Becca's Cookie Catastrophe

Reads: 72  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic


What could be better than eating Grandma's chocolate chip cookies? Learning to bake your own! But learning new skills can be tricky. Find out what happens when Becca tries to make cookies just like
her Grandma's...but doesn't quite get it right away.

Submitted: July 30, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 30, 2018

A A A

A A A


Who likes chocolate chip cookies?  I sure do and I’ve got a great recipe, too!  But sometimes, I don’t like to follow the directions exactly.  I like to experiment, but when I do, do you know what always happens?  My cookies just don’t turn out the same.  They are never as good!  I think I’m a pretty good cook, but I have never been able to improve on my Grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.
 
It’s fun to experiment and try new things, but sometimes the only way to get the best results is to follow the directions.  Like most people, I don’t always like to follow the directions; the truth is, I don’t always like to do what I’m told.  I bet you’re never like that.  Oh, who am I kidding…we’re all like that at times.  This is a story about someone just like you and me, who learned the importance of following directions.
 
Becca opened the door to her grandmother’s house.  She was greeted by the delicious smell of freshly baked cookies.  She loved going to Grandma’s after school, and even more so when there was a treat fresh from the oven waiting for her.
 
Grandma was busily cleaning up dishes when Becca came into the kitchen.  She gave her grandmother a gigantic hug.  “Oh, Grandma, you baked my favourite—chocolate chip cookies!”
 
Grandma laughed as she hugged her back, “Well, I knew my favourite granddaughter was going to be coming over today.”
 
“Oh, Grandma, I’m your only granddaughter!”  They laughed together and Grandma held out the plate of cookies to Becca; she chose the biggest one she could find.  She took a huge bite and felt the cookie melt in her mouth.  “No one makes better cookies than you, Grandma,” she beamed.
 
Just then, Becca heard a car door slam, followed by steps on the driveway.  Her mother had come early to pick her up.  “Hello, Mother,” Becca’s mom called as she came in the door.  “I got off work a little early today, so I thought I would come over and pick Becca up now.”
 
“Oh, Mom, do we have to go?” Becca was disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to have any more of Grandma’s cookies.
 
“Sorry, Sweetie, but I’ve got homework tonight,” her mother said.  Homework was what her mom called paperwork from the real estate office that had to be completed in the evenings. “And I’m certain I’m not the only one either,” Becca’s mother looked knowingly at her.
 
Becca persisted, “But I just got here.  Grandma and I haven’t even had a chance to visit yet.”
 
“Or eat more than one cookie,” her grandma teased.  “Wait here just one second.”  Becca’s Grandma took down her recipe box, flipped though it for a moment, then pulled out a card.  She handed the recipe card to Becca, who read the top line—Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.
“This recipe is one of my family’s favourites and I think it’s time I passed it onto you.  Now you can make my cookies, too, when you get home,” her grandmother winked.
 
Becca’s eyes grew wide.  “Can I, Mom?” she asked.
 
Becca’s mother hesitated for just a second, exchanged a quick look with her mother, then quickly decided, “Well…why not?  You’ve helped me with baking often enough, and now that you’re nine-years-old, you should be able to follow the directions by yourself.”
 
Becca forgot all about eating anymore of her grandmother’s cookies.  She was going to get the chance to make her own!  She hurried to put her coat on.  Now, she couldn’t wait to get home.  This was going to be so much fun!  Becca quickly hugged her grandmother good-bye before running out the door.  She jumped into the car and waited impatiently for her mother to drive them home.
 
Once in the driveway, Becca rushed out of the car, into the house and straight to the kitchen to start working.  She was so excited to begin that she even forgot to wash her hands before starting, until her mother reminded her.  “No one wants to eat germy cookies,” her mother teased. 
 
One of the most important things to remember when handling food is cleanliness--so always begin with clean hands, counters and dishes!
 
