Substitution Revelation

No chip! These are good.

No chip! These are good.

Sunday night we had a hankering for some homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Never mind that it was warm outside and I’d be in front of the oven instead of outside watching people flip their rafts in the Animas River — a spectator sport.  Never mind that my one hour of kayaking would surely not negate the caloric intake of the cookies.  And, never mind that I had no high altitude baking directions or brown sugar in the house.  Never minds be damned — we wanted some cookies!

As our bevy of kitchen wares still remain cupboard-less, I am quite familiar with all of the contents laying around, especially all the pickles and random rices.  Having a missing ingredient requires some innovation, so I thought hard about what I could use to make some sort of brown sugar substitute without actually having to go to the store; nothing ruins a craving faster than having to go shopping.  I remembered seeing molasses around, so I thought, heck I’ll just add that to the white sugar and make it brown.  This tactic could either be a waste of a stick of butter, or at the very least, create something that could satisfy a momentary craving.

Holy (chocolate) chip did I discover the secret to amazing cookies!  It is molasses, my friends.  No chip, I had no idea what the cookies were going to taste like, and after I threw away the dough and popped them into the oven, I actually tasted the mixture and was happily surprised.  (I so often get wrapped up in the process of making and baking that I forget to taste my food until it is done.)  Once out of the oven, I was again very pleased that the good flavor was still there.  There is just something different about them and they are sweet, but not overly so.

Sometimes you have just got to try it out and see what happens — in life, and in cooking.  I have made some strange concoctions while experimenting, but I’ve also made some incredible discoveries — molasses in cookies and chipotles with corn or squash being two of the more useful.  For those creations that turned out strange, I’ve found that sour cream and hot sauce can make almost anything palatable.  Lesson revisited: you never know if something will work or not unless you try; you just have to try.

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