies using Splenda instead of sugar and Smart Balance-Omega 3 instead of butter.

I'm going to chalk this attempt up to my current quest for low calorie junk foods that I don't have to feel guilty about without all the ridiculous preservatives that make it possible for Snackwell's cookies to be still viable snacking options after they've been in your pantry for 6 months or more.

Needless to say, these cookies, while they probably averaged about 150 calories less than the traditional Toll-House cookie (it should be noted that the Toll House cookie is the official state cookie of Massachussetts. Yeah, they're that good.), but they were three things that a chocolate-chip cookie simply should not be. Cakey, poofy, and smooth.

The usual remedy for the cakey/poofy thing is lower oven temperature. The lower temperature allows the cookie to spread out. Lower temp also means that you have to leave the cookies in there for a longer amount of time, which caramelizes the butter and sugar together to a certain extent, and creates the chewy texture of a perfect cookie. For these cookies, however, the lowing of the oven temperature just made the cookies less poofy - but still cakey and difficult to eat without milk. Oh - and I'm lactose intolerant. And I refuse to admit it enough to take Lactaid. I just thought that was an important point, seeing as how it stifles my cookie-eating rituals.

As for smooth - I'm blaming that on the Splenda. I'm also blaming the fake sugar flavor on the Splenda. I watched a Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? on the Style network the other day and the bride said that she was having the baker make a Splenda cake for the wedding. Good luck with that, baker. My current view is this: leave the Splenda for sweet tea and lemonade. Drink zero-calorie beverages when you're consuming full-calorie, full-fat sweets. You'll be happier.

Here's the lesson. I'm warning you - it's tres francais.
Butter and sugar rock.

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