Oops!  Becca quickly took off to the bathroom to wash her hands and was back to the kitchen in a flash.  She quickly read over the recipe card then began to gather everything she would need—bowls and spoons, whisk and pans, and of course all the ingredients.  She remembered to set the oven temperature before she started to mix all the ingredients together—that way, the oven would be heated properly by the time the cookies were ready to be baked.
 
In her largest bowl, she creamed the margarine, shortening and sugars together.  Becca then carefully cracked open two eggs and, after beating them, added them to the mixture.  She filled a teaspoon full of vanilla and emptied it into the bowl, followed by a second.  She had to be careful not to slop any out of the bowl as she mixed all the wet ingredients together.
 
Baking hint: If you ever have a small piece of egg shell drop into your mixture, the easiest way to retrieve it  is to use  a larger piece of shell to scoop it out—it works better than a spoon every time!
 
In a second bowl, she carefully measured out the flour and salt.  Already, she was daydreaming about how yummy her cookies were going to taste.  If she followed Grandma’s recipe exactly, her cookies would taste as good as her grandmother’s did.  She carefully blended the mixtures from both bowls together.
 
By mixing the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately before mixing them altogether, you ensure that all the ingredients will be evenly distributed throughout the mixture with less chance of lumps.  Also, less mixing means less work.
 
It was then time for the best part—the chocolate chips.  Becca loved Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies because they were so chocolaty.  The recipe called for so many chocolate chips, it was hard to stir them all into the batter.
 
Once the dough was ready, it was time to drop small amounts onto the cookie sheet.  Becca carefully greased the baking sheet with margarine. 
 
Greasing your cookie sheet beforehand keeps the cookies from sticking to your baking pan. 
 
As she worked, something caught her eye.  There was a little container on the back of the counter.  Had she forgotten to put something in?  Becca quickly read the box and then reread the recipe.  “Oh, no!” she groaned.  She had forgotten to add the baking soda.  “What should I do?  Should I try adding the baking soda to the batter now or is it too late?” she wondered.  Had she ruined her cookies before she even had a chance to bake them? 
 
She decided to taste the cookie dough.  It tasted fine.  She wondered what the baking soda was for.  Becca decided to taste a little bit before she made her final decision.  She dipped her finger into the white powder and then touched it to her tongue.  “That’s gross!” she sputtered.  It tasted awful!  Why would her grandmother put something so bad tasting into cookies?
 
That’s a great question!  Why would you put something yucky tasting into something that is supposed to taste good?  Not so sure that baking soda is as bad tasting as Becca thought?  Why not try some yourself; you probably have some in your house.  You be the judge!
 
She quickly ran to get a glass of water to rinse her mouth.  After she finished her drink, and with the aftertaste of the baking soda still in her mouth, Becca had a brilliant idea.  If Grandma’s cookies could taste so good with that awful stuff in them, just imagine how good they would be without it.  Becca forgot all about the taste of baking soda in her mouth as her excitement grew.  Maybe she could bake a better batch of cookies than Grandma!
 
She spooned the cookie dough onto her greased baking sheet and then pressed down each mound with a fork as she had been taught. 
 
This is very important to make certain that cookies bake evenly--half-baked cookies just aren't as tasty.
 
When she was done, she placed the cookie sheet into the oven and set the timer for eight minutes.  She put away all the ingredients, set the dirty dishes in the sink and wiped down all the counters.  Becca knew that her mom trusted her to be responsible and she didn’t want to let her down.  Her mouth watered as she thought about eating her cookies—cookies that would be even better than her grandmother’s. 
 
When the timer went off, Becca ran to the stove, pulled on her oven mitts and yanked open the door.
 
When Whening around a hot oven it is important to remember to be safe—always use oven mitts and be extra careful to keep skin and clothes away from hot surfaces.
 
Her excitement was replaced by surprise.  Her cookies didn’t look like Grandma’s cookies at all.  They were rather small, flat and doughy looking.  She tried not to be disappointed—after all, the best part of a cookie was how it smelt and tasted, not how it looked.  Even though her cookies did not look as nice as Grandma’s, they still smelled great.
 
