The Trouble with Gingersnaps

Yesterday, I mixed up a batch of gingersnaps so that I could bring cookies to my friend Esther. Because my stove is new—we’ve had it for a week—I decided to test one cookie to get a sense of the baking time. In my old stove, eleven minutes would give me a good cookie. This stove seemed to run a little hotter, so I decided to try nine minutes.

The results, dear readers, were not good—burnt on the bottom.  I tried eight minutes, again, with one cookie, and it was slightly burnt with a gooey middle. I turned the temperature down from 375° to 350°. No luck. I still had cookies that were burnt on the bottom and gooey in the middle.

One burnt gingersnap
One burnt gingersnap

I called Dave’s Appliance, the store in Winthrop where we bought the stove, and on Thursday they will be sending someone over to look at it. I’ve no doubt the stove will either be fixed or replaced, and I’ll soon be on my way to be making perfect gingersnaps. (I froze the dough in balls, and I’ll bake them as soon as I have a working oven.)

Next week is Thanksgiving, and I started thinking about what I would do if I were hosting the meal this year, and I didn’t have a reliable oven. As it turns out, I’m not hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but cooking nerd that I am, it gave me pleasure to come up with a solution anyway. Here is the plan I hit upon. I have two slow-cookers, and in them I would cook two five-pound chickens on top of potatoes and carrots. Gravy is always made ahead of time—I’ve got one batch in the freezer now, and by this Thursday I’ll have another batch made. Green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole could be heated in the microwave. I might take a chance on using the oven to keep the casseroles warm, turning the oven to a very low heat and setting the racks as high as they would go while still having room for casserole dishes. Stuffing would have to be made outside the bird, in a casserole dish heated the same as the other two.

That leaves dessert. Fortunately, the top of the stove works just fine. I could make pudding for chocolate cream pies and use store-bought crumb crusts.

So there! I could do it. It wouldn’t exactly be traditional, but it would be good enough given I didn’t have a reliable oven.

I must admit that I miss my old stove. And Esther is going to be disappointed when I arrive without gingersnaps.

Ah, well! At least I have a good story to tell her—the saga of the new stove.


20 thoughts on “The Trouble with Gingersnaps”

  1. Hopefully they’ll be able to calibrate it better for you!! And then you’ll get the hang of how long things should go in for!! 🙂

  2. I made ginger snaps last week and thought of you. I got a kitchen aid countertop convection oven last spring. I have hardly used my big oven since. I love it.

  3. Perhaps cooking one cookie instead of a tray full of them would always give you different results. The moisture given off the cookies would change the atmosphere in the oven. To test the accuracy of the temperature of the oven I suggest you hang a thermometer in the oven. Your old oven may not be accurate. 🙂

    1. Mary, you might have a point, but I have read that the suggested way of testing temp for making cookies is to bake one to see how it goes. The booklet that came with the oven advised against hanging a thermometer in the oven because of the fluctuation in temperature as the heat adjusts itself. Well, anyway, this will get sorted out, and it gave me a chance to plan a fantasy Thanksgiving without the use of a reliable oven 😉

  4. I was just going to suggest that you put an oven thermometer in there to verify the temp you set is the temp you’re getting, but I see it’s already been suggested. Very strange. Good luck. XOXOXO

    1. Thanks, Burni! On another topic…I dreamt last night that I used a time machine to come visit you, so that the trip wouldn’t be as long. I think I watch too many science-fiction shows 😉 Sure would be nice to see you, though.

  5. Oh, this is a sad story. You are grieving the loss of an old friend. But, your imaginative Thanksgiving Dinner is (not sure of the most fitting verb tense here) truly an impressive feat. The chef in you does not yield!

  6. Do you have an oven thermometer? Maybe you could find out if it is registering correctly, but I’m sure Dave’s will help you in good time. However, it is NOT convenient to deal with the hassle of it all, I’m sure. 🙂

    1. Eliza, someone from Dave’s is coming tomorrow, so we’ll wait until then. However, I’m glad I made the pumpkin bread with our old stove 😉 Ironic, isn’t it? I was worried about the old stove failing before a holiday, and in fact the new one has failed. Onward and upward!

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