Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Spicy aha moment


I needed to take an “interesting” cookie to a dinner. Something that would go with the orange ice the hostess was serving for desert.


In 2009 I worked in a library and a new cookbook arrived called “Cookies to Die For.” I loved looking at the beautiful images of perfect cookies, so I bought a copy for myself.

I’ve never actually baked anything from the book. But I like to look at the pictures and dream, so it’s never been donated to our local library book sale. This week I decided to find something interesting, yet doable, in the book to take with me to dinner. And I found it.

Gingerbread streusel thins.

This perfect cookie was pictured near the front of the book, a small dollop of fresh whipped cream adorning the thin, crispy square of goodness. A tasty work of art.

I was sure I could replicate it.

But it called for molasses and I’d been out for awhile. So had my local Kroger, the last few times I’d ordered my groceries for curbside pickup. Maybe I should go in and see for myself, you know how these young shoppers are, they might not even know what molasses is.

Nope. No molasses on the shelf at Kroger.

So I drove to another store and darned if they didn’t have a whole lot of it. Confusing, but not so much that I wanted to stand there and think about it. Time was short. But, wait. When was the last time I baked anything with powdered ginger. Or allspice? Better pick some up while I was at the store.

When I got home I checked the expiration date on the small tin of ginger. Hmmmm… November of 2017. Not too bad. After all, what’s 4 years among friends’ baked goods? And the allspice? December, so I’m good, right? What? What year you wonder? Well….December of 2001.

I tossed them both.

And how did the cookies turn out? Well, note there are no beautiful images of my cookie. No artfully lit square of spicy goodness. No dollops to be found.

No…my cookies turned out spongy. You might say soggy. You could probably scrape them out of the pan and into a bowl over which you could spoon the more elegant orange ice.

I took a few of them to dinner anyway, because I believe homemade cookies should always reside in the no judgement zone. Plus they tasted amazing, likely because of those fresh spices.

OK, I’ll show you my result. Not crispy. But certainly thin.

But…I felt I needed to hide the evidence of my soggy failure.

So I ate the rest.


Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

28 thoughts on “Spicy aha moment

  1. Although I’m not a big fan of gingerbread, I think your square looks quite yummy. Expiration dates on packaged items? I’m not sure I have a lot of faith in them, but I suppose that 20 year old allspice might be a bit less flavorful that you would want. I was buying my spices in the bulk section of my former grocery store and putting them in small jelly jars, so there are no expiration dates to nag at me. The store where I shop now does not have a bulk section for spices – sadness.


  2. 2017 must have been the year for spices. That was the date on two I found expired in my cabinet. But when I went to the store to buy new, I found Za’atar! Oh, I have seen so many recipes that use this spice. Cannot find a single one now…. Look for 2022 to be my next year for expired spices.


  3. Taste is ultimately what matters, but I do wonder why they weren’t crispy. Any ideas?


    • Oh yea. I’ve got ideas. Could be the extra molasses that spilled into the bowl when it glugged unexpectedly out as I was pouring it into a measuring cup. I tried to compensate by using less butter milk. But I was guessing. It could be that I might have forgotten to include the soda at all. Also I think I accidently used brown sugar instead of the granulated sugar it asked for. Most of these issues I realized as I was copying the recipe for other people…and I was thinking…granulated sugar? I don’t remember using granulated sugar? Soda? Was there SODA in this? Hmmmmm…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love gingerbread so I’m sure they tasted wonderful. My mum used to say doesn’t matter what it looks like in your stomach.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am glad you had the chutzpah to bring them anyway—good for you, Dawn!


  6. Wonder why these fancy cookbooks always picture recipes that look simple enough and turn out amazing, when sometimes, that’s far from what happens in the average kitchen? Oh, well, sometimes the yuckiest-looking outcomes taste the very best (even though you don’t want to put them on display for family and friends!)


  7. Similar experience. Yesterday I baked some lemon cookies, that turned out looking NOT AT ALL like the picture, though I followed directions explicitly. They were flat and didn’t have the ‘crackled’ look they were supposed to have with the powdered sugar they were rolled in. But they tasted wonderful and I served them with lemon sorbet. Oh yum.


  8. We rather have an ugly dog biscuit that tastes pawtastic, rather than a pretty biscuit that tasted yucky. As for cookies, dad normally sticks with his big three (chocolate chip, peanut butter and snicker doodles); rather than be adventurous.

    We won’t count the Essex-Mas Cookies.

    Dad has noticed a difference when making chocolate chip cookies. The texture and chewiness differed if he used butter or Crisco. Cookies that used butter were flatter, softer and darker. Crisco made a lighter cookie that wasn’t flat. Dad is sure margarine would give you a slightly different cookie.

    Gemini & Normandy


    • OK, hears my secret to soft and wonderful chocolate chip cookies. Half crisco, half butter, both at room temperature when mixed in with the sugar. And then, when you get to the flour add one additional heaping fork full and you will get wonderful soft chewy cookies. But if you like crispy, then don’t do that. 🙂


  9. Good to hear you took some anyway even if they are not as perfect as a book cookie…I heard once that the food is rarely actually the food in a photograph…there are “people”who make it look good to photograph:)


  10. Fun read. And I would definitely be a fan of that cookie…ooey gooey is the best!


  11. LOL! “I ate the rest.” A perfect ending. 🙂 Except that I now want cookies.


  12. Way to persevere in so many ways!!


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