Before they even had a chance to cool, Becca carefully lifted a cookie off the baking sheet with a spatula, set it on a plate and took it upstairs to where her mother was working in her office.  Becca knew her mother liked cookies best when they were still warm from the oven.  “Mom, try one of my cookies!”  Becca said excitedly, thrusting the plate towards her mother.
 
“Mmmm, it tastes good,” her mother said after taking a bite.  Then, before Becca could respond, added “but, are you sure you followed the directions exactly the way your grandmother wrote them down?”
 
Becca shrugged her shoulders sheepishly.  “Well, not exactly,” she confessed.  “I forgot to add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, but didn’t notice until I had mixed everything else together—by that time it was too late.”
 
Her mother nodded.  “Yes, it might not have mixed in very well then.”
 
“Mom, why do Grandma’s cookies even have baking soda?  It tastes so gross!”  Becca exclaimed.
 
“Well,” answered Becca’s mother thoughtfully, “it’s the reason why your cookies didn’t turn out like Grandma’s?The baking soda is what helps the cookies rise and get bigger; as they bake, the cookies can then turn a nice golden brown colour.”
 
“Oh,” said Becca, “then that’s why mine turned out so small and greyish.”  Then Becca brightened.  “Mom, could I try to bake another batch?” she asked.  “I’ll be extra careful not to forget anything this time.  And because we already have one batch, I can take the new batch to school to share with my class.”
 
Becca’s mother considered encouraging her to wait for another day, but after one look at the pleading face of her daughter agreed to let her try again.  This time, Becca was determined not to forget the baking soda.  In fact, she thought she might have discovered the secret to making the best and tastiest cookies imaginable.  Her first batch of cookies had come out small and doughy because she had not added baking soda to the recipe.  It stood to reason then, that if she added extra baking soda to her next batch of cookies, they would turn out extra big and extra fluffy. 
 
Now, just stop for a moment.  Think about Becca's decision.  Does it make sense?  It would mean not following the directions again.  Is there anyway that her experiement could go wrong? 
 
Becca began again.  She turned on the oven, and gathered all the dishes and ingredients she would need to make her new and improved batch of cookies.  When it came time to add the baking soda, Becca added one teaspoon just like the recipe called for—and then added six more.  She could not wait to see the look of surprise on her mother’s face when she brought her one of her cookies to try.  Once again Becca spooned the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, flattened each lump with a fork and then set them in the oven to bake.
 
When the timer went off telling her they were done, Becca could barely contain her excitement.  She pulled open the door of the oven and a huge smile leapt across her face.  These new cookies were huge and looked absolutely delicious.  She once again set one on a plate and dashed upstairs to give her mother the honour of taking the first bite.  Becca’s mother openly admired her cookie.  It looked perfect—it had lots of chocolate chips, and was extra big and fluffy.  Becca could not wait for her mother to try the first bite and pushed the plate towards her.  Her mother picked up the cookie and took a bite, but after a few moments of chewing had a hard time controlling her expression.  “Becca, did you follow the recipe exactly the way Grandma had it written down?” her mother asked.
 
Becca proudly shook her head.  “No.  I made it better!”
 
Swallowing hard, her mother grabbed for her cup of coffee and took a couple of gulps.  She then asked Becca, “Have you tried one of these better cookies?”  When Becca shook her head that she hadn’t, her mother offered Becca the rest of hers.
 
Never thinking that something might be wrong, Becca took a big bite.  At first, all she tasted was the sweet chocolate chips.  Then she tasted it—the familiar, awful taste of baking soda.  Her second batch of cookies that had looked so good, tasted horrible.  Her plan had backfired!  Her cookies were a catastrophe. 
 
“Oh, why didn’t I follow the directions?” she chided herself.  Her first failed attempt at making cookies had been an honest mistake—pure and simple.  However, the second batch of cookies, which had looked and smelled so good, tasted terrible.  There was no one to blame but herself.  Worse yet, her mother would never trust her to bake cookies by herself ever again!
 
