Fun holiday baking with friends turns into fiasco

December 14, 2022 — by Nidhi Mathihalli, Stephanie Sun and Minsui Tang
Photo by Minsui Tang
Although not perfect, these delicious half-burnt cookies brought us much joy.
We are on the journey to becoming Gordon Ramsay's favorite little bakers.

Nothing beats baking knockoff Crumbl cookies the night after a mentally exhausting Thanksgiving dinner with 10 different families who you don’t even know. So on Nov. 25, we decided to meet at Minsui’s house to reward ourselves with some extra large, homemade chocolate chip cookies. After all, following a baking recipe is a piece of cake for three high school seniors.

We were excited to work together to successfully mimic the famous cookies, a luxury us three have yet to experience, but we immediately ran into our first issue: Although she claimed to have brown sugar, all-purpose flour and chocolate chips, Minsui had none of them. So, we all scurried into Nidhi’s Tesla with 34 miles — a fact she didn’t fail to remind Stephanie and Minsui every 30 seconds — and completed the journey to Safeway. Even the greatest of chefs have their oops moments.

Trying to achieve absolute perfection in our budget Crumbl cookies, we had a debate on whether milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips were better. In order to appease Minsui’s incorrect opinion on milk chocolate being better than dark (it is), we decided to waste more money and get both of them, alongside other necessary ingredients, and drove back to Minsui’s house (with 25 miles left on Nidhi’s Tesla).

After finally getting to work, we shaped 22 cookie batter balls (which we later realized was incorrect, since we followed the ingredient measurements meant for 12 cookies) and placed them onto three separate cookie pans. Unfortunately, Minsui’s oddly shaped cookie pans were not properly suited to be slid cleanly into her oven. So, Nidhi and Minsui had a genius idea: tilt two of the pans so that they would both squeeze into the bottom oven rack. Satisfied with our problem solving skills, we placed the cookies in the oven. However, this turned out to be an issue in itself. 

Around 10 minutes into the cookie baking process, we sniffed the air and noticed a funny odor wafting through Minsui’s kitchen. Naturally, being the calm, rational high school seniors we are, we did NOT panic, even when we noticed that the air appeared a little foggier than usual. In fact, we didn’t do anything until we realized the smoke was emerging from the oven. 

Immediately, we realized that something was wrong and rushed to open the oven. When we pulled the two bottom trays out, we found out that tilting them led to the parchment paper catching on fire, which in turn completely burnt the bottom of all the cookies on the sheets.

But rather than wasting the cookies, Nidhi and Minsui decided to eat the tops of the cookies (which were baked enough, contrary to Stephanie’s overly skeptical opinions), while Stephanie stared in disgust. Thankfully, nine of the 22 cookies were edible — but apparently, Stephanie was not satisfied, because the cookies didn’t have that savory, Crumbl-exclusive texture that also happened to be relatively flat, crunchy-yet-oogly four-inch cookies. 

Regardless, we enjoyed our fresh-out-of-the-oven creations with a glass of milk. Although they were far from the Crumbl cookies we had envisioned, they were edible, and that’s ultimately what matters the most!

 

Overall rating (in cookies):

Stephanie’s rating: -9 out of 22

Nidhi’s rating: 123654916723457631245/10

Minsui’s rating: 10/10

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