Thursday, January 20, 2011

Requiem for a Cookie Scoop

I gather today (can one person be considered a "gathering"?) to pay tribute to my cookie scoop. Hamilton Beach Model 67 Stainless. Unsure as to its exact birthdate, it nontheless performed tirelessly, scooping perfect balls of Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Molasses, Butterscotch and many other batches of cookies over the years.

Scoop. Scrape. Click. RETRACT!

This morning, halfway through a batch of Big Super-Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies, I Scooped. I Scraped. I Clicked......and.....nothing. No RETRACT! I actually had to use my thumb to RETRACT! I finished the batch of cookies with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Had my Cookie Scoop "expired"? After the last pan went in the oven, a post-mortem was performed. And then I saw it - the spring that RETRACTS after Scooping, Scraping, and Clicking had snapped. I guess all those faithful years of toil had finally taken their toll (as in Toll House). Nevertheless, I carefully washed and dried it so I could take a picture before interring it (that is, if I can actually make myself toss it in the trash!).

Then I mosied over to my computer and entered "Hamilton Beach Model 67 Stainless Cookie Scoop" into Google. Holy Cookies! My revered cookie scoop is considered "vintage" and commands upwards to $35 on ebay and other sites! Now, that sinking feeling in my stomach is growing worse, as I consider my options for replacement. While the world has made strides in all kinds of technology in many fields, there are just some things that "aren't made like they used to be." I'm hoping cookie scoops have improved with technology, but the fact that MY cookie scoop goes for $35 USED tells me that today's cookie scoops might NOT be in the "new and improved" category!

So, you may wonder WHY I'm so upset about my cookie scoop's demise? Well, being a 4-H member for 11 years and a 4-H leader for 25 years, it's so ingrained in me that my cookies have to be uniform that I don't think I could haphazardly plop cookie dough onto a cookie sheet and let them turn out small, medium, AND large! At the county fair, our cookies were judged on both taste AND uniformity and we agonized over which 4 cookies to present to the judges. And after I was too old to be a member myself, I became a judge and had to size up the entries, just like mine were scrutinized. I guess I just can't help myself - they must be all the same size and shape ;-)

I did a quick search of cookie scoop reviews and the winner appears to be OXO Good Grips so maybe I'll stop by Macy's and check them out after delivering cookies to the Olympia Fire Department today where my younger son works. Yesterday, Taco Bell received a batch, and I admonished my older son to "Be a Share-Bear" because he doesn't always want to part with any to share with the troops when I bring them in. Wish me luck in my cookie scoop quest!

And oh - the Big Super-Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies I mentioned earlier? Here's the recipe:
Big Super-Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies
(from Cook's Illustrated)

2 ½ Cups All-PurposeFlour
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Pound (2 sticks) Butter
1 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Jiff Extra-Crunchy Peanut Butter
2 Large Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Roasted Salted Peanuts, ground to breadcrumbs in a food processor (about 14 pulses)

Adjust oven rack to low center; heat to 350 degrees. Cream butter til fluffy, then add sugars and beat again until fluffy. Beat in peanut better, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Measure dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well with a whisk (or sift all together). Stir dry ingredients into butter/sugar/egg mixture. Add ground peanuts.

Drop by medium cookie scoop onto ungreased cookies sheets. Press down slightly with fork (criss-cross) or decorative glass bottom; dust with granulated sugar.

Bake 10-12 minutes (do not overbake – they will not be browned). Let cool on pans for 3-4 minutes, then move to cooling rack. Makes about 5 dozen.


Missy said...

I use the pampered chef cookie scoops, and it comes in three different sizes. I've had mine for years and love it!

Yarni Gras! said...

yum........I love me some fresh cookies! BTW, the latest Hot Mama Apron swap is posted...sign ups are for 1 week only :-)