Monday, January 24, 2011

the Egg Issue

Oatmeal cookies are my favorite cookie. Growing up, I used to make them as bar cookies by pressing the cookie dough into a cookie sheet. This is one of my mom's favorite shortcuts. She did it not only with cookies but with muffins too. Muffins were always square growing up and rarely made in muffin cups.

But now I can make round cookies. I am an adult. I can do what I want.

Yes, oatmeal is my favorite. Oatmeal Raisin, to be precise. I imagine some of you may gasp at the lack of chocolate in my favorite cookie. It seems that most people are of the opinion that chocolate chip cookies are the best. These people have somehow been lead astray.

Whenever I make oatmeal cookies, I invariably want to "consume mass quantities." (name that flick! My parents quoted this movie for years..and still do.) For this reason, I try to make a smaller batch. But one always runs up against the Egg Issue. I recently made this recipe. (Though I hardly ever make cookies anymore..)

the Egg Issue: a problem arising when only a fractional amount of any given recipe is made and the number of eggs resulting is not a whole number

How does one deal with the Egg Issue? In the recipe I made lately, it calls for 2 eggs. Thus I halved the recipe, but there were still too many cookies. What do I do if I want to make only a fourth of the recipe? How do I get half an egg? Do I just round up and use a whole egg anyway? Do I toss the extra egg bit?

My opinion is that rounding up to a whole egg is a bad idea. Extra egg white is like extra baking powder--it could make the cookie rise too much and be cakey. One solution would be to just mix an egg and use only half of it. Then you could freeze the rest or toss it. Or you could save it for an omelet or scrambled eggs the next morning. If you feel lazy, it is better to sacrifice half an egg then be tempted by too many cookies, in my opinion anyway.


Rachel said...

I love that just last night I was craving cookies and made some, but to avoid overeating I also made only half a batch, which meant 1/2 an egg. I simply cracked the egg, and in a very messy experiment somehow got have in the dough. Like the process of getting the yolk out, where you pass it back and forth between halves of the shell. It was rather exciting. And turned out well.

Jennie said...

Liquid eggs are good for this (in the refrigerated section at the store, in a milk-box like container) - - 1/4 cup equals one egg so it's super easy to just add 1/8 cup instead. Although if you don't use liquid eggs on a regular basis it's not really worth it to buy for the convenience of halving a cookie recipe. :)

Rebecca said...

Stir the egg and add a pinch (1/16 t.) of salt or sugar to the leftover half. Freeze in a sandwich bag, and you have half an egg for the next craving. Frozen eggs work well in baked goods, but you must remember the salt/sugar for good results. I froze dozens of eggs in West Bountiful during laying season, and used every one for baking. Little did you know . . .

kathie said...

we cook up the extra as a snack for our dogs.

MommaMcCarthy said...

i've started freezing extra cookie dough in the ball shapes. just drop them like you would normally, put the cookie sheet in the freezer, and after a couple of hours, take them off the cookie sheet and stick them in a quart plastic baggie. Then, next time you want cookies, but don't want to over-indulge, just pull out and bake only 2! :) egg problem solved :)

So long, and thanks for all the fish.