I just finished making cookies.  Literally, I just pulled the last tray out of the oven.  “WHAT???” you ask, “COOKIES???  That’s not healthy eating!!!”  Well, I thought I could do it.  Make healthy cookies, that is.  I even have to laugh as I just typed it—that’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard it, right?


I guess my infatuation with healthy desserts started a month or so ago when I was watching good old PBS.  There was this recipe for a blueberry dish that is similar to a blueberry cobbler, only with a fraction of the sugar and fat.  I was caught—hook, line, and sinker.  Here I had this delectable dish that tasted better than the real thing and I was able to eat it completely guilt free!  Ahh, how wonderful this new lifestyle is!


Now, I consider myself to be a good cook.  I’ve always been drawn to the kitchen, even since I was a baby (my mom couldn’t cook a single dinner without me on her hip—but then again I might have just had clingy-baby-syndrome).  I had my kiddie grocery cart, a Playskool Kitchen, the Easy Bake Oven—my love of cooking grew with each age.  At any rate, I think I started cooking full meals by the time I was 12.  I loved experimenting with everything from sauces and seasonings to baked goods and desserts—I learned how to make things without the help of a box or a freezer bag.  I even used to cook full meals for 6 or 7 hard working guys every night, making roasts, casseroles, even chicken made to each their liking.


I guess you all get the big picture—I’m a Martha Stewart-wanna-be of sorts.  I love the country cooking.  I can salivate like Pavlov’s dogs when someone mentions homemade Chicken n’ Dumplins.  Obviously the healthier eating has its limits when it comes to the down home cookin’, but all this fresh stuff has its perks.  That large scoop of butter in the collard greens is done away with, and the mound of cheese on chili is null and void, but I do have to say that my waist isn’t really missing all that grease.


OK, back to the big picture here—my cookies.


So I get this genius idea to make my favorite cookie recipe with all the substitutions.  I bought that Splenda/Sugar mix and the Splenda brown sugar mix at the store for starters.  Then I hopped on the ever so handy internet, Googled something like “healthy baking substitutes”, and did what I thought was useful research.   I checked the conversions of whole eggs to egg whites, and searched like a mad woman for butter substitutes.  I found this one site that said, “Don’t bother trying to substitute butter, work on lessening the amount—it turns your recipe to crap,” or something to that effect.  I had this stuff called whole wheat pastry flour here from that blueberry dish, which just so happened to be an “excellent substitute for cookies”.


I started mixing my ingredients.  I ended up using 1 egg and 2 egg whites, 1 stick of butter and ½ cup OJ (that was the best substitute I found), and only half the bag of chocolate chips.  I licked the beaters and though, “Dang, doesn’t taste too bad!”  I patted myself on the back and continued on.  So I dolloped the dough on the cookie sheets and stuck the first batch in.  I cracked open the oven at about minute five to check the status on my little wonders.  “Hmm…that doesn’t look right.”

What should have been a cookie smoothly spreading out with the edges slightly cooked was still a lump of dough.  My hopes and dreams of a glorious victory at the Betty Crocker healthy cookie bake-off slowly started to fade.  I moved the rack up and added a few more minutes to the timer, then sighed disgustedly at myself.  The timer finally buzzed and the moment of truth came.  They didn’t look like they normally did, but they were done.  After sticking the second tray in, I waited a minute and attempted my first taste.


They are the NASTIEST cookies I have ever put in my mouth.  They taste like mini sponges with a hint of chocolate.  A dog would probably rather lick his own butt over eating one of those cookies.  The NHL called—they want to use them for pucks.  Of course this is just my opinion—I had high hopes and they were shattered.  My dad says they taste good, but this is coming from the guy who likes to eat the burned cookies of a batch.  I suppose they aren’t as bad as I am making them out to be, but honestly I would rather just have one of the real recipe than three of my crap shoot.


I don’t have the patience to try recipe after recipe adjusting my ingredients—I’ll just stick with the original.  So moral of the story is this:  substitutions and fake ingredients make for one nasty cookie.  Pass me the real butter, real sugar, and a whole bag of chocolate chips please!  As for my cookies, I think I might try selling them as pavers.