She could feel tears beginning to prick at her eyes.  She felt so stupid.  Becca’s mother pushed her chair back from her desk and patted her lap.  As Becca sat down, her mother gave her a big hug.  After a couple of moments had passed, Becca’s mother lifted up her face and helped dry her eyes.  “How would you like to try again?” she asked.
 
“Try what again?” Becca asked somewhat confused.
 
“Try making another batch of cookies?” her mother smiled at her.
 
“Really?  You still trust me to try again?”  Becca was astonished.  If she was her mother, she probably wouldn’t ever let her near the kitchen!
 
“Well, the way I look at it, it’s okay to make mistakes—as long as we learn from them.  And, I suspect you’ve learned your lesson today about needing to follow directions.” 
 
Had she ever!  When she hadn’t paid enough attention and had forgotten to add the baking soda to her batter, her cookies hadn’t turned out as nicely as Grandma’s.  When she had tried to change the recipe by adding extra baking soda, so that her cookies would turn out extra big and extra fluffy, they came out tasting horrible.  This time, she would follow the instructions precisely—no more trying to make a better cookie than Grandma!
 
Feeling a bit better and more determined than ever, Becca went back down to the kitchen and once again collected the dishes and ingredients she would need.  She measured and stirred, spooned and flattened, then waited while her third batch of cookies baked in the oven.  The kitchen filled with the wonderful smell of the chocolate chip cookies baking.  When the timer went off, Becca, a little hesitantly this time, pulled open the oven door.  The cookies looked okay.  She pulled them out and set them on a tray to cool.
 
Becca’s mother came downstairs and joined her in the kitchen.  “So, how did your cookies turn out?”
 
“I don’t know,” Becca answered.  “I haven’t tried one yet.”
 
Becca’s mother lifted two cookies off of the tray and held one out for her.  “I’m certain that they are delicious,” she reassured her.  Becca and her mother took bites out of their cookies.  They both smiled.
 
Whew, Becca sighed with relief.  Her third batch of cookies had turned out really good.  So good in fact, that they tasted exactly like Grandma’s.  “I finally did it.”
 
“I knew you could,” said her mother.  “And, now that you’ve baked a great batch of cookies all by yourself for the first time, there’s only one thing left to do.” 
 
“What’s that?” Becca asked.
 
Her mother grimaced as she surveyed the stacks of bowls, pans, spoons and measuring cups that were piled up in the sink, “We’ve got to clean up this kitchen.”
 
Becca groaned.  Despite her efforts to be tidy, the kitchen was a mess!  “Thanks, Mom,” said Becca, “but I’ll clean it up.  I really did make the mess bigger than it needed to be.”
 
Her mother smiled, “I’m really proud of you, Becca.  You’ve learned two very important lessons today—to carefully follow directions and to be responsible for cleaning up after you’ve made a mess.”
 
Becca laughed.  She certainly had!
 
 
I don’t know about you, but all this talk about chocolate chip cookies has left my mouth watering.  I’m off to bake some cookies!  And here’s the best part.  You, too, can make my “Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  Just remember to follow the directions carefully—and don’t forget to clean up when you’re done.  Be sure to get an adult’s permission before you get started, and, if you’ve never done much baking before, it would be wise to get a little help until you too can bake cookies on your own.
 
Ingredients you will need:
2/3 cups Shortening
2/3 cups Margarine
1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tspVanilla
3 cupsFlour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1½ - 2 cupsChocolate Chips
1 cupNuts* (optional)
 
1)Preheat the oven to 375°F
2)Cream shortening, margarine and sugars together.  Beat two eggs. Pour eggs and vanilla into mixture and stir together.
3)In a second bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
4)Add half of the dry ingredients to first bowl and mix; stir in the second half.
5)Add chocolate chips and nuts (optional).
6)Spoon cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet, and press down with a floured fork.
7)Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies begin to turn a golden brown around the edges.
8)Place on wire rack to cool…and enjoy!
 


© Copyright 2018 jane heeringa-peck. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Children Stories Short Stories